A JetBlue Passenger Stole A Gate Agent’s Phone Charger. How The Agent Responded Was Perfect.

A passenger on a JetBlue flight stole a phone charger from an agent at the gate on Friday. They didn’t take the gate agent’s phone – just the charger.

The agent realized their charger was gone, boarded the flight, and announced at the flight isn’t going anywhere until the thief returns it. If the passenger doesn’t come forward, they’ll pull security tapes and figure out who it was anyway. It’s better to fess up!

Taking a minute to think it over, the perpetrator walks forward down the aisle of the aircraft and turns it over. Then he walked all the way back to his seat in the back. The whole plane gave him a slow clap, while the man passed by in shame.

If it were me I’d have considered just giving the gate agent my charger though of course they might not have announced whether it was an Android phone or an iPhone. At this point, though, you just assume iPhone? Here though it wasn’t nearly as “cheery” an interaction as that would have been.

There was no legal consequence for the theft. There was just the consequence of knowing that everybody else on board knew, and not being able to escape that for the entire duration of the flight. You’re embarrassed, and there’s nowhere to run, because you’re trapped inside a metal tube.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @Gary you’re cute… Look at you thinking that Samsung is the only Android manufacturer. I wish I could see the look on your face when you finally figure out how behind the times Apple really is in the realm of innovation.

  2. Seems to me anyone insane enough to ‘steal a charger’ from the gate agent wouldn’t be a bit bothered by everyone shaming him. Kudos to the GA for handling this so cleverly.

  3. Why would you give him your charger? So the plane wouldn’t be delayed? I can understand the self interest but people need to be ok with some inconvenience so justice can be served…..

  4. Go through the security tapes? But when a passenger’s luggage with Air Tags is stolen or the bag is lost (but location known), the airline does nothing?

  5. @Apple Fanboy – my point is that Apple has the majority of the US cell phone market (true) and shared simply that the next biggest player was way behind, which is merely incidental but also true.

  6. Does JetBlue allow its agents to mete out collective punishment, or was it an empty threat? Doesn’t collective punishment violate one or more Geneva Conventions?

  7. @JorgeGeorge, do you not understand what the word “stole” means. The perp performed a five finger discount and was busted as he hid out. Try rereading the article.

  8. @Apple Fanboy – You’re cute that you don’t realize that 56% is a majority; or if you did, that your need for an argument is so great that you still had to open your mouth.

  9. the thief just should have kept his seat – what options does the gate agent really have? the gate agent can’t really hold the flight for long unless she/he calls the police, and even IF the police respond to such a low priority call, they can’t search anyone on the plane.

    this thief was just a low level perp – he’s obviously not a practiced/pro thief


  10. What @Derek said. If only airlines would show a fraction of that effort when told the exact location of a passenger’s “lost” bag via air tags.

  11. Per http://www.statista.com: Android maintained its position as the leading mobile operating system worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2022, controlling the mobile OS market with a close to 71.8 percent share, while iOS accounted for around 27.6 percent of the mobile operating system market.

  12. Woody I was commenting on Gary saying he would have given the agent his charger, I think to get the plane out on time? I on’t understand your take at all. I’m glad the agent did what he did even though his threat would potentially inconvenience everyone on the plane…..

  13. The story might be true, but the gate agent was full of shit. How much compensation would jet blue be on the hook for if they delayed the flight by any meaningful amount? Surely enough to have the gate agent fired on the spot if they purposely delayed the flight.

  14. @Apple Fanboy 56% plus 30% equals 86% which leaves 14% other Android brands besides Samsung. You’re cute with your math skills unless you think the remaining 14% are Windows Mobile OS

  15. @Gary Leff
    … and @Skeptical robot’s point was for android worldwide usage and not just within the U.S. The followup comment of >71% android users, worldwide, is equally relevant.

  16. The outcome is a feel good story. And the thief is indeed a dirt bag. But the gate agent’s actions are also a problem. For a $15 charger he spools up a whole planeload of people with the risk of missed connections, etc. Imagine if a store cashier announced no one was exiting the store until whoever stole something from them (personally, not from the store) fessed up. This isn’t primary school where teacher makes you stay late. People stepping out of their operational roles to lobby on their own personal behalf while threatening a level of authority they don’t have is a slippery slope.

  17. Bags are one thing and not trackable by security footage. And security footage can be recalled by computer or if a manager on their device immediately. Security footage is incredible you can zoom in and see eye color. Takes 1 min so no big delay need Einsteins

  18. I am not defending the theif…

    However the gate agent shouldn’t have had their phone charging at the gate.

    This is a classic case of entitlement on both sides.
    Gate agent feels that they don’t have to follow the security rules and company rules regarding phones. When things don’t turn out the way that they want they they flex their muscles without a leg to stand on…

    The theif just feels entitled to something that is not theirs.

  19. Do Americans even experience shame? In Asia, the guy would have considered killing himself, but I’ve never seen shame at an airport in the United States.

  20. Well I had the same thing stolen from me at a hotel in Indianapolis Indiana in the end of august 29th an3n30th

  21. Shocking news alert: Feel free to argue about market share all you want, but it’s irrelevant. Android and iPhone phone chargers are interchangeable. You just need the correct cable to go into the charger. When the EU finally makes iPhone accept USB-C then even the cable will be interchangeable.

  22. Taking what isn’t yours might be wrong.
    But applauding this self important Ahole for making threats … idle or not just shows how petty. So called Americans have become in their sick social media focused way of life. PS. So called because the pics shown of those posting do not look very American to me.
    ; )

  23. If 56% = at this point just assume Apple then you have a very flawed understanding of statistics 🙂

  24. Justice but in today’s morality he sues the airline for being humiliated.

    Jury awards millions.

    I’m not a pessimist, just realistic.

  25. Reminds me of a pickpocket in London. My friend felt him open her purse on the tube car, so she jammed her high heel into the top of his foot and loudly said “Leave my purse alone”. The thief grabbed his foot in pain while the doors closed. He spent the entire ride to the next station complaining about his sore foot, but everyone on the train was glaring at him. He made a speedy although somewhat limping exit at the next station. I was quite proud of my friend.

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