Hacker Who Stole and Sold United Airlines Travel Vouchers Pleads Guilty
The individual who hacked United Airlines’ website to steal and resell travel vouchers and then offered to reveal the flaw that allowed him to gain access for cash plus first-class travel pleaded guilty in 3rd District Court in Utah Monday.
Ammon Cunningham pleaded guilty to a pattern of unlawful activity, a second-degree felony. Other charges including computer crimes, theft, and communications fraud were dismissed. The plea is being held in abeyance, which means that any prison sentence will be stayed and the charge could be reduced to a class A misdemeanor in a year if he successfully completes 80 hours of community service, pays restitution to United, and engages in no additional criminal activity.
According to the original charges, from July 2012 to September 2012, Cunningham “unlawfully accessed the United Airlines website and obtained personal identification numbers codes for electronic travel certificates that had been assigned to United customers but had not yet been redeemed by those customers.”
Electronic travel certificates are typically issued to passengers following a significant delay or cancellation of a flight but can also be issued by the airline’s customer service department for other reasons.
Cunningham used several of the vouchers for personal travel but sold over 120 for a total of $58,000.
In September 2012, Cunningham offered to provide details of his exploits to United in exchange for $10,000 and complimentary travel on United for him, his wife, and their child.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)