Photo Credit: Jim Spellman/WireImage
Usually when celebrities get kicked off of airplanes, it's because they're causing a scene. (Remember Gerard Depardieu?) But in the case of Alec Baldwin, it was failure to turn off his smartphone that got him booted.
"Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving," the 30 Rock actor twittered on Tuesday.
According to People, Fellow passenger Michael J. Wolf, founder of the technology firm Activate, also twittered about the incident: "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."
After being ejected from the flight, Baldwin joked via Twitter that he "missed Pan Am" and should switch to United, but that ironically American was the airline that showed 30 Rock in flight. Eventually the Emmy-winning actor took a later American flight.
"Now on the 3 o'clock American flight. The flight attendants already look...smarter," he added.
Baldwin's rep shared their official explanation for the disembarkment: "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." (Talk about an addictive app!)
But it looks like the airline sees the situation a little differently. On Dec. 7, American Airlines released a statement about the incident:
"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 statement reads. "Cell phones and electronic devices are allowed to be used while the aircraft is at the gate and the door is open for boarding. 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."
It continues, "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," the statement concludes.
At least Baldwin can rest assured he's not the first celebrity to get kicked off a flight. Actor Josh Duhamel, director Kevin Smith, and Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong were also famously booted from planes in the past two years.