A computer programmer has been charged with purloining the frequent flier accounts of American Airlines (AA) customers to treat himself to more than $260,000 worth of global travel and car rentals, according to the Miami Herald.

Milad Avazdavani, 27, a former student at Florida International University, is facing a one-year sentence for 19 felony counts, including fraudulent use of someone's identity, grand theft, organized scheme to defraud and computer offenses.

Avazdavani sits in Miami-Dade jail awaiting trial. He claimed he only is guilty of shopping for bargains and would not use others' credentials to book travel in his own name. A number of credit cards in other people's names were found in his possession when he was arrested.

An AA investigator was alerted to anomalies after several customer email addresses were altered and mile-redemption transactions redirected to a single Miami IP address.

Avazdavani's trial is expected to commence in the summer.