Updated at the bottom with Baldwin saying he was singled out by a flight attendant for using his phone. First posted at 4:01 p.m. Monday.
Alec Baldwin tweeted today that he was pulled off an American Airlines flight at LAX for playing the uber-nerdy smartphone game Words With Friends.
Tweeteth Sir Baldwin:
Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving.
But at least one passenger told the Los Angeles Times that he was made to believe that Baldwin was kicked off the flight for allegedly “abusive behavior.”
Sound familiar? This time the alleged target wasn't an 11-year-old, and his words weren't caught on tape. But Baldwin did allude to the source of his ire via Twitter:
Last flight w American. Where retired Catholic school gym teachers from the 1950's find jobs as flight attendants.
Ian Gregor of the FAA told the Weekly he couldn't speak specifically about the Baldwin case but indicated that American could make a case of it if it wanted to:
Speaking generally and not in relation to any particular alleged incident: If an airline makes a report to the FAA about a passenger who refused to obey a crew member's instructions, we investigate the report. If we determine the passenger did in fact disobey a crew member's instructions, we can propose to fine that passenger. The passenger could appeal our proposed fine.
At least Baldwin wasn't kicked off because of his Schweddy Balls.
[Update at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday]: After closing his Twitter account today, Baldwin wrote up his version of the confrontation for the Huffington Post. He says he was singled out by a flight attendant who sought to “make some example of me:”
The lesson I've learned is to keep my phone off when the 1950's gym teacher is on duty. That was my fault there, even though this trip was quite a bit different from so many others. But it is sad, I think, that you've got to fly overseas today in order to bring back what has been thrown overboard by US carriers in terms of common sense, style, and service.
Again, my apology to my fellow travelers.
For its part, American Airlines today stated:
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.