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Passengers on the American Airlines flight that was delayed from Los Angeles to New York when passenger Alec Baldwin got into a dispute with a flight attendant explain what happened.
American Airlines Flight 4 from LAX to JFK was nearly an hour late Tuesday, and many of the passengers blamed Alec Baldwin, who was removed from the flight before it took off after a dispute about a game he was playing on a mobile device.
The fracas with the “30 Rock” star delayed the flight.
Michael J. Wolfe, who was a passenger on the flight, first tweeted from LAX, “On an AA flight at LAX. Alec Baldwin removed from the plane We had to go back to the gate. Terrible that everyone had to wait."
One passenger exiting the flight at Kennedy Airport later Tuesday night said, "He became a little bit irate, and they had to remove him from the flight. It cost us about 45 minutes."
American Airlines said in a statement Wednesday that Baldwin refused to turn off his cell phone when asked to do so, and then stood up -- with the seat belt light on -- and went into the bathroom.
"He slammed the lavatory door so hard, the cockpit crew heard it and became alarmed, even with the cockpit door closed and locked," the airline said. "The passenger was extremely rude to the crew, calling them inappropriate names and using offensive language."
For that, he was removed from the flight.
The actor was apparently playing the Scrabble-inspired online game Words With Friends while the plane was still parked at the gate when he got into the dispute.
"Alec Baldwin was turning off his devices, and I don't know, he just got a little angry," said famed former boxer Oscar De La Hoya, who was sitting in first class near Baldwin, as he walked out of Kennedy Airport.
De La Hoya said it appeared the flight attendant and Baldwin "mutually decided he must get off the plane."
Baldwin's publicist, Matthew Hiltzik, explained in a statement on Tuesday, “Alec is so in love with 'Words with Friends' that he would risk getting thrown off a flight to play. He's already been re-booked on another American Airlines flight."
But passengers on Flight 4 had to wait on the tarmac as the ordeal was being straightened out.
"Everyone had boarded really quickly and we were just waiting," said Sara Wadsley, a passenger on the flight. "And after it all happened, they just said there was a difficult passenger they had to get off. And then we found out it was Mr. Baldwin."
Baldwin responded with several tweets aimed at American Airlines.
“Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving. #nowonderamericaairisbankrupt,” he tweeted to his nearly 600,000 followers.
The NBC star went on to escalate the war over "Words" by using the hashtag #theresalwaysunited, even after telling his followers he'd been rebooked on a 3 p.m. American flight.
“The flight attendants already look.....smarter,” he wrote. "Last flight w American. Where retired Catholic school gym teachers from the 1950's find jobs as flight attendants."