Last week, Alec Baldwin had to get off an American Airlines plane because he refused to stop playing the Scrabble-like game. I have to admit that I spend an inordinate amount of time on Lexulous playing Scrabble. I’ve never tried Words with Friends and since the last thing I need is another reason to spend hours online, I probably shouldn’t investigate it any further! But this has piqued my interest. How addictive is Words With Friends?
Apparently, Baldwin was so enthralled with the game that he couldn’t comply when the crew asked for electronic devices to be turned off. According to AA “The passenger ultimately stood up (with the seat belt light still on for departure) and took his phone into the plane’s lavatory,” American Airlines said. “He slammed the lavatory door so hard, the cockpit crew heard it and became alarmed, even with the cockpit door closed and locked. “
According to the Washington Post, “Baldwin and American Airlines released conflicting versions of what happened during the incident. American Airlines posted a statement to Facebook while Baldwin (who previously attacked the behavior of the airline on Twitter) posted his version of the story via a blog on the Huffington Post. ”
But the actor’s note is really a lament on what he describes as modern air travel’s lack of “common sense, style, and service.” Baldwin believes he was singled out for using his phone at the gate, he writes. The actor admits the female flight attendant, who he said used “the most unpleasant of tones,” “did get the better of me.” He also blames the decrease in service on flight attendants “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.”
Personally, i’ve met a few of these “service-oriented” American Airlines attendants and have spent hours on Asia to NY flights getting tormented by them. On one particular 18 hour flight a very helpful attendant told me that the captain had requested that my twin 2 year old stop crying. Then, as they continued to cry, proceeded to tell me (incorrectly as it turned out) that they had no milk for them and that my husband should stop their crying by locking them in the lavatory. That said, even if most children don’t usually comply with a captains request to keep it down I usually do agree to turn off my electronics when asked!
Zynga, the creators of Words With Friends app, in support of their high profile user’s behaviour responded on Twitter with : “Hey @AmericanAir, don’t ground @AlecBaldwin for playing. A.B.S.U.R.D. is worth *at least* 11 points in @WordsWFriends” and a sample board below saying “let alec play”.