Brussels Airlines is seeking thousands in compensation from a Flemish hacker who put himself and two other friends on a business class flight to New York for free.
The airline is requesting up to €20,000 in compensatory damages to make up for the price of the tickets, as well as for airport taxes and other expenses incurred by the hacker’s feat.
“The man bought a number of tickets through a special app that was intended for employee-use only,” prosecuting attorney Karel Berteloot told HLN. “[He] cancelled the tickets and obtained a reimbursement but then manipulated the URL of the ticket so that he could still use it.”
“He also managed to arrange three tickets in business class for a flight to New York, worth €6,000 per ticket. The man would better use his talents legally, “Berteloot added.
The 25-year-old’s appearance before the court on Monday mark the second time he is brought to justice for similar facts, after he reportedly also broke into the IT systems of travel and telecom companies like Lufthansa, Thalys, Mobistar and Proximus.
The defendant’s computer skills were put to use by the company, with his lawyer arguing for a reduction of the penalty costs demanded after his client told Brussels Airlines “exactly where their weaknesses are.”