Flight Attendant Blows His Top, Yells at Passengers and Bolts Down Emergency Slide

Posted Aug 10th 2010 07:48 AMUpdated Aug 21st 2010 06:13 PM


People describe Steven Slater as a nice guy, but yesterday the flight attendant for JetBlue apparently totally lost control following an argument with a passenger.

Slater was working on a flight from Pittsburgh that had landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, when he was hit on the head by a bag a passenger was pulling out early from an overhead compartment.

According to the New York Daily News, words were exchanged and Slater's reaction was to blow his top. He spewed profanity at stunned passengers, grabbed a beer and activated the plane's emergency slide, then bolted off the plane.

Passengers told the News as part of his rant, Slater, 38, said he planned to quit the airline.

"He seemed kind of happy about it. He was like, 'I just quit my job,'" says passenger Phil Catelinet, 36, of Brooklyn.

Slater got on the AirTrain that takes travelers into the city, but his bizarre behavior continued when he stripped off his tie and threw it at train passengers.

It was unclear how long Slater had worked for JetBlue, but there were some reports he had worked for airlines for 20 years.

JetBlue reported the incident, but police did not arrive until Slater had left the scene. He was arrested at his beachfront home in the Rockaways.

Slater was reportedly smiling when police led him away in handcuffs and when he was later charged with reckless endangerment and criminal mischief.

"It's pretty much the craziest thing I've ever seen on a plane," says passenger Catelinet.

The brother of Slater's partner says he was "dumbfounded" by the wacky incident. "He's an everyday ordinary guy, a nice guy," John Rochelle, 39, tells the News.

A JetBlue co-worker who was on the flight, calls Slater a working-class hero.

"It's something we all fantasize about," she tells the newspaper. "But we have kids and a mortgage or are just too chicken - or sane - to go through with [it]."

Photo, mrkathika, flickr
Filed Under: News

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I agree with all of you up to a point. However, no matter how angry or frustrated a person gets, they cannot flip out and damage company property. If this happened in ANY office and the office manager were to get angry,cuss out a customer and pull the fire alarm, flip over desks, Pop open beers and disrupt meetings causing lost sales calls etc. This action possibly causing others to get injured while hurrying to the fire exit. A ramp worker assisting the arrival at the gate could've been Killed or Injured. Any other employee in an office somewhere would and should be held accountable. He/she is a professional. In this matter before the plane landed, or during taxi, communication to the dispatch should have been made and the Law Enforcement requested to meet the plane at the gate to handle the problem pax removing him/her from the plane. Also the Captain be made aware of a situation in the cabin. There are standard operating procedures to follow when a passenger gets out of hand. One cannot simply freak out and do what that flight attendant did with the Emergency Slide.

October 28 2010 at 9:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This idiot obviously never intends to land a job after demonstrating such out-of-control, immature, irresponsible behavior. Better that he expose himself now for his lack of control than to have him go to pieces during a real emergency situation where he could cost the lives of passengers.

October 13 2010 at 9:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ole Guy

Well, lets see...some actions, on passengers' parts, will get them a meeting with law enforcement. You know them as well as I do. Is not disobeying specific instructions from the crew one of those actions? The identity of the offending passenger can be traced by seat assignment. Airline management should assume a leadership stance on this and press criminal charges. This is the ONLY way the airline industry can send the message to the flying public that this sort of crap will not be tolerated. But, in all probability, management will want to simply keep the skirts neat and pressed and not create "bad publicity". However, if they were to initiate such action, their airline would, in all probability, be viewed very favorably.

September 09 2010 at 2:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Betty Moore

When people apply for such a job , stewardess/steward,they knew what the duties they are to perform or do they think it's a glamorous job with free travel benefits , that they dont think they have to do anythig at all except to bring the cart of food and hands the food and drinks to the passengers. I have travelled far and wide all over the world with all local and foreign airlines during the past 25 years. I have yet to see the stewardesses/stewards with a smiling faces when they are on board of a local airlines. But unfortunately , because for the reason that they have been in this kind of work too long, it seems that they no longer enjoy working as they should be. The job became boring and tiresome .That explains the behaviour which this guy exibited and finally had it. He should have quit long time ago and moved to a job which he might have enjoyed it more.

August 24 2010 at 10:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jet Blue should give lessons to other airlines on customer service. I love Jet Blue all the way from the unique, extremely friendly service you receive on the phone to the friendliness of the flight attendents. I have experienced flights where passengers are downright rude to not only other passengers but to the flight crew as well. Especially on the flights to and from New York. Good for you!

August 17 2010 at 12:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

OMG we were on a flight from SF to Cleveland and some idiot and his GF boarded the plane last. Both high on LSD, HE was in a green skirt with a t-shirt and purple boa around his neck. They sat in front of us and were obnoxious the whole flight. He kept putting on "geranium oil" said his guru told him it was "his scent" he smelled like a whore house on a Saturday night. He ended up stripping and walking the isle. Barking like a dog at the flight attendant.. it was the ride from hell. All they did was kick him off the plane in Atlanta. We were hoping they would let us throw them both out once we dropped altitude....
It was funny when they told them they were removing their luggage. They said we will just get on another plane..the guy says noooo you are going to walk to Connecticut because you are now on the NO FLY list, and good luck renting a car high. LOL

August 16 2010 at 5:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Click on the BLUE "New York Daily News" LINK in the article:

The link I posted doesn't work.

August 16 2010 at 4:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How did I know? One look at him and I just knew!!
"According to the New York Daily News, words were exchanged and Slater's reaction was to blow his top. He spewed profanity at stunned passengers, grabbed a beer and activated the plane's emergency slide, then bolted off the plane."

Link to the NY Daily News:

August 16 2010 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As an individual that also works in the help crazy humans world i can say that i think Steve had prob reached his final straw in a job that requires us all the bow and scrap to the lowest forms of life on a daily basis . It would be wonderful if our company policy supported us when we defend ourselves but the all mighty dollar prevents that very scenario..I bet it felt wonderful to get away from the "customer".

August 16 2010 at 2:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Megan Colas

Having worked in retail and other customer service jobs, I know how hard it is to take peoples abuse all day and then go home and try to not worry that maybe you did something to prompt that rudeness. People need to step back and re-evaluate. For god sakes he's just a human being trying to earn a living, have a little humanity.

August 16 2010 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply