American Airlines Blames Baldwin's Bad Behavior For His Getting the Boot From Flight
Without naming names, American Airlines has responded via a statement issued today about yesterday's incident on board a New York-bound flight parked at its Los Angeles International Airport gate involving actor Alec Baldwin, some Words With Friends, and some words with AA personnel.
Baldwin was escorted off the flight, as he and others took to Twitter to announce he was getting the boot for not turning off his smartphone after the flight crew issued the order to do so. The actor, or, as AA calls him, the "extremely vocal customer" who "publicly identified himself as being removed from an American Airlines flight," said he was just playing that addictive Scrabble-like game Words With Friends while the plane wasn't going anywhere.
Yeah, not so much, counters AA in their statement. The airline says they have rules, and since Baldwin is no exception, they're going to call him out right back. They "have elected to provide the actual facts of the matter as well as the FAA regulations which American, and all airlines, must enforce," they begin in their statement, which continues:
"Cell phones and electronic devices are allowed to be used while the aircraft is at the gate and the door is open for boarding. When the door is closed for departure and the seat belt light is turned on, all cell phones and electronic devices must be turned off for taxi-out and take-off. This passenger declined to turn off his cell phone when asked to do so at the appropriate time. The passenger ultimately stood up (with the seat belt light still on for departure) and took his phone into the plane’s lavatory. He slammed the lavatory door so hard, the cockpit crew heard it and became alarmed, even with the cockpit door closed and locked. They immediately contacted the cabin crew to check on the situation. The passenger was extremely rude to the crew, calling them inappropriate names and using offensive language. Given the facts above, the passenger was removed from the flight and denied boarding.”
Steve Weiss, a non-celebrity passenger on the flight, corroborates this version of events, explains Gothamist:
“He got up, threw his papers on the floor and stormed into the bathroom, slammed the door closed, beat on the wall and then came back,” Weiss told the NY Post. “He said, ‘If you want to kick me off, kick me off.’ He was just crazy. He just flipped out.” Another account has him talking on the phone, not playing games.
Baldwin let fly a flurry of cheeky Tweets...and then deactivated his account. Another victim of Twittercide, quips Technorati. Oh Alec! This certainly isn't the first (or likely not the last) time the hot tempered actor's "words" with anyone has landed him in headlines.