Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are trying to notify about 1,500 customers that a former call-center employee may have used their payment cards fraudulently. Alaska Air Group Inc., which owns the two airlines, did not name the former employee in a statement it released today. The company says the employee misused payment card data provided by some customers to pay for changes in their reservations between August 2006 and June 2008. The call-center employee made the requested reservation changes but, instead of processing the payment on behalf of Alaska Airlines or Horizon Air, diverted the payment into a personal account. The company says it sent letters yesterday via first-class mail to affected customers who provided their mailing addresses. Besides releasing a media statement, Alaska Airlines has posted a notice on its Web site that customers can view if they click the link "Call Center Notification." The statement provides details and advice about contacting card-issuing banks and monitoring credit reports.

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