Wednesday, January 4, 2012

NBC's Al Roker uncooperative on Van Halen flight to New York

NBC weatherman Al Roker wouldn’t budge for Van Halen on a flight to New York this week.

The New York Post reports Roker nearly “pulled an Alec Baldwin” on an American Airlines flight when he refused to give up his aisle seat for Alex Van Halen and his wife, Stine Schyberg, and remained glued to his phone after the gate closed to tune out the couple’s protests.

On AA flight No. 4 to New York, the Van Halen co-founder and his wife complained to the gate agent that Roker was sitting between them as the plane sat on the ground.

Witnesses said Alex was seated by the right-side window, his wife in the center of the cabin, with Roker in the aisle seat between them. Alex’s brother and Van Halen co-founder Eddie and his wife, Janie Liszewski, were seated in the row behind them.

“Alex complained, ‘We’re not together, Mr. Roker’s seat is between ours,” a source tells The Post. “Al was looking at his phone, desperately trying to ignore the whole situation.”

When the agent asked Roker to move to the aisle seat in the first-row center, he stated that he’s “allergic to dogs.” A passenger with a little dog in a crate was in the row behind Roker, and moving to the aisle would have put him three seats away, rather than four.

To sit together, Alex and Stine then swapped with passengers in business class, according to the source, adding that a relieved Roker “said ‘Hello’ to the new people when they sat down, after hiding from the Van Halens by texting.”

While the situation was uncomfortable, “There was literally not an ounce of rock star bullbleep,” a witness said of Alex, “But his wife was making a big deal complaining about it.”

Van Halen were headed to New York for a private club show this Thursday for the media at the Café Wha? The band are gearing up for the release of their new album – the first with David Lee Roth in 28 years – which is due February 7; the project’s first single and video, “Tattoo,” is set for release next Tuesday.

See also:

Van Halen: 'Tattoo' single arrives next week, tour starts next month
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