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Stupid American Threat of FAA as Airlines Boot Baldwin in Words with Friends Fight

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Words with Friends is dangerous stuff. Not for flight safety necessarily, but for an actor. American Airlines has kicked Alec Baldwin off an LA to NY plane--booted over the game. Maybe AA flight attendants are a bit stressed with the bankruptcy. The airline threatens the FAA may take action. Such a threat, American: You do realize you're referencing the same agency that doesn't need any additional exposure right now?
Head of the FAA Randolph Babbitt has just resigned over drunk driving charges and the related scandal. Perhaps you should give the agency a day or two -- to compose itself and gain some more credibility, before trying to bring the agency into an argument where your own flight attendant's role isn't too clear. American Airlines could help clarify -- but the airline is pretty much refusing to speak to the press.
The ruckus started when Baldwin sent a Twitter announcement, that was apparently noted by another entity: “Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving.” That was probably far less of a problem than his hashtag that accompanied the tweet and read “#nowonderamericaairisbankrupt”. But it was the second Twitter hashtag that may have caused more of a problem.
A second tweet with another tag dissing American Airlines followed with hashtag “#theresalwaysunited” and the addition: “But, oddly, 30 Rock plays inflight on American.” Alec Baldwin's rep Matthew Hiltzik says the dispute led to the actor being asked to leave "for playing ‘Words with Friends’ while the plane was parked at the gate."
Maybe it's all Zynga's fault. Baldwin did call the game played via his iPad "addictive". But as for whether the actor was abusive, that's another story that differs greatly. It's an easy one to pin on the actor -- but there's no proof, aside from the fact he apparently irritated at least one flight attendant. Or perhaps he rocked her world, upsetting the balance of power which was apparently supposed to lean toward the airline's favor. No one's been claiming customer service in the industry lately.
While American Airlines claims it may send the issue to the FAA for possible action, the stupid reference brings up PART I of humor's role in the 'I'm gonna kick your sandcastle' scenario: AA's public image is probably not one that needs scrutiny at the moment -- and neither is the FAA's. American Airlines just filed bankruptcy and the Head of the FAA has failed even more miserably today -- stepping down officially from that head role after drunk driving charges have trashed his credibility. That's right: A guy literally in charge of transportation got busted for, well, transportation.
PART II of humor's role: The FAA's policy over cell phone or device use is, well, useless in terms of safey -- which most are aware of, no doubt including Alec Baldwin. Study after study has been done. The FAA has no awareness or proof of any specific instances where electronic equipment actually created interference. If you thought your safety was in mind, reconsider. The real issue, which the FAA also admits, has more to do with your attention span: The FAA agency says the ban on devices helps remove distractions during takeoff so that passengers can focus on the flight attendant's instructions. That's also known as a power play -- probably the same reason Baldwin found himself on an alternate flight.
Tweets continued while on a second flight where Baldwin tweeted from an American Airlines plane: “Now on the 3 o’clock American flight. The flight attendants already look…..smarter.”
Again there was a hashtag: “#theresalwaysunited. And there was a message: Last flight w American. Where retired Catholic school gym teachers from the 1950′s find jobs as flight attendants.” The uptight or ugly comment probably didn't help the situation.
There had been reports that the first flight’s captain had requested Baldwin be thrown off the plane after the actor got up and supposedly slammed a bathroom door over the demand to stop using "Words with Friends". A source told ABC that the actor had not slammed the door but rather close it normally. The insinuation is that a flight attendant didn't want to give her name to the actor after -- the employee who had mentioned the game -- and that fellow on-board employees closed ranks around the attendant, when Baldwin was then asked to leave the plane.
Fellow passenger Oscar De La Hoya says: “I actually felt Alec Baldwin was turning off his devices..."
While American Airlines has avoided the media for comment, it seems to like commenting to the actor in a public forum, sending tweets reading: “@AlecBaldwin Mr. Baldwin, we are looking into this. Please DM (direct message) us contact information.” Another tweet read: “Our flight attendants were following federal safety procedures on electronic devices when aircraft door is closed.” That's called the 'please communicate with us directly' message to Baldwin, and the 'we're (supposedly) not mishandling the situation' message to the public.
It could be worse -- at least American is smart enough not to arrest its own passengers.

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