If you haven’t heard the story already, Alec Baldwin was on an American Airlines flight last week that was stuck on the tarmac for an hour. During this time, a flight attendant noticed that the actor was playing a game on his phone and asked him to turn the phone off. He refused and the situation escalated until Baldwin was thrown off the flight.
The plane in question was on the ground, still at the gate. At this point there’s no reason why passengers can’t use their phones, and the flight attendants generally announce this. So, was Baldwin correct in demanding that be able to keep playing Words with Friends?
Of course not. He made a complete ass out himself.
The flight attendants are not there to be sky waitresses. Although they do serve drinks and snacks, their main role is to keep the passengers safe. As such, if a flight attendant tells you to do something, you should do it. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s stupid, you do it.
Baldwin was basically acting like a three-year-old who gets out of his car seat and ignores his mother telling him to sit down. Considering the actor flew into a temper tantrum when he didn’t get his way, both Baldwin and the three-year-old appear to be about the same emotional age.
In case some people need a reminder, air travel can be very dangerous. Having passengers acting like divas makes it more dangerous. It’s not up to the passengers to decide what is safe and what isn’t.
Like Baldwin, many of us depend on our smartphones to keep us entertained when we’re on the go. But there are situations when that’s not practical. If you’re going to fly, you need to bring something else with you — like a book or a magazine — because there are times you’re going to have to turn your phone off.
Baldwin followed up his stunt by posting a number of snarky comments to Twitter. He then made a special appearance on Saturday Night Live to tell the world that he knows he was right. In short, he continues to pout like a sulky child.
American Airlines is not amused. It is considering taking Baldwin’s TV show 30 Rock off its in-flight entertainment system. Its Flight Attendants Union has requested that he never be allowed to fly on the company’s planes again.
I don’t think that goes far enough. I suggest that Baldwin be placed on the U.S. Do Not Fly list until he can prove he is mature enough to handle the situation. Or maybe he needs a baby sitter to go with him, or at least be required to ride in a car seat.