Alec Baldwin has apologised to his co-passengers of an American Airline who were delayed because the actor refused to stop playing a computer game on his mobile phone.
Baldwin’s spokesman Matthew Hiltzik said that the 53-year-old actor was removed from a flight in Los Angeles on Dec 7 after failing to turn off his phone, which was originally thought to have been an iPad.
The 30 Rock TV star vented out his frustration at being ejected from the New-York bound flight on Twitter, mocking American Airlines as a company where Catholic school gym teachers from the 1950’s find jobs as flight attendants.
Baldwin posted a statement on the Huffington Post website, apologizing to other passengers but stopped short when it came to cabin crew or the airline.
The veteran actor’s note instead lamented the state of modern air travel and the financial struggles of airlines, saying the result is that air travel has devolved into an inelegant experience, akin to riding a Greyhound bus.
He said that the level of service on US carriers has deteriorated.
“Filthy planes, barely edible meals, cuts in jet service to less-travelled locations,” the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
The airline took to social media itself to maintain it was following federal regulations when it booted an “extremely vocal customer” from a flight for refusing to turn off his phone.
The airline, which earlier cited passenger privacy in declining to discuss the matter, said on the company’s Facebook page that it decided to provide the actual facts of the matter after Baldwin stated publicly he had been thrown off the flight.
American Airlines said Federal Aviation Administration regulations require phones and other electronic devices to be turned off as soon as the airliner’s door are closed, which Baldwin refused to comply.
“The passenger ultimately stood up (with the seat belt light still on for departure) and took his phone into the plane’s lavatory,” American Airlines said.
“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 airline added that Baldwin was “extremely rude” to the flight crew, calling people “inappropriate names” and using offensive language.
However, Hiltzik said that it was the flight attendant who acted inappropriately.
The spokesperson also said that other people on the plane were violating the regulation and that Baldwin was singled out.
“The plane was already delayed half an hour at the gate when Alec was playing Words with Friends.
“Other passengers who tweeted flagrantly violated these rules without any repercussions - proving that they were obviously selectively enforced,” he added.