**UPDATE: “He was beating the walls of the lavatory to the point that the captain called us to see what that was about. They heard it in the cockpit,” said one crew member on the JFK-bound flight who had to deal with the “30 Rock” actor.
“He was asked five times. Everybody is the same. Everyone has to follow the rules, it doesn’t matter who you are,” the employee told The Post. “He was violent, abusive and aggressive.”
Though they originally declined to comment, American Airlines has just released a statement explaining their side of the story as to why the notoriously temperamental Alec Baldwin was thrown off a plane at LAX yesterday:
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. 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. 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.
What a jerk, and this is not at all difficult to believe, considering Baldwin’s history coupled with American Airlines original reticence to jump into this public relations firestorm. What the airline is doing here is playing defense after the left-wing actor used his Twitter account yesterday to play the victim.
In odder news, Baldwin’s Twitter account is now listed as Deactivated001.
The story might be far from over, as well. The ultimate outcome of all this could be an FAA investigation.
In many ways this story reminds me of the Anthony Weiner scandal, where a high-profile individual did something stupid and then compounded the error on Twitter, giving the story a life it wouldn’t normally have. And if the FAA gets involved, things will only get worse for Baldwin, who has a lot on the line. He’s currently the spokesman and face for Capitol One, and this kind of scandal is not the kind of thing “brands” want to be associated with.
If American Airlines is to be believed, this is the kind of boorish, elitist behavior that sticks to a person. Thanks to his success on “30 Rock,” Baldwin had just managed to crawl out of the hole he dug for himself after a phone message he left for his daughter was released to the public. And now the one-percenter has apparently pulled a Don’t you know who I am!? with some working class fight attendants because, horror of horrors, he was asked to follow the same rules we all follow.