Alec Baldwin invoking 9/11 during a rant against the air industry was totally "inappropriate" ... and the widow of an American Airlines co-pilot killed in the tragedy thinks Baldwin should simply admit he was wrong.
TMZ spoke with Cheryl McGuinness Hutchins -- whose husband Tom was in the cockpit of the first plane to hit the World Trade Center.
Cheryl was reacting to Baldwin's blog -- in which he wrote, "I believe carriers and airports have used [9/11] as an excuse to make the air travel experience as inelegant as possible."
CMH tells us, "I absolutely think [Baldwin's statement] was an inappropriate comment to make" ... adding, "I believe airlines used what happened on 9/11 to increase security and protect passengers as much as possible -- not to make traveling inelegant."
She continues, "If [Alec] did something inappropriate ... he shouldn’t have to point the finger at a world tragedy. He should just take responsibility for his actions and admit he should have gotten off the phone.”
A source close to Baldwin tells us, "Alec had absolutely no intention of offending families, victims or anyone else associated with the horrible tragedy of 9/11. He only referenced that date in relation to discussion of the resulting impact on the airline industry."