Travel News

Ex-United Employee Stole $555,000 – In Meal Vouchers

Written by Charlie

An ex-United employee is headed to federal prison after stealing over $555,000 in meal vouchers from the airline. He stole them from terminals around the country and then redeemed them through his own business.

This was a story that surprised me because of what the theft was! The title referenced that a man was going to federal prison for an airline voucher scam. I had figured that he had been stealing “bump” vouchers and redeeming them for free flights. I did not think it was for meal vouchers!

Ex-United Employee Stole $555,000 – In Meal Vouchers

According to this story, this ex-United Airlines employee was sentenced this week to 33 months in federal prison for an airline voucher scam. It appears that he had been fired from United back in 2016 but, somehow, had been allowed to keep his airline ID.

Using that ID, he would use United computers at various United counters around the country to print out thousands of meal vouchers. He would then run those through his own food truck company. This allowed him to convert it to cash (something I did not know!). He was caught and arrested for this this past summer so it would seem that he had been running this voucher theft for around 2 years. In that time, he stole over $555,000 in these meal vouchers.

In addition to serving time in federal prison, he also needs to reimburse United Airlines for over $555,000 for the money he stole. He had pled guilty to counts of bank fraud.

I am not sure what he was fired for but he obviously thought up this scam pretty quickly and decided to take advantage of his former employer.

Source: Journal Star

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • This story surprised you by the nature of the theft? The real story is that United failed to take back his airline credentials. I’m more concerned about the security threat implied by this story. As for the $555,000.000 United can call it tuition for a very expensive lesson in security.

    • It surprised me because the title of the article made me think it was actual flight vouchers – not $555K in meal vouchers! But, yes, how he was able to keep his ID is also a real problem. Like I said in the post, I am not sure how that happened but I also hope that United learned their lesson in this.

      • Decades ago, before 9/11 I was flying out of Zurich. There was a confrontation between security and a Pilot going through security. Ultimately, the pilot stated (in German) “Do you think I am going to bomb my cockpit?” The security response was a classic, “No Sir, because if you do not cooperate you are not going to reach your cockpit.”