Actor Josh Duhamel Kicked Off Flight For Refusing To Turn Off Blackberry

Actor Josh Duhamel, who plays Captain William Lennox in the Transformers series, was kicked off a flight last week after he refused to stop texting on his Blackberry while it was taxiing. The Air Wisconsin plane was forced to return to the gate and disgorge the actor. Now he says he’s learned his lesson.

“I’ve learned that it’s best to always turn them off,” the 38 year-old star told reporters.

Yep, once the cabin doors close you’re not allowed to use those mobile devices until the flight crew announces it’s okay. Not even dating Fergie makes you immune to FAA regulations.

Josh Duhamel on being kicked off plane: Lesson learned [CNN]


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  1. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Wasn’t it proven that Cell Phone signals have absolutely no effect in the in-flight operations of a commercial aircraft?

    • AI says:

      They better not, or else all of our security measures are useless. All a terrorist would have to do is make a phone call.

    • Leksi Wit says:

      No, but it’s proven that Josh Duhamel is a 38 yo douchbag.

    • mikull says:

      These rules are arbitrary and are invented by the airlines, without any legal authority. It is their plane and they’re within their rights to make whatever rules they want, but travelers should know that there are no laws against using these devices at any time, and that the research has been conducted and the devices have been demonstrated to be safe. Feel free to put this on the comment card next time you fly.

      Great article on the science here:
      So it’s a rule, and he broke it — so he loses. Sadly, the rule is bullshit, which makes it annoying to people who are fans of reason.

      • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

        It’s an FAA rule. Not an airline rule.

      • Humward says:

        No, sorry, it is illegal. It’s a bit complicated — there are potentially-conflicting FAA and FCC regulations, for example, and there’s been some administrative movement towards de-regulation — but the bottom line is that it really is the law that you can’t use cell phones on planes in most situations.

        (Note, however, that you’re probably right in one situation — where the plane is taxiing for takeoff. Technically an airline could allow cell phone use during that time. Trouble is, you’d then have to make sure all cell-phones were off before the wheels left the ground — and that would mean setting some point in the taxi process where the flight attendants walked around making sure people had complied. Since the goal is to get in line and off the ground as quickly as possible, airlines have good reason not to add that layer of complexity.)

        Whether that *should* be the law is…undecided. You say that the devices have been “demonstrated to be safe,” but in fact there’s substantial debate about their safety — with studies on both sides. Given the stakes, it’s understandable that the regulators are slow to change the regulations.

        So if you think it’s safe, don’t waste time arguing with the airlines — write the FAA and FCC (particularly the latter). The public is allowed to comment on federal rule-making, and if you can persuade them that it’s safe…they might change the regulations.

      • CrazyPiggy says:

        Regardless if it’s an airline rule or not, like they say when you board the aircraft, it’s a federal law to comply with all crew member instructions and posted signs.

    • Hawkins says:

      As I understand it, the rule has nothing to do with electrical interference, and everything to do with loose objects flying around the cockpit in the event of a sudden (possibly fiery) stop.

      Think about it: during the takeoff roll, as you pass 120mph, the captain decides to abort the takeoff, applying a couple of Gs of negative acceleration to avoid going through the fence at the end of the runway. The iPad that the self-important jerk behind you wouldn’t put away is now a missile.

      • Kishi says:

        That doesn’t make much sense at all. It’d probably hurt more if someone got hit by the hardcover book I pull out of my bag to read, instead of the iPod I just put away.

    • sirwired says:

      No, it’s not proven. While interfering electronics have never caused the crash of an aircraft, electronics most certainly HAVE caused malfunctions in comms and navigation equipment. A malfunctioning device can cause interference which does at least mildly bad things (and those things are a big distraction during takeoff and landing.)

      Why are electronics allowed at altitude? Because there is plenty of time to figure out the problem then; not so much during takeoff and landing.

      Why electronics but not cell phones while aloft? The cell phone network is too stupid to handle one phone being able to “see” a half-dozen towers at once, which is exactly what happens when you are in the air.

      • DanRydell says:

        Not only that, but I think the cell phone network has difficulty with phones that are moving at 600 mph and therefore moving in range and out of range of towers every couple of seconds.

        • MrEvil says:

          Doppler shift also throws off the signals. It can be compensated for when the phone is travelling under 100mph, but not at six times that speed.

          The banishment of Cell phones in-flight is more an FCC thing than an FAA thing. However, the turning off of electronic devices, which is rather un-needed considering many MANY of those devices don’t actually turn a damn thing off other than the screen.

    • human_shield says:

      One cell may not but 100 cellphones might. They operate on the same frequency.

    • MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

      You’re telling me I can still flummox this thing with something I bought at Radio Shack?

    • DarksSideMoon says:

      They operate on totally different frequencies. GA pilots sometimes use their phones while flying in case of a radio malfunction or distance problems. As far as I have studied there is no real issue.

    • Griking says:

      Personally I’d love it if they banned cell phones for the entire flight.

  2. Marlin says:

    Thought he was past dating and was married.

    But I thought the FAA finally admitted that cell phones do not harm a plane in any way? Something that has been known for a long time.

    • pinkbunnyslippers says:

      I view stewardesses with a power trip as more harm to a plane than a blackberry, but I digress…

    • pinkbunnyslippers says:

      I think stewardesses on a power trip cause more harm than the Blackberry does, but that’s just me..

    • outlulz says:

      Until the FAA gets around to changing the rules then those are the rules that have to be followed by the flight crew. I don’t understand why someone has the need to yap on their cell phone until the moment the plane gets out of range of the cell towers anyway. You probably just sat in the terminal for 90 minutes before you boarded, finish your business by then.

  3. fatediesel says:

    This was a fairly big story 6 days ago.

  4. The Upright Man says:

    Is that Terry Tate I see?

  5. davidsco says:

    This story is old already.

  6. nallanos says:

    he was sexting. leave the poor man alone.

  7. ThePrettiestStar says:


    Also, this affects me how? Am I suppose to feel better that normal consumers, like myself, are treated the same as the exalted ones(Hollywood blowhards)?

  8. obits3 says:

    I guess he hasn’t watched due date, has he?

  9. ellmar says:

    I vote that we “disgorge” all actors. From everything, everywhere. Douche bags.

  10. redskull says:

    Some day I will learn the difference between Josh Duhamel and Timothy Olyphant. But not today.

  11. tedyc03 says:

    This story seems all nice and fuzzy until we all realize that it makes no mention of charges. If any of us did it we’d be facing criminal prosecution, but since he’s a celeb he doesn’t have to worry about that…just has to take a later flight.

  12. Shmoodog says:

    News: Celebrity gets kicked off plane for texting.

    Not news: same story a week later.

  13. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    “Not even dating Fergie makes you immune to FAA regulations.”

    I’m not so sure about that…contact Fergie and inform her that she’ll need to date me for a significant amount of time so that I can verify that assertion.

  14. Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

    There’s an “Air Wisconsin?????”

  15. Big Mama Pain says:

    Wow, he learned that it’s best to turn his cell phone off on an airplane. I’m glad he shared that amazing lesson with us.

  16. James says:

    Stars. They’re just like US!

  17. valthun says:

    This isn’t about the signal causing interference. These are FAA rules for your safety. During take off and landing are the most dangerous parts of a flight where things can go wrong. If you are screwing around with your electronic devices and not paying attention, if things go bad you become a hazard to everyone else on the flight.
    Its the same reason your bags need to be stowed under the seat or in the overhead bin and not on your lap.

    • c!tizen says:

      If something goes wrong at any point in the flight, be it 30,000 ft or 30 ft, I’m pretty sure being on the phone isn’t going to add or subtract to the shit-in-your-pants-ness of the situation. When that plane starts bouncing your attention will be right where everyone else’s will be… I’VE GOT TO TWITTER THIS!!!

      In the words of the late great Mitch Hedburg: If you’re flammable and have legs, you’re never blocking a fire exit.

    • ellmar says:

      Say what? I understand that take off and landing are when most problems occur with airplanes, therefore the pilot, co-pilot and flight attendants should not be distracted by texting and rummaging around in their baggage. Exactly how would a texting passenger endanger a flight?

    • jtheletter says:

      No, this reasoning is specious at best. There is absolutely no one competent enough to fly on their own who would be so engaged with their electronic device that during an actual emergency they would somehow be too distracted to notice. The noise-cancellation headphones – which ARE allowed during take-off/landing – are a much greater risk along that line of thinking than any mobile device because they do deprive you of sensory input. And the argument that my cellphone will fly about the cabin and impact people during turbulence or something is ridiculous because we would also then have to prevent people from having hardcover books, baby bottles, really anything over 2oz.

      Since we don’t have restrictions against sensory deprivation devices and objects the same weight/size as a cellphone then the argument doesn’t hold water. It’s a power-trip, nothing more. These devices do not interfere with the cabin electronics (anyone every wonder why the FAA doesn’t recognize the FCC licensing terms for electronics devices that they produce no harmful interference?), they absolutely do not prevent someone from noticing/responding to an -in-flight emergency, and they are not a credible injury threat due to impacts.

      But please, put up some more bogus arguments so I can demonstrate the problems with those as well.

      • valthun says:

        Well I hope you get arrested for disobeying the flight crew and violating Federal regulations on your future flight.

        • c!tizen says:

          Yeah, you tell him. What the hell is that guys problem, trying to bring logic into an discussion… pffft.

      • Humward says:

        Glad to. How about this one:

        FCC banned them, because fast-moving cell phones cause interference with cell towers. Technically, it is the FCC’s ban that legally prohibits cell phone use on aircraft while in flight, because such use prevents cell tower channel reuse and thereby basically risks…cooking the whole system (to use the technical term).

        Of course, FAA guidance also suggests that airlines prohibit it — the FAA’s concern is interference with older flight systems, some of which aren’t shielded. That’s probably going to turn out not to be a legitimate concern — but, hey, being over-cautious is their job.

        It’s not some weird “power trip” that’s behind it — there’s no bureaucrat sitting in D.C. just blissed off his ass at the idea of keeping you from making a call. It’s just a combination of an FCC that doesn’t want its cell systems to get fried and an FAA that wants to be very, very careful.

        You disagree?

        • jtheletter says:

          Absolutely I disagree, even with a legitimate issue with cell towers being overwhelmed why are ALL electronic devices disallowed? Including cell phones in airplane mode? The usual response to the latter is that it’s not feasible for flight attendants to check that all devices are in the proper mode, however that doesn’t explain why I have to turn off my mp3 player, eReader, etc. Many of those devices don’t even transmit radio frequencies as part of their functions (although more devices are wifi enabled these days, but wifi is not interfering with cell towers at the power levels of those devices, the signals probably don’t even escape the plane body).
          So what is the reason for restriction of all electronic devices in flight?
          Also, Faraday cages are not at all difficult to implement, and most of an aircraft body already constitutes one, proper shielding design would prevent the leakage of any and all cellphone signals from the passenger compartment if the industry would bother. Similarly the laws allow for testing and vetting of electronics devices to be cleared as safe with all aviation equipment but to date can you name even a single device the industry has bothered to clear? The cell radios in use in modern phones must meet well-defined operational guidelines in order to be compatible with the cell tower infrastructure, your don’t have to test every single cell phone that comes out to clear it for safety, merely the underlying radio which will have identical characteristics across a wide range of devices.

          Please don’t just go read Wikipedia and think that constitutes the ultimate position in a argument. It may work on your friends but some of us have critical thinking skills and engineering backgrounds.

          • Humward says:

            An engineering background *doesn’t* give you critical thinking skills, apparently.

            I focused on the problem of cell phones — which is perhaps a separate issue from your pet peeve: the five minutes at the beginning and end of a flight when you have to put away your laptop. So let’s talk about that. You can blame those five minutes of mild inconvenience on an FAA guidance, which is almost universally accepted by the airlines. So why is that guidance there? Well, it looks like we have two theories:

            Mine: The FAA is being over-cautious, slowly moving towards a world where electronic devices are allowed on takeoff and landing but only as evidence becomes overwhelming. Long history has told them that just when they think something is safe…boom. Since we’re talking about such a very minor imposition on passengers, and such a big “boom,” there’s no good reason to change the guidance until they’re totally sure. In the end, it’s almost certainly true that they’ll eventually reach the conclusion that electronic devices are safe — but we’re just not there yet.

            Yours: It’s a plot! A power trip! I’m an engineer! I know how things work! They just want to inconvenience me! No one can think critically but me, because I’m an engineer! The whole world is stupid, except me!

            I strongly prefer my explanation, but to each his own.

        • c!tizen says:

          You’ve got citations for this, right?

  18. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Texting on taxi-ing plane — Bad

    Subjecting the movie-viewing populace to a Transformers sequel — Worse

  19. Urgleglurk says:

    1) Old news.
    2) He deserved it. He can be arrested for not obeying the directions of a flight crewmember. That’s a federal offense, though I’m sure he’d just get a slap on the wrist.

  20. tvh2k says:

    Excuse me. Are you a plane doctor? …no? So shut the hell up.

  21. zatoism says:

    Why are you so late? This already cycled thru.

  22. Ubernostrom says:

    I can honestly say that I have never once turned my phone completely off during any stage of any flight I’ve ever been on. I’m still alive, as are the hundreds of other passengers who flew with me those days.This whole fear of technology(which is exactly what this all boils down to) is meaningless, and does nothing except cost us and the airlines precious time and money.

    • minjche says:

      I can honestly say that every time I drink a glass of water before bed, the sun rises the next day.

      Correlation != Causation

      Not that I disagree, I just don’t like when folks try to turn anecdotal evidence into fact.

      • Ubernostrom says:

        Are you a pilot, or maybe someone who regularly tests flight equipment? I thought not. There has never, in the entire history of flying, been a case where the FAA has laid the blame on a cell phone for the crash of a plane. Now consider the fact that hundreds of thousands of individuals with cell phones fly on planes every day. I’d bet that several people forget to turn off their cell phones in flight. These meaningless regulations were enacted 30 years ago when cellphone technology had just surfaced, and the FAA was unsure about how it would effect the equipment, and was unwilling to risk the lives of pilots and a plane to test them.

        • Ubernostrom says:

          That was probably a bit more aggressive of a comment than I had meant to make it.

          • minjche says:

            In my original comment I said “not that I disagree”. I don’t think cell phones pose a threat to the plane, but as neither of us are FAA engineers or pilots (btw thanks for dumping that accusation on me without admitting that you also lack any technical knowledge of the subject).

            Still, correlation != causation, no matter how much of a tantrum you throw.

            • Ubernostrom says:

              Actually I am a pilot. I fly a piper super cub on a daily basis. However, that’s beside the fact. Like I said, the comment came off with a little more rage than I had intended.

              • Humward says:

                If you’re flying with your cell phone on (whether commercially or privately), you may be in violation of FCC regulations — oddly it’s the FCC, not the FAA, that’s the problem.

                And their concern isn’t that one isolated person leaving their cell phone on will damage anything — it won’t, I don’t think. It’s that a *lot* of people using cell phones at high speeds would basically overwhelm the system, because of how quickly they move between cell towers.

                Well, that and that they also have to fly from time to time, and don’t want to get stuck next to “that guy.”

                • Ubernostrom says:

                  I don’t understand why I am suddenly an outrages asshole for not turning my phone off in flight. I calmly put it on silent, nobody even notices. Planes don’t fall out of the air, and as far as I know, I wasn’t the single cause of any major cell outages.

                  • minjche says:

                    My issue isn’t with your act of leaving your phone on, but with the overall doo-doo-head attitude you’ve taken about the whole situation.

      • Ubernostrom says:

        Do you mindlessly follow every rule ever written down? I would certainly hope not.

    • jaya9581 says:

      Do you so callously disregard all rules you encounter? I happen to agree that I don’t feel cell phones would interfere with the takeoff/landing/anything else on a plane – but the rule is TURN THEM OFF. Here’s hoping I’m never on a plane with such a self-important jerk.

      • jaya9581 says:

        No, I do not mindlessly follow every rule. However, a rule like this – where it’s not just my safety at stake, but hundreds of other people as well – yeah, I do. And even if you take out the safety part of the equation, how about the inconvenience if you should, say, pull a Josh Duhamel? Just turn off your damn phone. All you’re doing in the air is wasting your battery, anyway.

  23. sufreak says:

    The issue isn’t the cell phone signal. Its paying attention to the people in charge during the most dangerous parts of the flight.

  24. JuneCarter says:

    You mean not even married to Fergie…

  25. MonkeyMonk says:

    I believe this rule applies to everyone with the exception of Kevin Smith.

  26. Karink23 says:

    I’ve always misread his name as “Douche-a-mel” – now it fits.

  27. Kibit says:

    How is this a consumer story?
    He was not listening to the airline personel and he was removed from the plane. Sounds more like a story about Josh Duhamel acting like a spoiled, entitled person and NOT A CONSUMER ISSUE!

  28. ITDEFX says:


  29. Truthie says:

    I don’t think dating Fergie makes you immune to anything, although I assume it does mean you are exposed to all sorts of microbes.

  30. HogwartsProfessor says:

    +10 points to Ben for using the word “disgorge.”

  31. d0x360 says:

    Despite the fact that cell phones dont really cause any harm to a plane the guy should have shut the damn thing off. He’s not better than everyone else and while I dont agree with this stupid rule that doesnt mean you can just ignore it.

  32. HoJu says:

    Hollywood types-
    If you are someone who needs to be introduced thusly:
    “Actor Josh Duhamel, who plays Captain William Lennox…”
    then you should NOT even consider trying to pull anything that even remotely resembles a “Do you know who I am?? situation.”

  33. lettucefactory says:

    I love the “Story Highlights” to the left on the CNN page. Because something this in-depth and complex really needs an executive summary.

  34. EllenRose says:

    I think the things are harmless; still and all, it’s nice to see the Entitled Elite given a tutorial in the way the rest of us live.

  35. ClaudeKabobbing says:

    If he was Kevin Smith he would have been refunded his money

  36. Daedalus454 says:

    That is absolutely false. Use of any electronic device other than voice recorders, hearing aids, pacemakers, and (amusingly enough) electric razors is expressly forbidden by FAR (Federal Aviation Regulation) part 135.144. Paragraph 5 permits individual airlines to allow the use of electronics if they are certain they will not cause issues.

    Take away point: any use of electronics on an airliner that is not expressly permitted by the flight crew is against federal regulations.


  37. jpdanzig says:

    I’ll bet the other passengers on the plane LOVED the delay caused by this narcissistic clod. Really — the perpetrator in such a case should be fined an amount sufficient to cover checks to the other passengers and crew for their time wasted. Maybe THEN he would shut off his crackberry…

  38. dougp26364 says:

    To bad he didn’t say he’s learned that rules/laws apply to actors with huge ego’s.

  39. banmojo says:

    most of the airline rules/regs make no sense to me. if I have to fly (which I avoid at all costs when possible) I make sure to follow all instructions and not say or act suspicious. I have no wish to slow the already unbearable process down, and I have no wish to make anyone look at me suspiciously. Josh was a douche to do this imho. typical actor prima donna bs. Oh, and Fergie – I’ve met in person – without the makeup and lights she looks scary ugly. I mean FUGLY fugly fugly. yup, 3x Fugly.