Alec Baldwin was removed from an American Airlines flight departing from Los Angeles to New York City on December 6 and the airline has finally spoken out against the actor after receiving his wrath on Twitter.
The actor claimed in a Tweet from his official Twitter account that he was "reamed" by a flight attendant for playing the scrabble-like mobile game "Words With Friends." American Airlines had a different version of the incident and issued a statement saying that "the passenger" violated regulations and was "extremely rude."
"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," American Airlines wrote on their official Facebook page on December 7. "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," the airline continued. "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."
Baldwin claimed he had been kicked off seemingly without reason, writing on Twitter on December 6, "Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving. #nowonderamericaairisbankrupt."
Baldwin's spokesperson later confirmed his account in a statement on the PR agency's official Twitter page, "Alec was asked to leave the flight for playing 'Words with Friends' while parked at the gate. He loves WWF so much that he was willing to leave a plane for it, but he has already boarded another AA flight."
Zynga, the makers of "Words With Friends" offered their official statement to OnTheRedCarpet.com in the form of a screen capture of a mock game between Baldwin and American Airlines, which spells out the phrase, "Let Alec Play" (pictured above).
'POST-9/11, PARAMILITARY BEARING'
Baldwin also said in a blog post put out by The Huffington Post that he "would like to apologize to the other passengers onboard the flight," adding: "It was never my intention to inconvenience anyone with my "issue" with a certain flight attendant."
He also cited what he called "the increase of the post-9/11, paramilitary bearing of much of the air travel business" and said he believes "carriers and airports have used that as an excuse to make the air travel experience as inelegant as possible."
Following the incident, Baldwin deactivated his Twitter account, asking fans to follow him at a later date.
"Let's play a game called Mass Unfollowing," Baldwin wrote on his now deactivated account. "I want to crash this acct and start again. But, tonight at 10 PM, NY time, unfollow me."
Michael J. Wolf, founder of Activate.com who was apparently on the same flight as Baldwin, wrote on his official Twitter page, "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."
Baldwin updated his followers about his travel plans following the incident writing, "Now on the 3 o'clock American flight. The flight attendants already look.....smarter."
American Airlines' official Twitter account Tweeted to the actor, "@AlecBaldwin Mr. Baldwin, we are looking into this. Please DM [Direct Message] us contact information."
The actor later Tweeted, "Last flight w American. Where retired Catholic school gym teachers from the 1950's find jobs as flight attendants."
Baldwin is not the first celebrity to air his grievances on Twitter about being kicked off a flight this year.
In September, Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong was kicked off a Southwest flight because his "pants sagged too low." Armstrong took to Twitter to voice his displeasure at the time.
Leisha Hailey, who played Alice Pieszecki on Showtime's "The L Word," was booted off a Southwest Airlines flight for what she said on her Twitter page was for kissing her girlfriend on the plane. Southwest Airlines later issued a statement on their website which claimed the behavior was "excessive" and not based on gender.
In October, Whitney Houston was nearly kicked off of a Delta flight when she refused to buckle her seatbelt.