Allan Russell who worked at T5 cost the airline almost £20,000 pounds after he was bribed with passes for the X-Factor in a flight bookings scam.

The 38-year-old also got free tickets to see Take That in exchange for “converting” cheap early-booking tickets which were then sold on as expensive “last minute” air fares and sold through bogus travel agent, Churchley Smith Lifestyle Ltd.

Mr Russell, of Redhill, Surrey, used his check-in computer to alter or amend 185 advance fare bookings made by ex-colleague Mark Smith.

Smith was jailed for fraud for three years in August last year, while Mr Russell was cleared by the same jury and sacked by BA.

The flight booking scam was exposed by BA in a security audit in which Mr Russell claimed he acted as a “whistleblower” and sued the airline for unfair dismissal.

However, at an employment tribunal in Reading on Thursday last week, Judge Andrew Gumbiti-Zimuto said BA acted fairly for sacking him for misconduct.

Mr Gumbti-Zimuto and rejected Mr Russell’s claims he had been unfairly dismissed, on the grounds that he made a public interest disclosure breach of contract and unpaid wages.

The tribunal also ruled that BA had done all it could to continue with Mr Russell’s disciplinary procedure after he had been charged by police with fraud as a result of the scam.

Mr Russell told the tribunal that when changing the bookings he had been acting in the “best interests” of BA, and that it was “common practice” for members of staff to change reservations at the request of colleagues.

He told the tribunal that he took commercial decisions to secure bookings for the airline, and decided it would have been better to sell the seat at a reduced price than not at all.

Mr Gumbiti-Zimuto, said: “There is no evidence that what the claimant’s assertions, that what the claimant was doing, was common practice.

“The actions which the claimant accepted that he carried out were in breach of the respondent’s ticketing rules.”

A report found multiple breaches of BA’s conditions of carriage which resulted in losses between £13,600 pounds and £19,375 pounds.

BA said that Smith’s scam had lost the airline £235,988.92 pounds in total.