It’s safe to say Jason Derulo didn’t get any “lipstick stamps” on his passport when he flew from Miami to Los Angeles Wednesday night.
The “Talk Dirty” singer claims American Airlines discriminated against him when he tried to check 19 bags — after the check-in period had closed — for a 5 p.m. flight to Los Angeles. When Derulo got the bill for the luggage — $4,000 according to a police report — his group got into an altercation with the flight’s pilots, demanded to return to the gate, and was welcomed by what he claims were 15 police officers.
Derulo, who is from Miramar, detailed the incident on a caption on his Instagram page, which has 3 million followers, with a photo of an unknown airline employee: “I spent millions on your airline throughout the past 10 years between myself and my entire staff but have still experienced racial discrimination today at miami airport!!! Called 15 police officers on me as if I’m a criminal! It’s not ok that when you find out who I am the gears change!”
It had nothing to do with discrimination, it had to do with checked bags.
Alexis Aran Coello, American Airlines spokeswoman
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Derulo told TMZ he was flying with a group of eight. According to a police report from the incident, the singer arrived at 4:15 p.m. for the 5 p.m. flight, which is past the check-in window. When the group was told they had arrived too late to check the bags, tensions started to rise. American Airlines employee Jacqyeline Morillo told police the group “smelled of marijuana and were starting to get aggressive.”
Ultimately, the group opted to leave one group member behind to travel with the bags on another flight, Derulo told People.
But when Derulo boarded the plane for flight 275 to Los Angeles International Airport, the group got a call from their companion that the bags were going to cost them $4,000, according to the police report. American Airlines spokeswoman Alexis Aran Coello said the actual cost was $3,410.
Derulo, via hashtags on his Instagram post, said he was a Concierge Key member. But according to American, Concierge Key members get a limit of three checked bags for free. The other members of Derulo’s group were not Concierge Key members, Aran Coello said.
That’s when someone in Derulo’s group (the arrest report doesn’t specify who) got into an argument with the flight crew and into a “heated argument” with the captain, and asked to be taken back to the gate. The plane, which had already left Gate 30, returned to the gate. Derulo said on Instragram that he was greeted by 15 police officers who started treating him differently when they realized he was a celebrity. The arrest report doesn’t specify how many police officers were dispatched.
American Airlines said in a statement that the flight returned to the gate prior to departure.
“A passenger elected to deplane in order to travel with their checked bags,” the statement said. “The passenger has been rebooked with his checked bags on a later flight this evening.”
Derulo was rebooked for a 9:49 p.m. flight to Los Angeles, Aran Coello said, and AA stayed with him until he boarded the flight.
“It had nothing to do with discrimination, it had to do with checked bags,” she told the Miami Herald.
On Instagram, most fans sympathized with the singer: “That’s crazy ! Is this serious ? Man what is this world ??? We’re in 2017 ! Hope you’re good Jay, you will win this battle I’m sure,” said @derulo.family.
Others... not so much. Countered @phleep: “Were you flying back to 2013 when you were actually relevant?”
This is the original post from Jason Derulo on Instragram. The American Airlines employee pictured is a customer service manager who assisted Derulo in getting to Los Angeles after the incident, the airline said. Derulo has since taken down the post.