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Alec Baldwin: Booted from plane for playing game

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Alec Baldwin (Getty Images)

You know when the flight attendants tell you to turn off all electronic devices prior to takeoff? They're not kidding -- even if you happen to be a star.

Actor Alec Baldwin was removed from an American Airlines flight leaving Los Angeles for New York on Tuesday when he was apparently too engrossed in a game of Zynga's "Words With Friends" to power down his iPad.

"Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving. #nowonderamericaairisbankrupt," the actor tweeted.

The incident caused a one-hour delay in the flight and kicked off a flurry of Internet chatter. Baldwin's own Twitter feed has been pulsing with caustic comments about his removal.

"Last flight w American," the "30 Rock" star tweeted Tuesday afternoon, "Where retired Catholic school gym teachers from the 1950s find jobs as flight attendants."

More diplomatically, Baldwin's spokesman Matthew Hilzik said in a statement to MSNBC that the actor is "so in love with 'Words with Friends' that he would risk getting thrown off a flight to play." He also confirmed that Baldwin was re-booked on a later American Airlines flight to New York.

Indeed, the big winner in all this seems to be Words With Friends publisher Zynga, who've just gotten a nice bit of free PR and an unexpected celebrity spokesman.  The immensely popular game is a bit like Scrabble, challenging players to build words and outscore opponents. Asked by a follower to explain the game's appeal, Baldwin tersely tweeted: "It's…well…addicting."

According to Latimes.com, American Airlines is looking into the situation. A spokesperson said that, due to customer privacy concerns, American Airlines does not comment on "something that might or might not have happened."

The 53-year-old actor joins a growing list of celebs who have been kicked off flights this year, including Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong and Green Card's Gerard Depardieu.

So will Baldwin be flying American in the future?

"Now, as I was kicked off this flight, the word I was playing was UNITED," he tweeted.

We'd say that's a no.

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