Juanette Cullum, 48, is also accused of stealing seven iPads, 19 Kindle readers and two laptop computers from American Airlines planes she worked on at John F Kennedy International Airport’s terminal eight. The items – thought to total around £10,000 in value – were found during a search of her Brooklyn home, according a statement from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Police said the case started when a witness tipped off American Airlines security officials about the alleged thefts. Cullum now faces charges of grand larceny and possession of stolen property, and could theoretically face a maximum penalty of seven years in jail. She has also lost her job with aircraft cleaning and ground services firm AirServ.

Earlier this month it emerged that Irish airline Ryanair had sacked a steward who found a passenger’s lost camera on his seat – and then attempted to sell it on Ebay. The Stansted-based flight attendant was caught when the amazed victim spotted his camera up for auction on the site.