Twitter Refuses to Pay $200,000 Private Jet Bill, Lawsuit Alleges

Since taking over Twitter in late October, Elon Musk's staff have refused to pay for travel expenses incurred under the company's previous management.

Twitter lawsuit
Twitter refuses to pay for private jet service ordered under former CEO Parag Agrawal’s leadership. Idrees Abbas/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A private jet service provider has sued Twitter for breach of contract, alleging the social media giant refused to pay for two flights provided to an executive in late October, a few days before Elon Musk bought the company.

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The lawsuit, filed by Private Jet Services Group (PJS) on Dec. 9 in a federal court in New Hampshire, where the company is headquartered, alleged Twitter owes $197,725 for a roundtrip flight used by Leslie Berland, Twitter’s chief marketing officer and head of people, between Teterboro, New Jersey and San Francisco on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27.

Berland’s Oct. 26 flight from New Jersey to San Francisco was booked by a Twitter employee named Taylor DeLorenzo on Oct. 25 and her return flight on Oct. 27 was booked by another employee named Cynthia Ancheta, according to the suit.

PJS said it invoiced Twitter for $103,850 for the first flight with payment due by Nov. 2 and $93,875 for the second flight with payment due by Nov. 3.

Marty O’Neill, Twitter’s head of global strategic sourcing, said in an email to PJS on Nov. 16 Twitter is not liable for the expenses because DeLorenzo and Ancheta were not authorized to book the flights under the agreement between Twitter and PJS, according to the complaint.

In an internal email to O’Neill cited by the lawsuit, DeLorenzo, who booked the Oct. 26 flight, said then Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal approved the charter service for Berland because the flights were urgent. However, O’Neill said in a response Twitter’s “new management is not going to budge” and “wants to hold firm on this.”

Twitter didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Twitter’s new boss Musk has been aggressively cutting costs since taking over the company in late October. He has laid off more than half of Twitter’s employees and cancelled office perks including free meals. His staff have also been ignoring calls of Twitter’s travel vendors to avoid paying bills incurred before his takeover, the New York Times reported in November.

Twitter Refuses to Pay $200,000 Private Jet Bill, Lawsuit Alleges