British Airways’ mileage points stolen, one held

New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANS) In a first of its kind scam, a travel agent has been arrested for siphoning off the mileage points of the fliers of British Airways and redeeming the same to get tickets of international airlines besides obtaining free stays across the world, Delhi Police said on Thursday.

Damanpreet Singh Bedi, 34, who was running a travel agency from Jhandewalan area in central Delhi, was arrested from his office on Wednesday.

“Bedi has stolen 20 million points, worth millions of pounds, from the British Airways,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Ravindra Yadav said.

Mileage points, generally called as Avios, are the global travel reward points that allow one to turn everyday spending into flights, hotel stays, days out and more.

Yadav said these mileage points were being awarded by the British Airways to the fliers with each ticket and the same can be redeemed by fliers for trading tickets with different airlines, hotel bookings and for getting cab facilities.

“The payment to the other airlines is then made by British Airways against the mileage points used for booking of tickets. British Airways maintains the data of such fliers who earn the mileage points,” Yadav added.

“This year, the mileage points of some of the fliers were redeemed illegally by unauthorised agencies in favour of other passengers, who were not entitled to avail the same. Following the complaint of the British Airways on Sunday, we arrested Bedi on the basis of some evidences,” the official said.

Bedi informed police that he used to access the database of tickets booked by other agents and steal the data.

“Bedi used to open fake executive club accounts using the ticket details and redeem the mileage points by booking new tickets,” the official said.

“He used to steal the data of other fliers by using the stolen details like PNR number and passenger name,” the officer said.

According to the officer, Bedi accumulated the mileage points of various passengers in this way and purchased tickets by redeeming the collected points.

“Later, Bedi sold the tickets to his selected clientele,” the officer added.

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