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No complaint to FAA yet in Alec Baldwin's American Airlines dispute

December 8, 2011 |  1:26 pm

Alec Baldwin kicked off American Airlines flight
American Airlines has not filed a complaint with Federal Aviation officials in Los Angeles against actor Alec Baldwin, who was kicked off a flight earlier this week after refusing to turn off his phone.

The actor said he was playing the game "Words with Friends" on his phone while the plane was still at the gate.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor declined comment on the specifics of the Baldwin case, but said the FAA in Los Angeles has not received a complaint from American Airlines over the actor's conduct. It is possible the airlines lodged a complaint with another field office,

While declining to comment on the specifics of the Baldwin case, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the FAA in Los Angeles -- where the incident occurred -- had not received a complaint from the airline over the actor's conduct. The airline can lodge a complaint with another field office, but Gregor said he was not aware of one. American Airlines could not be reached for comment.

Federal authorities can investigate when an airline complains to the FAA about a passenger who refuses to obey a crew member's instructions, Gregor said.

"If we determine the passenger did in fact disobey a crew member's instructions, we can propose to fine that passenger," Gregor said earlier this week. "The passenger could appeal our proposed fine."

Baldwin took to Twitter to complain about American, but later deactivated his account and issued an apology to other passengers who were inconvenienced. He did not apologize to the airline, which posted its version of the incident on its Facebook page.

American Airlines did not identify Baldwin by name, but said he was "extremely rude" and called the flight crew inappropriate names.

"He slammed the lavatory door so hard, the cockpit crew heard it and became alarmed, even with the cockpit door closed and locked," the statement said. "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."

American said cellphones must be turned off for taxiing and takeoff, according to FAA regulation.


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-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Alec Baldwin, shown in January, was kicked off an American Airlines flight Tuesday at Los Angeles International Airport. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times