First it was actor Josh Duhamel and now it's media mogul Arianna Huffington. What do these two have in common? Well, if you remember back to December of last year, Josh was removed from a US Airways flight for refusing to turn off his BlackBerry. This week Arianna Huffington, co-founder and columnist for The Huffington Post, was on a United Airlines flight. Arianna apparently ignored the captain's instructions to turn off her device as they were about to take off from Dulles Airport in Washington, DC. This allegedly outraged a fellow passenger, causing him to get out of his seat and start causing a scene of Arianna's continued use of her BlackBerry. Law-enforcement sources said the face-off began at 10:10 p.m. as the flight was taking off and the other passenger "advised her to turn BlackBerry off. She was slow in complying."
Another passenger on the flight gave this statement:
I was on a United Express shuttle flight from DC to LaGuardia on Saturday night. Arianna Huffington was in my row. She wouldn't turn off her blackberry, even when we pushed back from the gate; we took off and it became apparent that the phone was still on, which very much upset her neighbor and a burly Brooklyn type a few rows behind her, who started heckling both her and the flight attendant ("Hey lady! Don't you speak English?" "How come she gets to use her electronic devices but nobody else does?"). Nobody seemed to have any idea who she was. When we landed, both she and the heckler were pulled off the plane first by Port Authority cops. The woman who had been sitting next to her said, "Wasn't that Arianna Huffington?" The flight attendant said, "No! I'll tell you who it was," whips out his passenger list, and there she was.Arianna and the other passenger were removed from the plane when it landed at LaGuardia and questioned about the incident. Both were released without charges. Her rep, Mario Ruiz, said: "There was a passenger who seemed upset. Arianna thought he didn't like the snacks. Guess not. Maybe he was an iPhone fan. As you know, the battle between iPhone lovers and BlackBerry users can get pretty heated."