A Chelsea woman pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston on Friday to using her position as an airline gate agent to convert primarily low-cost domestic flights to more expensive international flights at no additional charge for family, friends and acquaintances, according to US Attorney Andrew Lelling.
Tiffany Jenkins, 31, pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud Lelling said in a statement. She was arrested last November.
Lelling’s office didn’t name the company Jenkins worked for because it doesn’t identify victims, according to a spokeswoman. However, the Globe confirmed that Jenkins was an employee of JetBlue.
While working as a gate agent, Jenkins had access to the airline’s computer reservation database and would change flights for customers at no extra cost using a special code, “referred to as involuntary exchange,” according to the statement.
“This code enables agents to change flights for customers who miss their flights or experience a death in the family,” the statement said.
Over the course of 15 months — from July 2016 through September 2017 — Jenkins used the code to execute approximately 505 involuntary ticket exchanges for over 100 different passengers, according to the statement.
Many of the transfers occured after the passenger was initially booked on one of the airline’s cheapest domestic flights available, such as a roundtrip between Las Vegas and Long Beach, Calif., according to the statement.
“A short time later, Jenkins exchanged those tickets for a completely different city pair, generally involving much more expensive international locations, for friends, family and acquaintances,” the statement said.
Jenkins is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 21, according to the statement. The charge of wire fraud entails a sentence up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Shannon Larson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.