Flight Attendant ArrestBy now, everyone has heard of flight attendant Steven Slater. He had an altercation with an errant passenger who had stood up while the plane was still taxiing towards the runway, she got in an altercation with another passenger, grabbed her luggage from the overhead compartment, hitting Slater in the head with it.

Slater lost it and demanded an apology. A series of F-yous and F-ing adjectives ensued. Slater had a meltdown, got on the plane PA and made sure the entire plane heard his dissatisfaction with the way things were going (which included a resignation) before he grabbed a few brewskies, deployed the jet slides, and slid out of the plane. He dashed to his car and sped home.

Law enforcement caught him at home (some of his neighbors threw him under the bus) and arrested him. He now could go  to go to prison. Meanwhile, nearly 100,000 support him on Facebook.  His ex-wife supports him and says the passenger was in the wrong.  She said only Steven would go out in style like that.

According to the NY Daily News:

Long before he lost his cool on JetBlue Flight 1052, he complained about some aspects of his job – especially carry-on luggage.

In a series of posts to an online forum, a user who appears to be Slater took a swipe at passengers who try to bring on too many bags.

“I hate to be a bag nazi when i work a flight, but I feel if I am not, then I am letting down all those who cooperate and [try] to help out as well,” said a March post under the handle Skyliner747 on Airliners.net.

“I am frustrated with many of them for their unrealistic approach regarding carry-ons.”

Fess up. How many people respect Steven Slater or at least give him a hat tip (h/t) for his efforts and wish they could do the same thing. I have my own fantasies about the perfect job exit…….

19 Thoughts to “Steven Slater, Mr. Jet Blue, is a New Folk Hero”

  1. Scout

    One of the most annoying facets of modern airline abuse of customers is the policy of charging for checking a bag. It’s like charging for air, or putting a surcharge on use of a seat once on board. The impact of the policy has been to stimulate an already nasty habit of people bringing steamer trunks and other large items into the cabin and cramming them into the overheads. If they had to gouge us on something, I would have thought it far wiser for the airlines to charge for carry on luggage that doesn’t fit under the seats. When I fly, I now try to use one of the rare airlines that doesn’t charge, but it’s not always possible. Maybe Mr. Slater’s meltdown can be a kind of airline “tea party” catalyst that will have people complaining a little more vociferously about these baggage charges.

    Of course, my comment is a little wide of the mark, because I think Jet Blue is one of the few airlines that isn’t charging for checked baggage. But it would be against a noble blog tradition to let a mere fact get in the way of my venting about something.

  2. Emma

    I fly quite a lot, and I can tell you a lot of stories about inappropriate and unprofessional flight-attendant behavior. I can remember years ago they behaved with a certain calm professionalism. I can’t tell you how many times now that I hear them joking about passengers, grousing and complaining about their work, and making wisecracks that would get the rest of us escorted off of the plane and questioned.

    If there are so few jobs out there, why can’t companies weed out the idiots and hire only the best and the brightest? I don’t get it.

  3. Emma

    On the upside, I don’t hesitate to complain to the airlines about bad flight-attendant behavior. The last time, it got me a free flight voucher, but the incident still burns me up when I think about it.

  4. I have experienced the same thing, Emma, although I doubt if I have flown as much as you have recently. Some exhibit top notch professionalism. Others act like you are bothering them because you are there. A few are horrible. The last time I flew, and yes, it was Jet Blue, I thought one of the flight attendants was going to ‘do’ an entire section of young men who were returning from some ski trip. The behavior not only was disgusting, but she left her other 2 colleagues to do all the work. They handled it professionally, to their credit, but I expect some complaints will be filed.

    Flight attendants now have a much more serious job to do than back when air travel was becoming a common occurrence (translation: back when I was much younger.) If they aren’t going into the job with that in mind, they should find a different job. Coffee, tea or me is not longer even a remote thought to most of these professionals.

  5. On the other hand, I do have take this job and shove it fantasies still. Funny thing is, it remained the same….the entire time I worked. I never did it.

  6. Emma

    I flew to the west coast recently where two off-duty flight attendants were sitting behind me at the back of the plane. So it was party time, as the other flight attendants made their way back there as much as possible, laughing, talking, standing around and supporting themselves on the back of my seat, making idiotic comments in falsetto voices about how they are “scared to fly” and ridiculing the stupid questions passengers ask them. I also got an earful about how stupid United management is. It would have been worth some iPhone video to send to United, had I had the presence of mind to do so, but I settled for complaining when I got home. You know how it is–us sheeple are expected to behave ourselves and not make too much of a fuss on a plane.

  7. Sounds totally inappropriate to me. Do they think the sheeple don’t have ears?

    Meanwhile, no one can even get so much as a cup of coffee on the plane.

  8. marinm

    The guy had a senior moment. I’d forgive him on that. Give him a fine, slap him on the wrist and have him work out something with Jet Blue for replacement of the slide.

    Do I think he needs to serve time? No.

    If I was on that jury I’d vote to let him walk.

  9. I would let him walk also. So he snagged a couple beers. BFD. I don’t know that I would hire him back but he shouldn’t spend a day in jail.

  10. Need to Know

    Virtucon has a funny thread comparing Steven Slater to Steven Stucker from the movie Airplane! They do bear a strong resemblance.


    My hat’s off to Slater and I vote for him to keep his job. I’m surprised more passengers and flight attendants have not reacted similarly or worse.

  11. marinm

    While I’m not sure he should ‘keep’ his job I think JetBlue’s decision to distance himself away from him is a PR mistake. The numbers are trending heavily in favor of this guy (he’s an everyman and people can ‘understand’ how he snapped) and JB could’ve snagged this as an opportunity to say “we care about our customers AND our employees and we want him to have some help if he wants it…

    Atleast, that’s how I would’ve played it out.

    I think he’ll have a great career at SouthWest if they’ll take him. 🙂

  12. anona

    Who hasn’t wanted to walk off a job in style like that? To grab a beer and pull the inflatable slide is just over the top. How can you not love the guy? Unless you are his employer of course.

  13. punchak

    I seem to remember that several years ago, a pilot who had been waiting for hours in line for take-off att the Atlanta airport, finally snapped and left the plane.

    (don’t know how he got to the ground)

  14. Emma

    Sorry, but I can’t share in all of this support for the flight attendant. They should be held to the same standard that the rest of us are held to. Feel a little pissed off at a flight attendant? You better just suck it up and behave yourself or the sky marshal might have a few words or a pair of handcuffs for you. Take off your shoes, empty your pockets, pay for your checked baggage, accept your 0.5 oz bag of mini-pretzels (if you’re lucky) and your 4-oz soda and just shut up about it, otherwise we might think you’re a terrorist or some kind of nut or something.

  15. Yea but he shouldn’t go to jail. Fired, yea. Jail, no.

    I probably would go on a killing spree at passengers. Good thing I am not a flight attendant.

  16. Wolverine

    It’s not just flight attendants. Go almost anywhere these days and listen to the “customers” take out their frustrations on service personnel. Yes, sometimes the service personnel deserve to be upbraided; but, in general, we have became a very demanding, impatient, and nastily voiciferous society. We come in mad at the world and tend to take it out on the nearest person. The flight attendants are not responsible for the fact that you can rarely get a meal on a plane other than a bag of peanuts and a Coke. They are not responsible for setting the rules about baggage. They march to somebody else’s orders just like most of the rest of us, yet they seem to get most of the direct guff in the absence of the real targets. You can now add to the mounting customer frustration all the security checks you have to go through just to get to the plane, including having to arrive at the airport hours before you used to. I’m rather surprised that it took this long for such an visible explosion.

  17. Scout

    Wolverine continues to impress.

  18. Emma

    @Wolverine But the flight attendants set the tone themselves and need to exhibit some patience and professionalism. The United partiers behind me on my flight west could have been the last straw for someone less patient than I am. If the job’s too tough, perhaps they should find one better suited to them. I have never been rude to a flight attendant, but have witnessed a good deal of rude and often outright raucous behavior from them. They’re supposed to be serving us. In post-9-11, things seem to be quite the opposite.

  19. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Customer service in general in this nation has gone directly down the toilet (it happened a long time ago). Problem is, people still, once in a while, run into a business that really excels at CS (Nordstrom comes to mind), and they’re reminded of how things should be. Now flight attendants? Well, what’s the point of tangling with a flight attendant? I can’t, for the life of me, figure out what the end game of bawling out a flight attendant is. You gotta pick your battles.

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