Clearly, it was a slow news day this morning when the media was going wild with coverage of Alec Baldwin being kicked off an American Airlines flight on Tuesday in Los Angeles for refusing to stop playing Words with Friends on his iPad and was reportedly rude and disruptive to the pilot and flight attendants (doesn’t the pilot have other concerns prior to take-off?). Baldwin was put on a later AA flight and, in case you’re curious, no one was injured. In fact, congrats to Zynga, creator of Words with Friends, for wonderful earned media coverage. And in light of AA’s just-announced bankruptcy filing, this incident puts them in the news for something other than rumors of its demise. And for Baldwin, who’s been toying with running for public office and whose show 30 Rock will be back on the air soon, this incident keeps him top of mind among his various publics—particularly those of us who hate sitting on the tarmac for 30 minutes to an hour without access to our electronic devices.
Such a small incident unleashes so much PR opportunity for the three players involved and provides the media with so many story angles. To wit, this morning, Fox News interviewed an aviation expert about the Baldwin/AA incident and spoke about how many flight attendants are on food stamps. So that’s why we shouldn’t use our iPads when the aircraft doors are closed? I love slow news days.