Derulo and his entourage claim to have been greeted by "15 police officers" in Miami airport when they insisted they get off a plane set for Los Angeles.
R&B singer Jason Derulo has accused American Airlines of racism following an incident at Miami Airport this week during which more than a dozen police officers were called.
The star and his entourage arrived at Miami-Dade airport on Wednesday (February 8th) to catch a flight to Los Angeles, but discovered that because of a checking-in snag, they would not be able to check all the luggage the party had with them. One member of his entourage stayed behind to catch a later flight with the baggage, but was not able to check all 19 bags on his one ticket, and the airline was demanding a hefty additional charge.
Derulo found out about this as the aircraft was taxiing from the terminal to the runway, and insisted the plane turn back so he and his party could get off and all travel together on the next plane, therefore not incurring the four-figure fee.
Jason Derulo accused American Airlines of racial discrimination in a dispute over luggage fees
However, he claims that he was initially cursed at by multiple American Airlines employees, including the plane’s captain, during the dispute, with 15 police officers meeting them once they got off the plane, but that their tune quickly changed once they discovered who he was.
“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!!!,” Derulo seethed on Instagram according to TMZ, saying AA “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! F*** that!! I want answers.”
In a statement to People, American Airlines said that Flight 275 “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.”
Miami-Dade police, however, told local news outlet 10 News that they responded twice to requests from American Airlines, firstly to an incident at the ticket counter, and secondly at the gate where Derulo’s party was getting off. However, when they attended the second, an airline official told police there wasn’t an issue, and no arrests were made.
This was different to how Derulo remembered it, telling People later that day that he and his party felt very threatened. “As you can imagine, I’m surrounded by 15 police officers, I’m not going to curse back because I know what’s going to happen. So I pick up my phone, and I go live on my Instagram.
“So I go live, and I start to hear whispers happening, and as soon as they find out who I am, everything changes,” Derulo claims. “Every single person becomes somebody else, and all of a sudden, we’re not in trouble anymore.”