Alec Baldwin blasted American Airlines after he was removed from one of the company's flights on Tuesday for playing Words With Friends. Now, the beleaguered airline is fighting back.
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, the airline posted on its Facebook page.
This passenger declined to turn off his cell phone when asked to do so at the appropriate time, the airline writes. 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.
The airline goes on to say that the passenger (Baldwin) became very rude and called the crew inappropriate names. Because of this, he was removed from the flight.
As for Baldwin, he claims he was just trying to play his favorite Scrabble-like game, Zynga's Words With Friends.
Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving. #nowonderamericaairisbankrupt, Baldwin tweeted.
The 30 Rock star's rep told People magazine, 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.
Words With Friends showed its support for the actor, releasing a screengab of the game with the words Let Alec Play. In the image, A Baldwin has 1 point and American Air has 0.
On Tuesday, Baldwin had plenty to say on Twitter like how he would never fly American again because it's where retired Catholic school gym teachers from the 1950's find jobs as flight attendants. However by Wednesday afternoon, his Twitter account was deactivated.
For some, the incident may seem like déjà vu. Baldwin is just the latest in a fall full of celebrity travel mishaps.
Over the weekend, country singer John Rich became yet another in a series of high profile celebrities kicked off flights for misbehavior.
On Sunday, Rich was removed from a Southwest aircraft after crew members determined the Big & Rich singer too intoxicated to make the trip.
Passengers on the Southwest flight from Las Vegas to Nashville told TMZ that Rich appeared to be drunk even before he boarded the 10:50 a.m. flight.
In August, esteemed French actor Gerard Depardieu got himself into a bit of a tinkle when he made international headlines for peeing on an Air France flight.
The star's travel companion, fellow actor Edouard Baer, claimed the 62-year-old Jean de Florette star suffered from prostate problems and tried to urinate in a water bottle when denied access to the toilet by an airline hostess.
It's just that the bottle was too small. It's true that it overflowed, Baer told Europe 1 radio. He was embarrassed. He wanted to clean it up...It was very humiliating and awkward for him. He obviously made a big scene (saying) 'I pissed on myself'.
CityJet, who operated the Air France flight, later posted a tongue-in-cheek response on Twitter: As you may have seen on the news, we are busy mopping the floor of one of our planes this morning. We'd also like to remind all passengers that our planes are fully equipped with toilet facilities.
The following month, another star ran into trouble for not keeping his pants up.
Southwest booted Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong from a flight in September due to his revealing clothing. When attendants asked the rocker to pull up his low-riding trousers he refused and became vocally angered.
A Southwest spokesman said the nasal-voiced growler and his traveling companion were allowed to board the next flight out after the scuffle was resolved.
Later in September, comedian Michael Colyar blasted United Airlines for allegedly booting him off a flight because he was black.
The Barbershop star claimed he was forced off his flight at Virginia's Dulles International Airport after accusing a stewardess of giving a white passenger preferential treatment.
The flight attendant and her friend got just what they wanted, the n**ger off the plane. I'm sure they feel a great triumph in putting an uppity n**ger in his place, the actor blogged after the incident.
Several passengers on the flight complained that Colyar became unruly long before he was removed.
Just three weeks later, another actor complained of being discriminated against on a plane.
L- Word star Leisha Hailey racked up a whirlwind of media attention after she too was kicked off a Southwest flight. Hailey claimed she got the boot for being gay. The openly gay star claimed she was removed from the aircraft after a flight attendant stopped her from kissing her girlfriend, saying that it was a 'family' airline and kissing was not OK.
She immediately took to twitter to urge others to boycott Southwest.
Southwest, in turn, claimed Hailey's sexual orientation had nothing to do with the incident. Rather, her profane language and aggressive behavior made her removal necessary.
Speaking of aggressive behavior, in October, Whitney Houston went diva on Delta, refusing to buckle-up for the ride. After a brief quarrel, Houston allowed the flight attendant to buckle the seatbelt for her.
Sources close to Houston assured that she was still sober and was just on nerve after missing a previous flight.
Airlines have a way of bringing out the worst in us, be it the hassles of the airport, the imposed regiment, or that irksome feeling of being cooped up with pack of strangers. Agencies like Britain's Department of Transport and America's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) report a sharp rise in air rage - and it's not just celebrities.
Celebrities, after all, are just like the rest of us, even when they travel.