Actor and comedian Marlon Wayans is stirring up some turbulence for United Airlines over a passenger dispute. The star of movies like “White Chicks” and “Scary Movie” claims he was removed from a flight and cited Friday because he refused to gate-check one of his bags.
In a video posted on Instagram, Wayans blasted the airline and the gate agent involved. He also said he was forced to miss two shows at the Kansas City Improv that evening.
Marlon Wayans, star of hit comedies like “White Chicks” and the Scary Movie franchise, says he was removed from a flight Friday and cited by police after a dispute with a United Airlines gate agent over baggage. Wayans blasted the airline and the agent on Instagram, warning fans he wouldn’t be making his scheduled shows in Kansas City that night.
According to TMZ, the actor was trying to board a plane from Denver to Kansas City when the agent told him he had too many bags. TMZ claims the agent asked the actor to consolidate his luggage prior to boarding, but when Wayans refused and tried to board anyway, the agent called police, who escorted him off the plane.
In one Instagram post, Wayans shared a screenshot of a TMZ article on the incident and recounted his interaction with the gate agent. He said the agent was “clearly picking on me” because he’d allowed another passenger to board with multiple carry-on bags, even though the airline typically allows only two bags per ticket.
Wayans later posted a photo on Instagram claiming to have made it to his destination after flying American Airlines, saying the airline was “cool.” In another post, he slammed United and demanded answers from the company and an apology for his fans. Wayans also promised to contact his attorneys.
Wayans’ Takedown of United Airlines
Actor Marlon Wayans has a strong opinion on airline passenger rights. And he certainly isn’t shy about sharing it with his fans, either. The comedian stirred up a bit of turbulence when he claimed he was removed from a United Airlines flight and cited for disturbing the peace after an argument with a gate agent.
In a series of Instagram posts, the 50-year-old actor and comedian said the incident happened during his attempt to board a Denver-to-Kansas City flight Friday. He claims the unnamed gate agent told him he had too many bags and refused to let him board after he consolidated his luggage.
The “White Chicks” star says he got into an argument with the agent because she was picking on him and that they ended up getting physical before police arrived. He also said he was treated differently because of his race.
Wayans said he missed his two shows in Kansas City because of the incident, and that he wanted compensation for those performances and an apology from the airline. He also wants United to change how it handles its passenger disputes.
A spokesperson for the Denver Police Department tells TMZ that a male passenger pushed past a gate agent at the jetbridge and attempted to board the aircraft after being told to gate-check his bag. The spokesperson says the customer won’t fly United to his destination, and he booked travel on American Airlines, where he is a ConciergeKey member.
In his follow-up post, Wayans shared a photo of himself sitting on the plane and holding up an American Airlines ticket. He then wrote a caption that included an all-caps message for United, which read: “Maaaann the bull—- I’m experiencing at @united is unprecedented BULL—-.” He added he feels he is owed an apology and that the company needs to improve its passenger rights policies.
The skies and the Twitterverse haven’t been particularly friendly to United Airlines lately. First, the airline was in hot water over leggings and then its employees were filmed forcibly removing a passenger from a plane. In both cases, the company’s responses fueled the outrage and only served to deepen public discontent. For a company that prides itself on customer service, its behavior has been nothing short of disappointing.
Marlon Wayans has not been shy about calling out the airline. In a video posted to Instagram Friday, the actor and comedian spoke out about being removed from his flight and getting a citation for disturbing the peace by Denver police. The citation came after he reportedly spoke out against the gate agent who ejected him from the plane.
Wayans claimed the agent was “clearly picking on me,” because another passenger was allowed to board with three bags while he had to pare down his belongings to one. The actor added that he was forced to miss two shows in Kansas City because of the incident, and is seeking compensation from the airline for his losses.
In his Instagram video, Wayans also slammed the airline for using “unnecessary force” against him and called on its employees to stop harassing people on flights. He also praised the work of the Denver police officers who assisted him in the escort process.
While the airline defended its actions in a tweet, its response was more defensive than apologetic and it did not explain how it would change its policies to prevent future incidents. The airline’s use of industry jargon and its lack of empathy in both the leggings and the viral video case only served to exacerbate the public outrage.
The airline needs to learn from its past mistakes and start putting more emphasis on empathy in its public statements. It also needs to make sure its agents are empowered and trained in how to deal with passenger disputes in a calm, compassionate manner. If it does, it may not only be able to avoid more embarrassing moments like these in the future but also improve its reputation in the process.
Actor and comedian Marlon Wayans is known for his comedic roles in films like In Living Color, White Chicks, Waynehead and the Scary Movie franchise, but he’s also proven he can carry himself in more serious work, as evidenced by his performances in the dramas Bel-Air and Requiem for a Dream. Now, the star says he’s been kicked off of a United Airlines flight because of a dispute with an agent over his checked bags.
Wayans posted a video to Instagram on Saturday in which he called out the airline for what he sees as its discriminatory policies. He claims he was removed from his flight from Denver to Kansas City after a gate agent told him he had too many bags. The actor and comedian says he was able to consolidate his luggage but when he went to board the plane, the gate agent “called me over to let me know I couldn’t fly because I went over the limit.”
In a separate post, Wayans confirmed TMZ’s report that police had cited him for disturbing the peace in connection with the incident. He added that he had been banned from flying United, which has prompted him to rebook his travel through American Airlines, where he is a Concierge Key member.
The comedian and actor continued to slam the airline, claiming that he had been “targeted for being black” and saying he would not be returning to the airline. He called on his fans to support his boycott of the company and encourage others to do so as well.
In the meantime, Wayans continues to perform and record stand-up comedy, while also producing family films and a Netflix series. He can be seen next in the upcoming Fifty Shades of Black spoof, where he plays the character Grey. He also recently shared a poster and red band trailer for the film. Check it out below.