Greyhound issues ultimatum to actor — either ride with us, or apologize
At this point, Alec Baldwin might have to resort to traveling by hang-glider soon.
The "30 Rock" star, who was tossed from an American Airlines flight on Tuesday after refusing to turn off his phone and throwing a temper tantrum in the plane's bathroom, has now angered the Greyhound bus company with the snarky, non-apology apology that Baldwin issued to American on Wednesday.
In an essay published Wednesday by the Huffington Post, Baldwin apologized to the fellow passengers on his flight, then slammed the airline industry for a decline in service, lamenting the "filthy planes, barely edible meals" and the "paramilitary bearing" that he feels the industry has displayed since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Baldwin reserved particular rancor for the airline attendants, whom he claimed "walk the airplane with a whistle around their neck and a clipboard in their hands, and they have made flying a Greyhound bus experience."
It's that last sentence that stirred the bus company's anger, prompting Greyhound President and CEO Dave Leach to pen an open letter to the actor Thursday.
“Dear Mr. Baldwin, as president and CEO of Greyhound, I was disheartened to hear about the comments you made regarding our company," the letter, which TheWrap has obtained, begins.
After citing improvements that the company has made to its fleet in recent years, Leach then invites Baldwin to try out the 'hound for his next excursion — with a tone that gives Baldwin's snark a serious drive for its money.
“First of all, we have hundreds of new buses in our fleet where we’ve added more legroom, leather seats, power outlets and free Wi-Fi," Leach notes. "I think you especially would find the latter two amenities exciting, because we don’t require our customers to turn off their electronic devices…ever. You could therefore play Words With Friends® during your entire trip and nobody would give you any grief over it."
Leach suggests that he and Baldwin make a New York-to-Boston bus trip in order for the actor to check out the company's service.
And if not? Then it's apology time.
“Should you still decide not to try us, even after I’ve shared with you all of the exciting changes we’ve made here at Greyhound, all I ask from you is a simple apology," Leach says. "We are not the same company we used to be … Greyhound is an American icon, a proud company that many people depend on to get them to their destinations, the same people who watch your films and TV show."
Baldwin was ushered off of an American Airlines flight leaving Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday after ignoring a flight attendant's repeated requests to turn off his phone while the plane sat at the gate. Baldwin acknowledged that he had been playing the Zynga game Words With Friends at the time. According to a member of the flight crew, Baldwin became "violent, abusive and aggressive," banging on the walls of the plane's lavatory so forcefully that the flight's captain intervened in the matter. American Airlines confirmed Baldwin's behavior in a statement, adding that the actor was "extremely rude to the crew, calling them inappropriate names and using offensive language."
Baldwin was subsequently booked onto another American Airlines flight, but the actor taunted the airline with a series of messages from his Twitter account, which has since been suspended.