Jason Derulo is accusing American Airlines of “racial discrimination” after an alleged disagreement about luggage took place at Miami International Airport.
The singer expressed his dissatisfaction with the treatment he reportedly received by police and AA staff members.
“I spent millions on your airline throughout the past ten years between myself and my entire staff but have still experienced racial discrimination today at miami airport!!!” he wrote in the caption of an Instagram post.
The pop and R&B star claims multiple AA employees cursed at him and his team, who were all flying from Miami to Los Angeles on Wednesday, according to People.
Apparently, there was a dispute over the group’s luggage ― they wanted to check 19 bags, but, an airline source told the magazine, even the most elite members only get three free checked bags. One member of the crew took on the responsibility of checking the bags, and claimed AA was going to charge the group an extra $4,000 to do so, Derulo explained to People.
According to Derulo, he and his crew have never had an issue checking that many bags free of charge “because of our status ― with all of our miles ― so we’ve never paid for bags,” he told People.
“So, $4,000 is obviously a huge sum,” he added. “We were like, ‘No, we’re not paying that. We’ve got to turn the plane around.’”
In a statement obtained by People, AA said the plane “returned to the gate prior to departure. A passenger elected to deplane in order to travel with their checked bags. The passenger has been rebooked with his checked bags on a later flight this evening.”
Derulo claimed that the captain of the flight began cursing at the singer and his team as they were leaving the plane. The singer told people the alleged incident made him feel like the captain “was trying to make it seem like we were delinquents.”
Derulo said that once the group got off the plane, they were met by 15 police officers as well as an airline staff member who reportedly began cursing at them. The singer said he decided to live-stream the events.
“So I go live, and I start to hear whispers happening, and as soon as they find out who I am, everything changes,” Derulo told People. “Every single person becomes somebody else, and all of a sudden, we’re not in trouble anymore.”
In his Instagram post, Derulo suggests that if he were not a celebrity, he would have been arrested.
The Miami-Dade PD filed a police report about the incident, which contradicts Derulo’s account of the events. In the report, an airline employee said the singer and his crew “smelled of marijuana and were getting aggressive” while checking in. The group was also reportedly being uncooperative when they initially got off the plane.
The Huffington Post has reached out to a representative for Derulo for further comment and will update this post accordingly.