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American Airlines: Alec Baldwin slammed phone, freaked out crew

AP

AP

Alec Baldwin became so irate when an American Airlines flight attendant reprimanded him for using his cell phone after he was told to turn it off that he slammed the device into the plane’s bathroom door, completely freaking out the crew and getting him bounced from the flight.

That’s according to a post on the airlines’ Facebook page a day after the actor ranted about American on his Twitter page.

Although American does not name Baldwin, it’s clear he and American Airlines are duking it out via social media.

On Tuesday, the actor posted a series of angry rants detailing a run-in with an American Airlines flight attendant who he said “reamed” him out for playing Words With Friends on his phone. He followed that up with a series of cranky posts that indicated he’d been tossed from the flight but ended up on another one, and vowed never to fly American again.

At first the airline declined to comment. Then they decided to join Baldwin at his own game, posting the following on the airline’s official Facebook page:

“Since an extremely vocal customer has publicly identified himself as being removed from an American Airlines flight on Tuesday, Dec. 6, we have elected to provide the actual facts of the matter as well as the FAA regulations which American, and all airlines, must enforce. 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.”

The message, posted on American’s page with more than 240,000 fans, goes on.

“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.”

That post has drawn nearly 5,000 comments and has been “liked” by nearly 1,700 people, and the fracas has been burning up social media channel. A tweet from Michael J. Wolf, former president and COO for MTV Networks and the founder and managing director at Activate, had the bad fortune to be on Baldwin’s initial flight. Wolf’s tweet on Tuesday – “On an AA flight at LAX. Alec Baldwin removed from the plane. We had to go back to the gate. Terrible that everyone had to wait.” – has been retweeted more than 100 times, making it a “top tweet.”

Meanwhile, ABC News reports that boxer Oscar De La Hoya also happened to be on the flight, which left from Los Angeles. After landing in New York, De La Hoya told reporters: “I actually felt Alec Baldwin was turning off his devices and he just got a little … angry.”

As for Baldwin? He’s now deactivated his Twitter account.

- Jennifer Brett/The Buzz/jbrett@ajc.com

10 comments Add your comment

Barry

December 7th, 2011
4:15 pm

This guy is a total jerk and an egotistical butthead who thinks he is above “normal” people. A couple of years ago he screamed and cursed his own daughter like she was a dog. She recorded the incident. It was horrible. That tells you enough by itself. Good for American airlines for booting him off and explaing the truth of what happened. Don’t go to Baldwin’s movies. Don’t watch his TV shows. That’s the best response from the public!

Terrible Truth

December 7th, 2011
4:19 pm

This useless pile needs to be put down (humanely, of course) like a dog that just can’t be behaviorly changed.

Yeah

December 7th, 2011
4:43 pm

Alec Baldwin is a member of the Film Actors Guild.. you can’t do that to him!! (All of you would get that if you watched Team America World Police).

the truth

December 7th, 2011
5:09 pm

The only reason I have never ever seen an episode of 30 Rock

DC

December 7th, 2011
5:20 pm

Must be George Bush’s fault!! What a loser.

Kermann

December 7th, 2011
5:25 pm

above the law el jerk o

DJ

December 7th, 2011
5:39 pm

The is absolutely no reason that people should have to turn off “electronic devices” when on a plane. This is a myth that has been dis-proven.

The FAA regulations should be reviewed and this unnecessary governmental intrusion into people lives should go away.

Diane

December 7th, 2011
8:32 pm

He knows the flight rules and thought he was above it all and could break them because some people know his name. The reason he plays these egotistical characters so well is because he really is that way (think of the card commercial with him on an airplane). It’s necesary and easier to have all electronic off when the plane leaves the gate. In air, it can interfere with equipment (safety), but not on the ground. Yet, who wants to try to enforce it AFTER you’re in the air?!!?
He was wrong and you can’t show anger or any typle of violent behavior on a plane, I don’t care who you are. They had the right to remove him and they should have. Shame, others had to be delayed because of it. This is someone who thinks the rules don’t apply to him.

Diane

December 7th, 2011
8:34 pm

…and he was verbally abusive to the flight attendants because they wouldn’t allow him to do whatever He wanted, so he threw a tantrum and cursed them out….yeah, actually they should have had security arrest him and then claim they didn’t know who he was. It’s possible, not everyone watches his movies or 30 rock.

Look before I Leap...

December 7th, 2011
10:10 pm

@DJ 5:39P
You are just quite simply wrong, there are multiple documented cases where electronic devices have caused interference with the nav systems in commerical airliners. And in at least one proven case, caused a crash. One or two cell phones operating at max signal output are extremely unlikely to cause a problem, but 200+ electronic devices operating at differing bandwidths can wreak havoc. The two most critical and dangerous points of a flight are take-off and landing. The risk increase is due to the plane’s proximity to other aircraft and the ground which provides for a much reduced reaction time for a pilot to be able to recover from a non-nominal situation.

The reason you can use your DVD player and iPod in flight (using “in-flight mode”) and can’t use your cell-phones to make calls during flight is an FCC issue and not an FAA regulation. The FCC has determined the spacing of cell-towers and the technology used to transfer signals is not designed to accommodate people travelling at 600 MPH. With 50,000 people in the air at any one time and especially in crowded airspaces such as NY and LA, the cell systems can easily overload causing a spike in dropped calls.

Is it really such a inconvience to be off the grid for a few hours? My work and far-flung friends and family tie me to my cell-phone. As a weekly traveller, I relish the me time of being disconnected.

In addition, I’d hate to find out that one of my family was dismembered and incinerated by broadsiding a 747 because some fool just had to get the word PIXEL landed in a Words with Friends game.