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back to article Alec Baldwin kicked off plane for playing with his phone

Alec Baldwin claimed he was booted off a plane at Los Angeles international airport yesterday, after a flight attendant complained about him playing with a game on his mobile phone. The 30 Rock star, who was hoping to fly to New York on an American Airlines plane, took to his Twitter account to moan about his ejection from the …

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FAIL

Grrrr

I get so frustrated and annoyed by those who play with their electronic toys on flights in the pre-takeoff, pre-and-post-landing phase.

The primary reason for the rule is one of safety. But there's another aspect - crowd control. When you're in a tight cabin with no legroom and the plane is going nowhere then EVERYBODY is going to be frustrated. Mix that in with tsk tsk tsk or beep beep beep and you're going to push some people over the edge.

Alec Baldwin would be on the end of my fist if I cross his path. Unless he has an electrical engineering degree, like me, or is an experienced aeronautics designer or pilot, then he has no place determining what is and isn't safe as far as use of electronic devices on a flight.

People are idiots. The number of people smoking a cigarette with the window down as they drive into the local Tesco fuel station really bothers me.

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Boffin

On the one hand...

Alec Baldwin was an idiot for not turning off his phone. It's a rule, and the flight attendants are only enforcing that rule. Better to turn off your game until the plane is in the air.

On the other hand... the rules are beyond stupid, and as a fellow electrical engineer, you should know that. If any system is so poorly shielded that a cell phone can throw it off, what about all the other radiating devices? Digital watches, laptops on stand-by, children's toys - anything with electricity 'radiates', and could possibly interfere. Yet while no one would bother a kid with blinking shoes, someone reading a Kindle will surely get in trouble.

The rules need to change.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Agreed

... but on that last bit, file under the strange but true category, and despite seeing it happen consistently in tv shows and films, a lit cigarette cannot ignite gas.

Or so the director's commentary for The Usual Suspects says.

Most fires at the pump are caused by static electricity.

Strange world isn't it?

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Boffin

if by gas you mean petrol in liquid form... yes

however, petrol vapour, which is a gas, can surely be ignited by a lit cigarette.

Who in their right mind would call a liquid "gas" ? ;-)

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Silver badge

"Alec Baldwin would be on the end of my fist if I cross his path. Unless he has an electrical engineering degree, like me, or is an experienced aeronautics designer or pilot, then he has no place determining what is and isn't safe as far as use of electronic devices on a flight." -- I'm not aware of that particular flight fire-balling and crashing, I guess his use of the phone was safe in this instance, but in the interest of satisfying the attendant and remaining on the flight he probably should have been a good sheep and obeyed the rules ;)

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Facepalm

Whether the rule is stupid or not is irrelevant

If you want to fly commercially, YOU WILL OBEY THE RULES, PERIOD!

Yes, the FAA realises that the rules need to change, but all it takes is some incident with a phone and a bomb and everyone runs for the "all electronic devices must be shut off" defence and everyone spits their dummies over how the FAA (or EAA or JAA) didn't prevent that by implementing a rule.

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Anonymous Coward

ACTUALLY, FROM A PILOTS PERSPECTIVE...

Electronics in aircraft are pretty well insulated from interferance. However, it is a rule, and a rule is a rule, but why do people like you have to be so self-righteous about it?

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Anonymous Coward

It is quite impossible for a lit cigarette to ignite petrol, simply not hot enough, even if you are sucking on it while the lit end is in a pool of petrol it will not ignite.

I think the primary reason fuel stations have no smoking signs is to prevent people lighting the cigarette with a lighter of match as the naked flame most certainly will ignite fuel if it gets in contact.

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Anonymous Coward

AND ANOTHER THING.....

DID he use the aircraft setting on the phone, Oh you don't know do you! Pull your neck in.

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Anonymous Coward

it's so the pilot...

...doesn't hear interference on his comms to the control. Many aviation accidents are caused by micommunication.

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Happy

Oh yes

with ma own too eyes I have seen the result of someone priming a bbq with petrol on a warm day and throwing in a fag.

Oh we did laff.

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Re: if by gas you mean petrol...

'Gas' is used as the abbreviated form of "gasoline," formerly "gasolene." Not unlike how "petrol" is an abbreviated derivation of "petroleum." And, while not all "gas" is "gasoline," neither is all "petroleum" "petrol."

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FAIL

RE: Grrrr

" electrical engineer"

If you would be an "electrical engineer" (sic!) you'd know how ridiculous this ban is and you wouldn't make funny posts like this one on the internet about the subject.

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Anonymous Coward

Still fucking lights with a cigarette whether you want to argue the technicality of the liquid or the vapour combusting,

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Silver badge

I assume then

you have never seen the "cigarrette extinguished" in a bucket of petrol trick???

Its the vapour thats flammable, not the liquid!

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Facepalm

""United shud hav app onboard where u can play WWF w other passengers. American shud have app where u read the new testament w flt attendants,""

Twitter, destroying the English language since 2006.

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Joke

>Twitter, destroying the English language since 2006.

Nah, he's an actor. What makes you think he was ever able to do better than that?

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FAIL

epic fail

grrrr

ppl hu use wrds lik dat shud be f-ing shot.

(epic fail for baldwin)

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Joke

Well done very twitter like. Your response was only 51 characters still had 89 to go. :)

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Anonymous Coward

Not being French, destroying the English language since ...

English's power is its mutability. Get used to it or learn French.

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Silver badge

Bah, even French changes.

Sola lingua bona est lingua mortua.

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Not being Latin, destroying the English language since...

(There, fixed it for you)

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Anonymous Coward

Not fixed at all

The French have L'Académie française. We have no such nonsense. As a result, English is in constant flux.

I occasionally make this point. It usually gains me several thumbs up. Just not when it's in a a twitter context. Funny watching y'all kneejerk.

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Anonymous Coward

@ John

"United shud hav app onboard where u can play WWF w other passengers. American shud have app where u read the new testament w flt attendants,"

No, we all accept that language changes through time and I would say that most of the changes are accepted without much notice, but you got thumbed down because you seemed to suggest we should accept the above gibberish as a natural progression of the English language, which frankly is ridiculous.

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FAIL

Gibberish?

I can understand it perfectly.

And what a bunch of you really just don't understand is that the English language is not defined by the fucking OED. See American English, Australian English, and a shitload of dialects, creoles, pidgins and fuck knows what which are all English. You may not understand them, but they're English.

So I'm not suggesting that txt spk is a natural progression of anything. I am telling you that it already falls under the umbrella that is "English".

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Anonymous Coward

Please calm down.

What an angry and pompous man you are.

I have no idea why you consider yourself such an expert on what constitutes the English language but I can tell you with 100% certainty that 'w' and 'shud' are not words. They are, at best, the barely legible scrawling of an illiterate and ignorant man and I would suggest that you are equally ignorant if you think differently.

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Mushroom

"I'm calmer than you are."

"What an angry and pompous man you are."

Yeah ... uh ... this is El Reg. Scorn is pretty much the order of the day, no?

"I have no idea why you consider yourself such an expert [...] but I can tell you with 100% certainty [...]"

Right. Hypocritise much? Look, I'm with Socrates. I don't know shit from shat. But I'm still allowed to have opinions, and to defend those opinions as strongly as the moderator allows. Okay?

What you won't find me doing, because it is the very essence of arrogant ass-hattery is claiming to know anything with 100% certainty.

Insofar as "w" and "shuld" are complete units of language that convey meaning ... they're words. And yes, they do convey meaning. We could all read and understand his message. Perhaps you feel that "laser" and "color" are not words? Or perhaps you'ld care to explain the stray letter in the middle of your handle? Whoopsie.

"They are, at best, the barely legible scrawling of an illiterate and ignorant man and I would suggest that you are equally ignorant if you think differently."

Yeah. And they used to say the same thing about people who end sentences with prepositions or split infinitives.

And in what way is a typed message "barely legible scrawling"? Did you mean "comprehensible typing"? What was that about ignorance?

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Anonymous Coward

Ah I see, you have the right to define any argument and by definition the English language in any terms you see fit. Very convenient for you.

I do however agree with that right, but pretending anyone apart from yourself should give a crap about your arguments and by extension accept that silly, made-up words are automatically part of language because you happen to think they should be is ridiculous and possibly verging on narcissistic.

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Stop

Wut?

"Ah I see, you have the right to define any argument and by definition the English language in any terms you see fit. "

Wut? Where have I claimed this? Quote me or apologise.

English is defined operationally. Many, many, many people speak and understand txt. That is why "w" would be considered acceptable English (although possibly non-standard or colloquial), not because I say so. Because many people say so. Because it works. The same argument goes for "n". Time was, some conservative fool would have dragged you over the coals for your ghastly Americanism.

"Very convenient for you."

There is no verb in this sentence. Why are you allowed to deviate from the rules?

"[...] silly, made-up words"

Like ... tard or fanboi? Why not take the entire El Reg readership to task for not speaking English? While you're at it, can you give me one single word that isn't "made-up"?

"automatically"

Not automatically. Through use. Do pay attention.

"narcissistic"

Since you're trying to be the arbiter of acceptable English, that pretty much makes you the narcissist. The OUP's take on what constitutes English is in line with my inclusive description and not your proscriptive rubbish:

http://oxforddictionaries.com/words/how-many-words-are-there-in-the-english-language

TL;DR. "We don't really know".

But if you want to hold fast to the Big Book of Truth, would this be the apposite moment to advise you to a) check the OED entry for "w"; b) check the OED entry for "shud"? Apology accepted in 5 ...

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Wut?

Any chance you two want to take this somewhere private? I fear this, er, debate is going to roll into 2012.

C.

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Anonymous Coward

How?

El Reg doesn't allow for private chat. And our nicks aren't quite as unqiue as yours, making discovery by search engine a tricky option.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: How?

Email or smoke signals or something.

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Trollface

If you don't want to moderate ...

... well I'm sure you can work the rest out for yourself.

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Silver badge

Douche

That is all.

Anyone else refusing to turn off electronic devices "when the engines are running on the ground, during approach, take-off and landing" would receive the same treatment. You can argue whether it's a reasonable request, whether it can realistically interfere with critical systems or not, but we all know it's there and comply with it equally.

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FAIL

No, it wasn't

That is all.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Nobody turns their electronics off

Almost nobody actually turns their electronics off - most people just put them into hibernate - and Apple products (to my certain knowledge) will wake from hibernation and query DHCP servers and retrieve email while "off" - actually, I'm pretty sure my Android phone does the same thing too.

Most laptops really hibernate and are "dead" emission-wise - but almost all phone and tablet devices will wake up regularly. Just check your DHCP server logs overnight if you doubt me - or watch everyone when you land ... they just open their phones and start talking - the phones never boot up.

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Flame

I turn my devices OFF. It worries me that our society is so wedded to these damn devices they have to be on and/or in hand at all times. Tom MacRae got it right (anyone remember that episode?).

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Coat

Baldwin joins Mile High Club, or Come Fly With Me?

"Flight attendant on American reamed me out"

Eeeewww!

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Coat

Typical

Even if he was doing something wrong, he won't admit it, he'll just want to save face by blaming the company. What's the bets at some point he said 'do you know who I am?' at the flight attendants. I vote for zero tolerance on abuse, regardless of the mug who's causing it.

And no I'm not in support of American Airlines, I just accept that flight companies don't get the difference between a phone that's off and a phone that's not visible to them, and that flight attendants have enough shit to deal with.

Mine's the one with 'oooeee look at me I'm famous' written on the back

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Anonymous Coward

Plus the flipside of the story...

According to other passengers who were on the flight (reported in last night s Eveninstanard) it actually went somethign like this:

He was talking loudly on the phone and not playing the game.

He was asked politely 4 times to turn it off.

He then stood up tipping over a load of papers, went to the loo and started banging his fists on the walls.

The was forced to leave the loo and started hamering on the bar (first class tick one assumes) and shouting at the staff.

The staff then forced him to leave the plane, causing a 1 hour delay to all the other passengers as the plane missed its designated slot for takeoff.

Don't know about you, but of these stories seems much more like to get someone thrown off a fligh than the other.

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Being a coffin-dodger, I can honestly say I have no idea who he is, and am absolutely adamant that I have no desire to learn.

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Anonymous Coward

I think the regulations about devices are crap too

...but I'm not going to take it out on the Flight Attendents. Like it or not we all have to abide by the rules and those Flight Attendents have to enforce it.

F'ing Alec Baldwin... what a self important / self righteous ass

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Silver badge

Poor Bubbykins

You know the rules. No Phoney-woney on the Planey-waney.

They shouldn't have let him catch a later flight.

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Headmaster

Anybody who writes "shud"

is an illiterate twat.

That is all.

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...an illiterate twat I've never heard of before.

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FAIL

You just wrote it in your title, Herr Lieberman.

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Anonymous Coward

#dontyouknowwhoiam?

more like.

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I was under the impression that he was thrown off the flight because he refused to turn off his toy prior to takeoff and because he abused staff who wouldn't go along with the "rules don't apply to celebs like me" concept. This also means that a plane load of people had their travel delayed by one arrogant git - I hope he gets prosecuted.

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Paris Hilton

Witnesses differ on account

According to witnesses, Mr. Baldwin threw a tantrum which got the attention of the captain, for which he was summarily ejected.

And rightly so. Rules are rules, Mr. Baldwin, irrespective of what sinking ship TV show you sail or credit card you flog.

(Was he playing "Words with Friends" with his daughter? Might explain a few things.)

In another direction, the AAIB's report on the Heathrow flight, which dropped like a stone just short of the runway, noted some tests run on the avionics and controlled devices. The tests found that, even at significant strength (something like 100 times normal broadcast strength from a mobile phone,) cellular signals did not interfere with the systems. As a layman with moderate exposure to RF-noisy electronics and signal busses since childhood, I am inclined to agree with ArmanX who purports to possess an EE degree.

Paris, 100 times normal broadcast strength.

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youtube + mobile phone video == 21st century version of public humiliation via medieval Stocks

@"Mr. Baldwin threw a tantrum which got the attention of the captain, for which he was summarily ejected."

Ironically its times like that I wish someone had quickly used their mobile to briefly video the event to humiliate people like Baldwin for holding everyone up and in doing so, show people like Baldwin up in public for what they are really like. The more that happens, the more society as a whole puts pressure against this kind of behaviour to show its unacceptable.

It would also help a case against him if the airline wanted to prosecute him for his attitude to staff and everyone else and for holding up the flight.

Video phones are turning into basically a 21st century way to publicly humiliate these kinds of people in the same public way medieval Stocks were once used at the site of a busy town centre market.

Just look at the case of the arrogant bullying ranting woman on the tram in Croydon over the past week for an example of how society is using new technology in a very old way to publicly humiliate these arrogant self-obsessed people.

Shame we can't also throw mud, eggs and other rotten smelly food at them like they did with medieval Stocks. ;)

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