Alec Baldwin may have tried to apologize to his fellow American Airlines passengers delayed by his Tuesday tantrum, but now he's offended a 9/11 widow. Cheryl McGuinness Hutchins, whose husband Tom McGuinness was a pilot aboard AA 11, which hit the World Trade Center, told TMZ that Baldwin's reference to 9/11 was "inappropriate."
Before the LAX-JFK flight, Baldwin was upset that a flight attendant was singling him out for using the phone (the plane had not taken off yet but the plane asked passengers to turn off their electronic devices). According to American Airlines, Baldwin "declined to turn off his cell phone when asked to do so at the appropriate time. The passenger ultimately stood up (with the seat belt light still on for departure) and took his phone into the plane’s lavatory. He slammed the lavatory door so hard, the cockpit crew heard it and became alarmed, even with the cockpit door closed and locked."
Baldwin wrote yesterday:
McGuinness Hutchins explained to TMZ
I have learned a valuable lesson. Airlines in the US are struggling with fuel costs, labor costs, bankruptcies, you name it. It's no secret that the level of service on US carriers has deteriorated to a point that would make Howard Hughes red-faced. 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.
, "I absolutely think [Baldwin's statement] was an inappropriate comment to make... I believe airlines used what happened on 9/11 to increase security and protect passengers as much as possible -- not to make traveling inelegant." She added, "If [Alec] did something inappropriate ... he shouldn’t have to point the finger at a world tragedy. He should just take responsibility for his actions and admit he should have gotten off the phone.”
A source tells TMZ, "Alec had absolutely no intention of offending families, victims or anyone else associated with the horrible tragedy of 9/11. He only referenced that date in relation to discussion of the resulting impact on the airline industry." Hey, Alec—just restart your Twitter to explain this one!