It all started with a tweet from Alec Baldwin on Tuesday afternoon. “Flight Attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing Words W Friends while we sat at the gate, not moving #nowonderamericaairisbankrupt,” said Baldwin’s tweet.
Baldwin later tweeted he had been kicked off the flight.
Words With Friends is a game created by a company based in McKinney, and as Baldwin tweeted it, “It’s…well…addicting.”
Baldwin was later put on another American Airlines flight from LA to New York, where he tweeted, “The flight attendants already look…smarter.”
Baldwin put all the blame on the flight attendants, but on Tuesday morning American Airlines fired back in a Facebook post, telling a different story.
The statement read in part, “Since an extremely vocal customer has publicly identified himself as being removed from an American Airlines flight…we have elected to provide the actual facts of the matter…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…The passenger was extremely rude to the crew, calling them inappropriate names and using offensive language.”
“The bottom line is, it’s a rule, the FAA has said this is a rule, and you have to follow the rules, period,” said aviation expert Denny Kelly.
Kelly said the rule to turn off all electronic devices was an important one.
“Nowadays, more and more the cockpits are all glass, all electric, and there is potential for interference with these instruments in the cockpit,” Kelly told CW 33 News.
Travelers at DFW Airport also said they were not on Baldwin’s side.
“You really just need to follow the rules. It just makes it easier for everybody,” said Keerti Joshi.
“Rules are rules. The plane can’t move until you turn everything off, turn it off. You’re holding up 200 people while you’re still playing,” said Dennis Hanson.