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The Biggest Loser: Alec Baldwin or American Airlines

Well, well, well.

Alec Baldwin
AP
Alec Baldwin

The more we hear about Alec Baldwin's removal from an American Airlines flight for refusing to turn off his mobile device, the more difficult it is to figure out who's the biggest loser.

I've never been a big believer that my mobile device has any impact on takeoff and landing. My husband, a former airline pilot, says the aircraft's systems sometime detect interference from mobile signals, but he's not sure it's any big deal.

Still, a rule's a rule, and in the enclosed environment of an airplane, I think we've all learned the importance of following rules. You can complain later.

Alec Baldwin apparently didn't wait to complain, if the airline's account (and that of some fellow passengers) is accurate. Yes, flight attendants can be occasionally zealous in exerting authority, but, well, the world changed ten years ago and this is how it is now.

So, who do you think is the biggest loser?

American Airlines has a black eye in terms of PR, unless it can convince passengers that Baldwin acted as if the rules don't apply to him...because he's Alec Baldwin.

"Baldwin's the jerk as the crew gets a pass because they are required to look out for everyone's safety," @richriker tweeted me.

Not everyone agreed.

  • "Tough call. I'd normally say Mr. Baldwin, but domestic airline employees are the worst...rude."-- @SCMikeJ

There seemed to be no middle ground.

  • "What about all the rest of the passengers that just wanted to leave on schedule? AB doesn't care!!"-- @1505options
  • "AB. After all, how many people need an extra seat just for ego?"-- @markaross
  • "They both love to fly. Alec is better @ flying off the handle. His brain is not always occupado."--@DONCARRMAC
  • "Silly to ask this but aren't we all agreed? The American Airlines crew is the very scum of the earth for what they did."-- @realphilhendrie

Well, then I asked the following: A) who would you rather have a drink with, Alec Baldwin or the AA flight attendant? B) Who would you rather fly with? In this case, the flight attendant won by a frequent flier mile.

  • "AA flight attendant in both cases. Baldwin is full of himself and if I asked him to get me a beer he'd tell me I was on my own."-- @mr_bond109
  • "No brainer, AA flight attendant, Baldwin plus booze, no thank you. He gives real men a bad name."-- @trimmgi
  • "I would expect Alec to have better stories, although a job like flying humans around every day might prove me wrong."-- @BucketKing
  • "Too easy; a) AA Flight Attendant. b) Anybody who kicks people like Alec Baldwin off their planes."-- @chuckhuntting
  • "Definitely the AA, even sight unseen."-- @rickscafe48
  • "Probably both the attendant. She can get me free beer and food, Alec can only get my another Baldwin."--@dalewj

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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