Prosecutors have filed a criminal complaint against a Turkish Airlines (THY) staff member, Katre Günay, who is accused of defrauding the company of TL 110,000.
A ticket sales official at THY's İstanbul headquarters, Günay (41) is accused of embezzling miles belonging various passengers for her own account. THY allows passengers to accumulate miles by flying the carrier using a special card. THY customers who participate in the Miles&Miles and Shop&Miles programs can use these miles for subsequent flights with the carrier.
Günay is also charged with siphoning TL 110,000 into her account. She in addition allegedly provided free flight tickets for close friends and relatives. During her interrogation by police on May 22, Günay denied the charges, saying her account could have been hacked. “I did not turn off my computer most of the time at work. … Somebody might have entered my account,” she said. In her testimony before the court on Wednesday, Günay changed her statement and said she had to “help a friend who was in need of money.”
THY said Günay defrauded the firm in multiple ways. She purchased tickets at lower prices by cancelling tickets that had already been sold to other passengers. She also used frequent flyer miles credit belonging to other customers to purchase her own tickets. The carrier said many customers had suffered losses and that THY's corporate image had been tarnished due to Günay's abuse.
Prosecutors have demanded a 12-year prison sentence for Günay.