Photo of a Jet Blue plane.
Jeb Blue employee may be facing criminal charges. CC by mrkathika/Flickr

Steven Slater, a career flight attendant, came to the tipping point. After 20 years as a flight attendant, a passenger thought it was acceptable to abuse him for doing his job. The Jet Blue flight attendant stormed off, went on a tirade of his own over the intercom and as they were on the ground engaged the emergency chute and took off on foot down the tarmac. He was later arrested for reckless endangerment and criminal mischief, among other charges.

He’d had enough abuse

Jet Blue Flight 1052 was arriving at JFK International Airport from Pittsburgh, according to CNN. As the plane taxied toward the terminal, a passenger stood up to retrieve his bag too early, and Steven Slater said he had to sit back down. Exactly what happened isn’t known, but it is clear that Slater was struck by either the bag falling from the overhead bin or the passenger struck him. Instead of apologizing, the passenger swore at Slater. Slater took over the intercom, announced he was quitting and unleashed a barrage of profanity at the unruly cretin. He opened the emergency chute, and took some beer from the galley before exiting the plane. Hours later, he was arrested at home.

Cabin pressure

Even when Slater wasn’t working, according to MSN, he was rarely home. His roommate disclosed that he often flew to Thousand Oaks in California to care for his ailing mother, as he had done for his father before he passed away. His mother was a career flight attendant also, according to the New York Times. His father, who passed away from Lou Gehrig’s Disease, had been a pilot.

Customers really can be wrong

People in the service trades should be treated better than they are. Any person who has worked in the service trades for any length of time, be it in a restaurant or movie theater, knows just how awful the public can be at times. Mistakes do sometimes get made, but cooperating and being polite doesn’t cost a thing.

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