Rihanna flies first

Pop star Rihanna left passengers bewildered on a flight to Barbados when she took a seat in first class - and left her pals in economy.

Pop star Rihanna left passengers bewildered on a flight to Barbados when she took a seat in first class - and left her pals in economy.

The 'Umbrella' singer boarded the London to Bridgetown flight after learning she had been named an honorary ambassador for culture and youth by her Caribbean homeland last month.

Rihanna arrived at the British capital's Gatwick airport with a small entourage of close friends, but when their flight number was called, Rihanna parted company with her clan to head for the luxury cabin.

However, Rihanna made sure she wasn't entirely cut off from her economy pals during the flight - she kept sending messages to them via air stewardesses.

A passenger says: "She arrived in the departure lounge wearing huge dark sunglasses, but everyone knew it was her. She was with her best friend and a few other people. At first I didn't think it was strange when her friends boarded the plane first - I thought she might be waiting behind because of security.

"But her friend sat next to us in economy while Rihanna was living it up in first class. Rihanna kept sending the air stewardess down to her friend and the rest of her entourage with messages."

When Rihanna touched down in Barbados, prime minister David Thompson was waiting to welcome her - while a steel band played her hits 'Umbrella' and 'Don't Stop The Music'.

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