Alec Baldwin apologizes for airline incident
Alec Baldwin has apologized for his behavior that prompted American Airlines to kick him off a flight Tuesday at Los Angeles International Airport.
"First off, I would like to apologize to the other passengers onboard the American Airlines flight that I was thrown off of yesterday," he wrote in a blog post on Huffington Post. "It was never my intention to inconvenience anyone with my 'issue' with a certain flight attendant."
Baldwin said on the post that the plane was delayed so he continued to use his smartphone.
"My confusion began when the flight, already a half hour behind schedule, boarded, the door closed, and we proceeded to sit at the gate for another fifteen minutes. I then did what I have nearly always done and that was to pull out my phone to complete any other messaging I had to do before take off," he wrote. "In nearly all other instances, the flight attendants seemed to be unbothered by and said nothing about such activity, by me or anyone else, until we actually were pulling away from the gate."
The airline said it would provide the "actual facts" of the matter after "an extremely vocal customer" publicly identified himself.
On a plane about to leave Los Angeles International for New York on Tuesday, Baldwin declined to turn off his cellphone at the appropriate time, then stood up, took his phone into the restroom and slammed the door, the airline said.
"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. "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."
American said cellphones must be turned off for taxiing and takeoff, according to FAA regulations.
Baldwin's Twitter account had been deactivated Wednesday morning, but in earlier tweets he criticized the airline and vowed never to fly American again.
"Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving," Baldwin said, later adding: "#theresalwaysunited."
His spokesman issued a statement that the actor loved the online game so much "he was willing to leave a plane for it."
Boxer Oscar De La Hoya was on the same flight and later described the scene to reporters in New York: "I actually felt Alec Baldwin was turning off his devices, and he just got a little angry."
He said on Twitter that he thought the flight attendant overreacted and that Baldwin did "nothing wrong."
-- Kimi Yoshino and 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