Take it from a Brooklyn guy who has been in Alec Baldwin’s shoes, the friendly skies aren’t so friendly for anybody anymore.
Like the “30 Rock” star, Robert Sayegh was bounced off an airliner after running afoul of a flight attendant, although in his case it was for dropping an F-bomb, not playing a game on an iPad.
And while Sayegh said he has some sympathy for stressed-out flight attendants, he thinks “they’re given way too much power.”
“I’m with Alec Baldwin, the airlines are out of control,” the 37-year-old writer/producer said. “They get to act like judge and jury and it’s all arbitrary. I’ve been on flights where people get into fistfights and don’t get thrown off the plane.”
Sayegh spoke out after Baldwin got tossed from an American Airlines flight for defying a flight attendant’s order to turn off his electronic device while the plane was parked at the gate. Peeved flight attendants are now demanding that the angry actor be placed on a no-fly list.
Sayegh’s situation happened in June as he was returning home from a wedding. He said he muttered an obscenity to a seatmate while their Delta flight was delayed on the tarmac at Detroit’s Metro Airport.
“The steward, who was sitting behind me, heard that and had them bring the plane back to the gate,” he said. “It was crazy. I didn’t stand up or cause a ruckus. I didn’t even say it very loud.”
Sayegh admits he was a bit hung over at the time, but said, “I would never make a scene on a plane.”
“My cousin was killed on 9/11,” he said. “After they took me off, a Delta guy went back inside to talk to my seatmates. They said, yeah, the steward might have overreacted.”
Sayegh, who was put on another flight, was not charged with a crime. As for the flight attendant who was in a snit, “he was never held accountable,” he said.
Atlantic Southeast Airlines, which is part of Delta, apologized at the time for “inconveniencing” Sayegh and said it would investigate. A spokesman did not return a call for comment about the case.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration don’t keep statistics on how many rowdy passengers get tossed from planes, officials said.
“The airlines might, but they don’t really want travelers to know,” said one federal official who has reviewed hundreds of cases. “It happens with such frequency it’s appalling.”
Lately there has been a bumper crop of celebrities behaving badly on planes.
Last weekend, country crooner John Rich was escorted off a flight after the crew deemed him too drunk to fly.
Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong got yanked off another flight in September after he refused to pull up his droopy jeans.
In August, French actor Gerard Depardieu found himself in a pickle after he petulantly peed on the floor when a flight attendant told him he couldn’t use the bathroom while the plane was still taxiing.
Even little Justin Bieber reportedly had to be ordered back into his chair after he and his security goons suddenly decided to take a stroll through a Quantas cabin while the plane was preparing to take off.
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