In the spotlight

LOS ANGELES — Alec Baldwin issued an apology Wednesday to fellow passengers on an American Airlines flight that was delayed by his refusal to stop playing a cellphone game – but stopped short of apologizing to the airline or the flight attendant he later mocked on Twitter.


The 30 Rock actor instead lamented the state of modern air travel. Baldwin noted the financial struggles of airlines, saying the result is that air travel has devolved into an inelegant experience, akin to riding a Greyhound bus.

“Filthy planes, barely edible meals, cuts in jet service to less-traveled locations,” Baldwin said.

He took to Twitter after Tuesday’s incident at Los Angeles International Airport, saying he was asked to leave a New York-bound plane after a “flight attendant on American reamed me out” for playing a game on his cellphone. Baldwin said he was playing Words With Friends while the plane sat at a gate.

American said on Facebook Wednesday that Federal Aviation Administration regulations require that cellphones and other electronic devices be turned off as soon as the airliner’s door has been closed. The company said Baldwin refused to comply.

“The passenger ultimately stood up (with the seat belt light still on for departure) and took his phone into the plane’s lavatory,” American Airlines said. “He slammed the lavatory door so hard, the cockpit crew heard it and became alarmed, even with the cockpit door closed and locked. They immediately contacted the cabin crew to check on the situation.”

The airline added that Baldwin was “extremely rude” to the flight crew, calling people “inappropriate names” and using offensive language.

World’s oldest dog, 26, dies

UTSUNOMIYA, JAPAN — The world’s oldest dog has died in Sakura, Japan, at the age of 26 years, eight months – equivalent to 125 human years – his owner said.

Pusuke, certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest living dog last year, died Monday at his home, owner Yumiko Shinohara said. Pusuke is believed to have died of old age.

The dog was born at the home of one of Shinohara’s relatives in March 1985 and was registered as a pet on April 1 that year.

In 2008, he suffered serious injuries after being hit by a car. A veterinarian told Shinohara it would be difficult to save Pusuke’s life, but the dog underwent successful surgery.

Shinohara, 42, said Pusuke looked fine and normal until Sunday but took a turn for the worse Monday. The dog did not eat breakfast, which had never happened before, and died quietly at about 1:30 p.m., surrounded by Shinohara and her family.

“I was with Pusuke for 26 years and I felt as if he was my child. I thank him for living so long with me,” Shinohara said.

– From wire reports