Jermaine Jones Flees to Philly [VIDEO]

3/14/2012 12:01 PM PDT

"American Idol" contestant Jermaine Jones fled Los Angeles and the "A.I." guillotine ... because we got video of him after he landed in Philadelphia last night.

Jones flew first class -- which makes us think "Idol" may have paid for the ticket.

As we reported, the plan was for Jermaine to appear on tonight's show​, facing the music for lying about his criminal past.

It's true -- jets also fly west, but it would be a very fast turnaround.