Internationally acclaimed Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli sued a luxury private jet company for providing him with planes that he says were too old, too noisy, too turbulent, and just plain unreliable.
Bocelli filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New Hampshire against Private Jet Services Group, LLC (“PJS”), which is headquartered in the Granite State. The opera singer alleges that he paid $569,800 for flights, but that the company “pulled a bait-and-switch” and gave him service that it “knew was meaningfully unacceptable to him.”
According to Bocelli, PJS abruptly cancelled flights while Bocelli was on a “tightly-scheduled concert tour,” leaving him to “scramble” to find his own transportation. What’s more, says Bocelli, when the flights did take off as planned, they caused him unnecessary anxiety, because they were too loud.
In the 24-page complaint, Bocelli, who is blind, provides context for his auditory sensitivity:
Mr. Bocelli is blind and has heightened hearing sensitivity not only because of his blindness but also because of his musical training and chosen profession. He is also not a very keen flyer, as he has fear of flying and can feel anxiety related to safety issues during air travel.
In particular, he is sensitive to the elevated noise that an older airplane tends to make in flight, with such elevated noise causing him more anxiety.
Bocelli asserts that in an effort to mitigate his sensitivities, he provided the jet company with a written list of required specifications, which included the specific make and model of acceptable planes and required on-board services, and refused the use of any plan older than four years.
Furthermore, Bocelli says he routinely insists that he be insulated from any talk of turbulence:
Morever, every time a jet is booked for Mr. Bocelli’s tours, every jet charter operator is instructed that the commander of every flight should not make any on-board announcements about weather conditions and should make no mention of air turbulence during the flight, all to avoid causing undue anxiety to Mr. Bocelli.
Bocelli claims that while PJS touts itself for specializing in working with “big players in the entertainment industry,” it fell far short of its own hype.
The complaint alleges that during a December 2021 flight from Santa Ana, CA, to Cleveland, OH, the company not only flew Bocelli in an older, noisier plane, but also that the crew “announced during the flight that they should expect a very bumpy ride before landing.”
When another flight was abruptly canceled, Bocelli was forced to charter a separate jet, which cost him $300,000. The substitute flight was also problematic in that it “did not have proper heating, thus causing Mr. Bocelli to suffer from the cold brought on by the high-altitude flight, and further putting him at risk of catching a cold or flu, which would have impacted his ability to perform during his concert tour.”
Bocelli brought claims for breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, promissory estoppel, misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment.
Read the full complaint here. It was filed in late September.
Representatives for the parties did not immediately respond to request for comment.
[image via Jeff J Mitchell – WPA Pool/Getty Images]
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