A first-class passenger said American overbooked his flight to the US and bumped him off the flight.
Rapper Gillie Da King ended up stranded in Madrid, Spain, as there were no more flights with American to his destination for the day.
“American Airlines — is this how you treat your Executive Platinum members?” he said in an Instagram video.
A first-class passenger said American Airlines overbooked his flight back to the US and gave his seat away, leaving him stranded in Europe.
Gillie Da King, a rapper from Philadelphia who’s known for being part of the now-disbanded hip hop group Major Figgas, said in an Instagram video that he was flying with American from Madrid, Spain. But when he arrived, he found that the airline had already canceled his tickets. He didn’t state in the video exactly where he was flying to in the US.
Gillie Da King added that he’s an AAdvantage Executive Platinum member, the highest tier on American’s frequent flyer program. Insider could not immediately confirm Da King’s claim that he is an executive platinum member.
“They literally oversold the flight and gave our tickets away man,” Gillie Da King said in the video posted on Wednesday, adding that he flies with the airline three times a week.
“Now they’re saying they ain’t got a flight back until Thursday. American Airlines — is this how you treat your Executive Platinum members?” he continued. “I’m confused, man.”
In another Instagram video, Gillie Da King is shown speaking to an American staff member in front of the check-in counter. In the video’s caption, he wrote that he had purchased four first-class seats on the flight.
“There is no flight going. We give you one option — there’s a flight you can take tomorrow,” the staff member could be heard telling Gillie Da King in the video, adding that American had no other flights for the day.
The staff member added that check-in closed at 11:30 a.m., but a woman could be heard insisting that Gillie Da King and his companions were there before that time. It’s unclear exactly what time they arrived at the check-in counter.
“I don’t want to talk to you,” the staff member could be heard telling Gillie Da King in the video. “Do not shout to me that way or we call the police,” he added.
Overbooking flights is a common practice among airlines, including American. Insider previously reported that airlines overbook flights to ensure that they make money on every seat, as there are often passengers who are no-shows. Airlines see empty seats sold to passengers who do now show up as a lost revenue opportunity. But airlines usually avoid overbooking first-class seats as this might upset their most lucrative passengers.
According to American’s website, passengers should arrive at the airport at least three hours before a flight’s scheduled departure time. Additionally, the website states that when flying from Madrid, passengers should check in 75 minutes before the scheduled departure time.
It’s not the first time American Airlines has given away a passenger’s paid seat. In May, one passenger claimed that American oversold her flight to Dallas-Fort Worth, and then bumped her from the flight and made her pay for a new ticket.
American and Gillie Da King did not immediately respond to requests for comment sent outside regular office hours.
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