September 27, 2021 08:49 GMT
Passengers falsely claimed their baggage was lost on more than 180 flights and demanded a refund of more than $3,500, the maximum allowed by law.
Two frequent travelers have been charged in the United States Thousands of dollars scam to various airlines after filing dozens of false baggage loss claims, according to Reports of the Attorney General’s Office of the Department of Justice for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
The two defendants, Pernell Anthony Jones Jr., 31, and Donmonique Martin, 29, filed more than 180 claims demand more than $550,000 from commercial airlines for lost baggage on flights to and from Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans, even though they did not actually travel with carry-on bags, court reports.
Since 2015, Jones has been buying airline tickets online using fake IDs at the airport after paying the checked baggage fee, collecting a “ticket” to pick it up, but never actually checking any bags. When he arrived at the destination airport, he falsely claimed that his baggage had been lost and requested a refund to make up for his loss of more than $3,500, the maximum compensation allowed by law.
A month later, after the luggage did not appear, the airlines paid compensation for the loss. In total, airlines that include American Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines I spent over $300,000 to scammers, according to prosecutors.
Jones and Martin are accused of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Jones faces a maximum of 20 years and Martin faces a maximum of five years for his role in the fraud, which included entering Louis Armstrong Airport in January 2020 with a false identity and falsely saying his bag got lost on a flight, as well as accepting compensation money from airlines for false lost baggage claims.