United Airlines has fired more than 35 of its employees after it was discovered they were abusing their employee travel perks by selling travel passes, which are intended for employees and their friends and family.
United gate agents became suspicious when three families – a total of nine passengers -- who were traveling internationally stated that they had “paid for” first class tickets, but they were on non-revenue reservations and were unable to provide the names of the employees who had provided the tickets, reportsUSA Today.
Following an investigation, the airline "uncovered a brokering scheme where employees were soliciting pass travel privileges from their colleagues to put up for sale."
Some employees even gave fake documentation to establish a bogus familial relationship with the person they sold the pass to.
"Some of the employees who gave up their passes received payment, while others were deceived into giving away their pass travel privileges based on the pretext that the passes were for a good friend or a relative (although even that would be against the rules)," stated an article published on UA’s internal site.
The employees involved were all fired. Some offenders said they believed that what they were doing was acceptable since they had pass travel privileges that weren’t being used.
United spokesperson Frank Benenati told USA Today: "Enjoying flying privileges is a unique and special advantage of working at an airline, and it is intended only for our employees and their friends and family. We have clear rules on flying privileges so we can all fairly enjoy this benefit.”
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.