JetBlue Flight Attendant Steven Slater

Steven Slater

By now, the story of JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater is one you’ve laughed about, shared with friends, Googled, and perhaps even blogged about.  If you’re not familiar with Steven Slater’s story, then prepare to meet the most bad-ass JetBlue flight attendant to ever grace the sky.

Things were going smoothly around noon yesterday when JetBlue flight 1052 taxied toward Terminal 5 at JFK.  The flight had arrived from Pittsburgh without a hitch, until 39-year-old flight attendant Steven Slater was hit in the head by a piece of luggage as a passenger attempted to remove it from the overhead compartment. The passenger was allegedly trying to remove her bag while the plane taxied, which is against Jetblue rules.

While any normal person would have apologized to the JetBlue flight attendant – or anyone, for that matter – for hitting him in the head with some heavy baggage, the passenger in question did not.

Steven Slater requested, then apparently demanded, an apology, did not receive one, but was offered an obscenity in return for his efforts. Steven Slater then got on the plane’s public address system and said, allegedly, “”To the f*cking *sshole who told me to f*ck off, it’s been a good 28 years…I’ve had it.”

But it gets better.  The now e-famous JetBlue flight attendant activated the emergency chute, threw his luggage down, grabbed two beers from the flight attendant galley and slid out of the airline industry and into his 15 minutes of fame.  Witnesses report Slater also stripped off his tie as he ran into the terminal.

Jetblue didn’t report the incident until 25 minutes later, which allowed Slater to get to his home, where police were entertained by the flight attendant’s enthusiastic retelling of the story.  A summary of the story can be seen in the video below – the incident is described as a “flight attendant f-bomb meltdown.

Jetblue Flight Attendant Steven Slater Video

Slater was charged with eckless endangerment and criminal mischief and was freed without bail.  And despite what would otherwise be regarded as an irresponsible, reprehensible affair, Slater is being treated as a hero by many.  But why?

Simple – because the Jetblue flight attendant did what so many of us would love to do – release our frustrations with the airline industry.  While you and I may rage against the airlines – I can’t count how many hours of unscheduled delays or incompetent employees I’ve dealt with – Slater and his peers have an interesting perspective.  They’re on the receiving end of all of the complaints, rudeness and immaturity that we issue forth on any employee within range, no matter who was responsible for inciting the anger.

So in addition to Slater standing up for himself, he was standing up for anyone who has ever been frustrated by flying – and that’s a lot of people.  Looks like he should have grabbed a couple more beers.