David Ryan Harris, a guitarist who has worked with artists such as John Mayer, Carlos Santana, and the Dave Matthews Band, recently shared his account of the incident that upset his family on social media.
About two weeks ago, Harris was flying from Atlanta to Los Angeles with his two sons, Truman and Hendrix, who are biracial. He shared in an Instagram post that when the family got off the plane, four police officers were waiting for them.
“A flight attendant had called ahead with some sort of concern that perhaps my mixed children weren’t my children,” said Harris in the video post on Instagram.”We are met, embarrassingly so, by this AA employee and police officers. They questioned my kids.”
The musician said that his children were not obligated to engage with anyone, especially on a 7:17 a.m. flight. Upon arrival at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Harris was stopped by four police officers who questioned the children’s safety and relationship with him. The officers did not explicitly mention child trafficking but expressed the need to ensure he was not traveling with minors who were not his without permission.
Harris said he attempted to contact American Airlines’ customer service before going public but received no response. He expressed frustration that he had been a loyal American Airlines customer for many years and did not expect this treatment.
Harris raised questions about the inconsistency of the airline’s actions, particularly regarding child trafficking concerns. He wondered why there were no safeguards or protocols in place to prevent such situations before passengers boarded the plane.
American Airlines is now investigating the incident. The airline has offered Harris 10,000 frequent flyer miles as an initial apology.