Actor and 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin was thrown off an American Airlines flight Tuesday afternoon after he refused to turn off his cell phone as he played the popular Zynga game, Words with Friends.
Flight attendant on American [Airlines] reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving, Baldwin tweeted from his account. He then finished his post with the message #nowonderamericanairisbankrupt.
Sales expert and author Grant Cardone confirmed the situation, saying, Alec Baldwin is getting kicked off AA flight as I tweet this! Another passenger on the flight Michael J. Wolf, who is also the former president and COO of MTV Networks, expressed his displeasure with the situation.
On an AA flight at LAX. Alec Baldwin removed from the plane, Wolf tweeted. We had to go back to the gate. Terrible that everyone had to wait.
The flight was delayed for an hour before Baldwin left the flight.
He loves 'Words with Friends' so much that he was willing to leave the plane for it, said Matthew Hiltzik, Baldwin's publicist. He also made an interesting point on Twitter, namely in that other passengers were live-tweeting Baldwin's removal from the plane from phones they also apparently refused to shut off.
By Wednesday, Baldwin's Twitter account exploded to more than 600,000 followers after the incident, but the actor said he has elected to shut down his account.
Let's play a game called Mass Unfollowing, Baldwin tweeted. I want to crash this acct and start again. But, tonight at 10 PM, NY time, unfollow me.
American Airlines had a response of its own Wednesday, which it released on its 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.
In its own statement, American Airlines couldn't help itself, fully explaining the procedure for cell phones and electronic devices needing to be turned off during the flight.
This passenger declined to turn off his cell phone when asked to do so at the appropriate time, the company said. 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.
Baldwin, who is known for being hot-headed, has had a long public history of anger and family issues. One embarrassing instance occurred when Baldwin left his daughter an angry voicemail, calling her a rude, thoughtless little pig, and the recording was then sold to TMZ and subsequently released to the public. Baldwin later said that he contemplated suicide once the voicemail leaked.
I spoke to a lot of professionals, who helped me, Baldwin said. If I committed suicide, [ex-wife Kim Basinger's side] would have considered that a victory. Destroying me was their avowed goal.
Baldwin apologized and wrote a book inspired by the incident, called A Promise to Ourselves.