“30 Rock” star's snarky mea culpa casts his flight attendant tormentor as a “1950s gym teacher”
What do you call it when someone pretends to apologize, and seems to be apologizing, but in reality is doing the exact opposite of apologizing?
Oh yeah — that's Alec Baldwin explaining his incident on an American Airlines flight Tuesday.
The "30 Rock" star — who abandoned his Twitter account Wednesday following the air-travel flap — used the Huffington Post as his megaphone instead Wednesday afternoon, penning an apology that managed to insult the entire airline industry.
The title of Baldwin's screed — "A Farewell to Common Sense, Style, and Service on American Airlines" — offers the first indication that this won't be a hat-in-hand affair.
"First off, I would like to apologize to the other passengers onboard the American Airlines flight that I was thrown off of yesterday," Baldwin wrote. "It was never my intention to inconvenience anyone with my 'issue' with a certain flight attendant."
The actor goes on to admit that he was asked to put his phone away multiple times by an attendant as passengers waited for the plane to pull away from the gate at Los Angeles International Airport. Though he does note that other passengers also had their phones out, and opines that he was "singled out" by the airline attendant.
And that's pretty much the end of anything remotely resembling an acceptance of blame.
Also read: Celebs Off a Plane: 10 Famous Problem Flyers
"It's no secret that the level of service on U.S. carriers has deteriorated to a point that would make Howard Hughes red-faced," Baldwin wrote, citing rising costs for airlines. "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."
As for the flight attendants themselves? "[T]here 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," Baldwin opines.
"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," Baldwin concludes. "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 U.S. carriers in terms of common sense, style, and service."
Baldwin claimed Tuesday on his Twitter account that a flight attendant harassed him while he was playing the Zynga game Words With Friends on his phone. According to a crew member on the flight, however, Baldwin was thrown off the flight after becoming "violent, abusive and aggressive," banging on the walls of the plane's lavatory with such force that the flight's captain intervened.
American Airlines confirmed this account in a statement, adding that Baldwin was "extremely rude to the crew, calling them inapporopriate names and using offensive language."
According to Baldwin's spokesperson, the actor was booked onto another American Airlines flight and spent Wednesday filming "30 Rock."