Baldwin Writes ‘Apology’ To AA And Passengers — Takes Shots Along The Way

Actor Explains His Actions On LAX To JFK Flight; Tells Twitter Followers To Flee

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — First he was booted off an American Airlines flight. Then, actor Alec Baldwin booted himself off Twitter. His account, 600,000 followers strong, was deactivated Wednesday after a flight fiasco that has many asking if celebrity misbehavior has gone too far.

But has it? The actor issued a long-winded apology Wednesday evening, appearing to, in his own unique way, ask the nation and American Airlines for their forgiveness:

First off, I would like to apologize to the other passengers on board the American Airlines flight that I was thrown off of yesterday. It was never my intention to inconvenience anyone with my “issue” with a certain flight attendant,” Baldwin wrote on

I suppose a part of my frustration lay with the fact that I had flown American for over 20 years and was brand loyal, in the extreme. The ticketing agents and Admiral’s Club staff have always been nothing but abundantly helpful to me, as I have flown hundreds of thousands of miles with the one carrier.

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. 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.

In this case, while other people were still manipulating their own phones, this one employee singled me out to put my phone away. Afterward, we still sat at the gate. I pulled out my phone again, while others did the same. Again, I was singled out by this woman in the most unpleasant of tones. I guess the fact that this woman, who had decided to make some example of me, while everyone else was left undisturbed, did get the better of me.

However, I have learned a valuable lesson. Airlines in the US are struggling with fuel costs, labor costs, bankruptcies, you name it. It’s no secret that the level of service on US carriers has deteriorated to a point that would make Howard Hughes red-faced. Filthy planes, barely edible meals, cuts in jet service to less-traveled locations. One of the big changes, in my time, is in the increase of the post-9/11, paramilitary bearing of much of the air travel business. September 11th was a horrific day in the airline industry, yet in the wake of that event, I believe carriers and airports have used that as an excuse to make the air travel experience as inelegant as possible.

Most of the flight attendants I have ever encountered still have some remnant of the old idea of service. Add to that the notion that in this day and age, many people have a lot of important work to do, by phone, and would like to do so till the last possible minute. But there are many now who walk the aisles of an airplane with a whistle around their neck and a clipboard in their hands and they have made flying a Greyhound bus experience.

The lesson I’ve learned is to keep my phone off when the 1950’s gym teacher is on duty. That was my fault there, even though this trip was quite a bit different from so many others. But it is sad, I think, that you’ve got to fly overseas today in order to bring back what has been thrown overboard by US carriers in terms of common sense, style, and service.

Again, my apology to my fellow travelers.”

Appearing agitated Baldwin made sure CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez remained at arms’ length late Tuesday night at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

“You gotta watch that thing. You’re gonna get hurt,” Baldwin told Sanchez, as he nudged her and her microphone out of the way after getting off an American Airlines flight in New York.

Prior to issuing his apology, Baldwin seemed to tell all of his Twitter followers to flee.

With this pre-shutdown tweet, “Let’s play a game called Mass Unfollowing. I want to crash this acct (account) and start again.”

Passengers by and large were none too pleased with the fiasco the actor caused on an American flight out of Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday.

“We were really pretty pissed off,” passenger Kris Engle said.

It began with the LAX to JFK flight all good to go and Baldwin playing a word game on his cell phone.

But then he refused to turn his device off.

He took to Twitter: “Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving.”

American Airlines then blasted the actor on Facebook for leaving out what happened next.

“He slammed the lavatory door so hard, the cockpit crew heard it and became alarmed, even with the cockpit door closed and locked,” the airline said. “The passenger was extremely rude to the crew, calling them inappropriate names and using offensive language.”

All of this resulted in a 45-minute delay and Baldwin bumped off the flight.

When asked where the fault lies in this sordid episode, one passenger told Sanchez: “Alec Baldwin and he looked a little bit intoxicated to me.”

But not everyone was outraged at the “30 Rock” actor, who has hinted in the past that some day he’d like to run for mayor of New York City.

“I’m sorta pro-Alec,” one passenger said. “I think it’s a whole bunch of things to do about nothing if you want to know the truth.”

While some neighbors and others who know Baldwin called the incident minor there are people who see what they call a disturbing trend.

“You wouldn’t get away with it on a plane. I wouldn’t get away with it. Why does he think he would be special?” crisis management expert Richard Auletta told Carlin on Wednesday.

Auletta said the public is fed up with celebrity misbehavior. He wonders if Baldwin even cares that after several incidents, some consider him a hothead.

“Is this what you’d like? Your children to think of you, your parents to think about you?” Auletta said. “Be a standard bearer for good behavior, not bad behavior.”

Auletta predicts, and as the actor’s apology seems to suggest, when Baldwin takes to the skies in the future he’ll play by the rules.

The Federal Aviation Administration called it “rare” for passengers to get kicked off flights, saying it happens at the discretion of each flight’s captain. In more serious cases officers come on board, but that did not happen in Baldwin’s case.

You buy this apology? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • BigAppleGuy

    Maybe if the airlines stopped using flight technology from the 50’s, and spent a few dollars on RF shielding the sensitive equipment, Flight Attendants wouldn’t have to be the ‘Nintendo Police’ and we wouldn’t have to worry about someone’s 5 year old causing plane system malfunctions. Lears and Gulfstreams are shielded and you dont have to worry about this bs. Fact is you can always tell who the jerks are the moment the flight attendant leaves the area and they whip out the phones and other hand held devices. And without a doubt, Ive seen more than a few surly flight attendants, ‘drunk’ on their new found powers to get the air marshal or tsa on your ass.

  • Meme Meyagi

    what is done about 7 million mooslime terrorists living in usa?

    • BigAppleGuy

      I see you spamming this non-relevant post on other stories. wax on, wax OFF. I’m sure at least a few of them aren’t terrorists. Maybe we should round them up and put them in internment camps a la the www2 Japanese…that was a big waste of time and money also.

  • Greg

    This episode could be made into a movie. ” The Hunt for Red October Part II”.
    Where is he when the country needs him …..Playing games. See you at the
    golf course AL.

  • gotacomment

    He just got taken down a peg or two, and good for him. I’ve had it with all these “celebrities” who through a combination of publicity and luck (I make no judgments regarding their talent) think they’re better than anyone else, especially people like flight attendants and fellow passengers. Suppose someone needed that flight to get where it was going by the stated ETA to visit a dying relative or something similar? Anyone seriously inconvenienced by this bloated egotistical fool should sue his sorry behind.

  • Brucie

    What a jerk! Mayor, really! I would never vote for Alec. He can’t control his anger. Obviously, he could not handle the pressures of the job.

  • AA475

    He was wrong! Flight Attendant was just performing her duties, Capt. was
    correct in leaving his ass in LA.

  • ingmar

    i was flying on american airlines from aruba going to ny. a passenger complained about the dreadful food and the stewardess had the pilot divert the plane to miami where they had the passenger arrested. when the police was escorting the passenger out, the stewardess quipped, “does anyone else want to complain”. we arrived so late in jfk, i missed my car service and had to hire another one. it ended up costing an extra 400.00 to get home to southampton. american airlines made no effort to apologize for the inconvenience. this was in ’95 and i have not flown american since. hate that airlines

    • Meme Meyagi

      it doesn’t look like you attempted to help the man who got arrested, so $400 is pocket change for jerk like you. you and stewardess deserve each other

  • Huh

    It’s the 1% attacking the little 99% just trying to do their job…



  • lew

    Give him a break. Maybe as he was sitting in the 1st class cabin of the plane, he was just tweeting an invitation to OWS protesters to spend Christmas at one of his multi-million dollar homes. I’m sure he, Russell Simmons and Susan Sarandon will be opening the doors of their mansions so that the occupiers have a warm, dry place to spend Christmas. Does anyone know if the flight attendant he was berating and ridiculing from the 1% or the 99%??

  • Larry Schwarz

    His apology does not phase me.It is an FAA regulation that you must follow all directives given by the flight crew.There are reasons for this as a seasoned traveler Mr.Baldwin should know this and should have complied.The Captain would have been within his right to have the police waiting for Mr.Baldwin at the gate.He says he will not fly American again,well other carriers will follow the same policy.His apology does not phase me because no where does he admit he was wrong.I have flown with celebrities before.Once on a flight from NY JFK to Salt Lake City the entire first class cabin was filled with actors and actresses coming out to Utah for The Sundance film festival.They were all very gracious and it was a pleasure to be in first with them.Mr.Baldwin should reissue his apology to say he was wrong,apologize to the airline and the flight attendant,and promise not to do it again.Do it now,in the media,one day he might be doing it before a judge.

  • Come and find me

    Alec Baldwin is a fake tough guy. He thinks he is a tough guy because of all those BS rolls he plays in the movies. I could take him out with just my hands and I am 64 years old. Come and find me you punk.

  • Rhiannon

    What a schmuck! And this man thinks he can run the City? He is a low-life schwine with no respect for anybody. let alone himself. (Oh; now I see why he wants to be Mayor!)! A real shame.

  • .SmallPharma Person

    I am not kidding here ,but his outrage and anger could come from
    a lot of Ambien or another so called sleeping pill like Ambien ,which a lot of people
    have trouble with in the daytime,outrageous outbursts are not uncommon if someone takes too much of this drug over a period of days.

  • karen

    yadda yadda yadda. ho hum. i hope the mta drops him as one of the voices for their “public service announcements.” as bugs bunny used to say “what a maroon.”

  • Gregory J Santollo

    I think is most cases he is an idiot… But I have to agree it seems Airlines in general no longer believe they are in the SERVICE industry. I have been yield at by stressed out airline workers, simply because I was confused by their unclear instructions. I have had many less the pleasant experiences with airline workers in recent years. Let them not forget who is paying the HIGH prices to fly.

  • Glenn Erdmann

    Who cares about him? People who do need to get a life.

  • Scott

    This is what Amer Airlines posted regarding the incident:
    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,” the airline explained in the post.
    If that’s the case, why are we allowed to use our cellphones when the plane lands and is moving toward the gate…and this is announced by the stewardess??wtf..I’m for the Baldwin on this one..

  • JohnW9540

    Egotistical hack

    • Mikey Jones

      And this mutt wants to be mayor?

  • G

    We should not focus on whether electronics interfere with plane safety, rather the rules set forth by companies. Why do celebrities feel that they are above the law or rules? Alec Baldwin was disrespectful and defiant to employees trying to do their jobs. Their are so many people that suffer from anxiety of flying that they didn’t need an obnoxious person being disruptive. I call for a boycott against any current work of Alec Baldwin. Its about time this men takes consequences for his actions!

  • A "Going Postal" Worker

    Michael H – well said.
    While the actual chances of phones, etc. interfering with a plane’s navigation equipment are (thankfully) remote – landings and takeoffs are statistically the most dangerous parts of any flight. Therefore, seats up (so that you don’t hinder the row behind you from a quick exit, in case of an emergency), electronic equipment off, as as to negate the possibility of flight control interference in the event of an emergency, with windows open and cabin lights dimmed (so that passengers can see if they’re going to land on the ground, belly land on water, etc. and can AT LEAST try to prepare themselves in an emergency) – the FAA did not just do this so that airlines can charge $3 a minute for phone calls – there are very important safety implications for all of this!!!

    American Flyer – why are you so obsessed about keeping your phone turned on? Aren’t you interested in minmizing the chance of a mishap? I do not understand why so many people just stupidly ignore these rules.

    Alec Baldwin is a prick – if he’s complaining about AA’s chapter 11 filing, someone should remind him that he’s the one who bought the ticket!!!

  • Danny

    This stuff happens all the time folks. The only difference is the the media and general public think, for some odd reason, that celebrities are somehow special from the rest of us, and should live a “better” life.

  • Baldwin? Intoxicated?

    I’m shocked and awed by this news!


    he’s an a**hole. end of story.

  • Aunt Tootz Told Me

    Given that American Airlines should have known this passenger’s past performance(s) in life, why on earth did they issue him a license? AA is much better than that. Next time ticket AB as “baggage” and offer him a seat “below.”

  • American Flyer

    In test after test it has been proven that personal electronics DO NOT interfere with airline electronics on board the plane, yet the FAA insists on the non use of the items while the plane is in flight. Is it more safety or airline money at stake. God knows we can’t use our own cell phones aboard, but we sure can use their phones at $3 a minute!

    • karlson

      You clearly have an issue with authority. When you are told to do something, you protest? When the airline attendants and crew have to evacuate the plane to save your sorry ass from drowning like when Captain Sully and his crew saved everybody, it’s clear to me that you will be obstructionist and protest that you shouldn’t have to follow the rules to save your life because you’re an asshole.

      Does it matter if the electronics interfere or not? Do you have to be right and not follow airline protocols?

      • Pete

        And you clearly seem to ‘want’ to be controlled. I guess that is what happens to those who grow up in households with over-dominant mothers and become submissives.

    • Michael H.

      It’s not an issue of interference with on board electronics. The real reason they don’t want you fiddling with your iPod during takeoff and landing is so that you’ll pay attention to the flight attendants in case of an emergency. The interference is a good cover story.

  • Tony Williams

    i find it funny that osca de la lower would stick up for this rude little pig baldwin. maybe this will help him get a cameo spot somewhere, seeing how his career is dead.

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