August 13, 2010

JetBlue's Steven Slater wants his job back, but …

Posted: 03:52 PM ET

By Stephen M. Silverman


After allegedly cursing out passengers and exiting the plane down a chute – symbolically ending his 20-plus-year career as flight attendant – former JetBlue employee Steven Slater wants to resume flying, even for his former airline.

This dramatic change of heart was expressed at a press conference outside Slater's Queens, N.Y., home on Thursday, reports NBCNewYork. With his client standing at his side, Slater's Legal Aid attorney, Howard Turman, told reporters, "JetBlue is a wonderful airline which he has loved working for, and wishes to continue working for. He understands the problems, but it has been a fair and understanding airline."

Slater, 38, has been charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing. He remains free on $2,500 bail. If convicted, he could face up to seven years in prison.

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Filed under: Airline Industry

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Steve from Atlanta   August 13th, 2010 4:35 pm ET

Give Slater a break. Jet Blue should go after the passenger for interferring with the duties of flight crew. Let's get both sides of this story out in the open and let sanity prevail. I don't condone what he did after the alleged incident but extenuating circumstances and provocations should not be ignored.

MaryRM   August 13th, 2010 4:43 pm ET

hmmm, maybe someone should explain to Mr. Slater that there are consequences to your actions.......

GaryC   August 13th, 2010 5:15 pm ET

This was a person of responsibility on an airplane. There is no excuse for what he did and should have everything thrown at him. It's sad that people like him become celebreties.

Albert   August 13th, 2010 6:06 pm ET

I am complaining that JetBlue did not take care of your employee health seriously. When Steven Slater got hit his head by a passenger, it may affect his brain function and may cause temporary unpredictable behavior on top of pressure change in flight. I think the whole thing start when his head got hit. If someone got hit in the head when the job is to take care of many customers, I would immediately take him/her out of work until he/she is stable. The older the employee, the more it need to be concern. If his head is not injure, I don't think the whole thing will happen. Head injury can cause very unpredictable result especially under stressful environment. The injured person may not aware of it that they need immediately rest to recover to think properly. Get a neuro doctor in this case involve and resolve all this media non-sense that probably cause by head injury that affect a person thinking. I am sick of hearing he is a hero or zero. Put the poor guy back to work after a neuro doctor clear him of his injury if not recover already. If bad behavior persist, may need MRI. People should take head injury seriously and this case everyone overlook at his head injury. Older people die sometime after head injury without thinking it was a big deal something. I think the whole Steven Slater thing is symptom of head injury and is not a normal person behavior.

CHM   August 13th, 2010 9:45 pm ET

I think you make a good point. Hopefully this will be looked into.

Kathie   August 14th, 2010 7:46 am ET

Why is this guy being given so much attention for job irresponsibility and lack of professionalism in his job? He obviously craves attention but causing an airline over $25,000 in repairs to the emergency ramp is not appropriate. He is a pathetic role model. And now he wants his job back!–he must be kidding

David Gardner   August 14th, 2010 7:55 am ET

Wants his job back? So he can crash a plane the next time he has a hissy fit. I shudder to think of him in the military having a bad day with all the weaponry around.

Ted   August 14th, 2010 10:59 am ET

@ Albert

Perhaps you also bumped your head into a hard object just before you wrote your blog!

I can understand Slater, I did a lot of flying in my life and witnessed many incidents caused by rude and drunken passengers. However, if you cannot handle the pressure you better look for another job.
As far as getting 7 years for such a dinky little incident: there is something wrong with our laws.

CHM   August 14th, 2010 11:43 am ET

Yea, right, Ted. Natasha Richardson's little bump on the head was nothing too; correct? Such a know it all.

brenda   August 14th, 2010 1:09 pm ET

Slater said what everyone was thinking anyway.......companies shove the "respect in the work place" policy down employees throats and expect them to be sub-human.... I say he's a champion for what he did........ they should give him his job back and a pay hike !

Cajazz76:24:8   August 14th, 2010 3:48 pm ET


Good point in alluding in the fact that our justice system is failing because of the success of our laws...They are too convoluted due to the right-wing Christian extremists with core fundamentalism values driving the countries morality...take care Ted. Slater just had a high altitude brain fart that was complicated by oxygen deprivation and maybe a few nips of in-flight gin in the flying 'porta-potty'.

Ted   August 15th, 2010 12:30 pm ET

@ cajazz

Hallo, it is nice to see that your fingers are not yet all worn down.

Our laws are based on the old english idea, put the bastards away for the rest of their lives, even for stealing a bread! They also had the choice of sending them far away, to Australia, New Zealand and a few other choicy places. Since those sactuaries dried up, we just lock them up someplace for good.

Slater screwed up, lost his cool, so he should look for another employement. Instead of a long jail vacation it would be better to make him work 90 days for a community project. We have just too many people in jail.
And to be fair, put that rude woman right next to him to learn some manners.

Shirl   August 16th, 2010 6:05 am ET

Customers need to respect public servants as well. While there may have been a minor concussion to explain his behavior, there is still no excuse for the rudeness of some people. Doctors are public servants too but no one treats them like crap. Wonder why? Cause people know they would not tolerate it for a minute.
Give those of us who must deal with the public some respect. It is a two-way street. Jail is not warranted for this.

Nicholas   August 16th, 2010 6:44 am ET

Give him a break? Slater ought to go to jail. As an aircraft mechanic, these slides are very dangerous.The pressure with which these slides operate can be deadly to those on the ground. He put the lives of the ground crew in danger and cost the company thousands of dollars. Everytime a slide is blown it costs anywhere from $15,000 – $ 40,000 to replace. There is no excuse for blowing an emergency escape slide on purpose. Yes the passenger should be held responsible as well. But people need to stop making him out to be a hero

LE   August 16th, 2010 9:45 am ET

Too unstable.

Cajazz76:24:8   August 16th, 2010 3:07 pm ET


You must have had the experience of not stowing the girt

Cathy   August 16th, 2010 4:27 pm ET

Perhaps we should next discuss the maintenance negligence on the part of most airlines who, of course, outsource it. That's caused a few too many problems over the years.

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   August 18th, 2010 3:29 am ET

Wow, that was scary. Probably time for him to find something on terra firma. It is a shame, after 20 years, for his career to end in this way. Sounds like it must be getting to him. That is outrageous behaviour.

Bob   August 27th, 2010 12:10 am ET

Are you kidding. Jet Blue will not give this guy his job back.

Look, he and the passenger in question had a verbal altercation during the initial boarding process when there was some confusion about placement of baggage in the overhead compartment. To me it looks like it played on both their sensitivities throughout the trip. In order to show the Jet Blue male flight who had some power, t the passenger was making a statement by getting up early before the plane came to a complete stop to retrieve the luggage. Well low and behold, who was johnny on the spot to stop this flagrant and unsafe infraction, Steven of course. He was going to show this passenger that he was no one to be screwed with, the power was in his court and he was going to make this passenger toe the line. Things just went from bad to worse and Steven lost his cookies by embarrassing himself and the airline by pulling a Saturday Nite Live stunt worthy of a Martin Short

You've heard the expression, hell hath no fury like a scorned woman. Well in this instance it appears that "hell hath no fury like a scorned Steven".

Look if you are a passenger, you have to size up flight attendant crew pretty quickly. You can tell who the nice ones are immediately. You can tell which ones have a stick up their butt, you can tell which ones are having a bad day or night, you can really tell which ones are on their own little power trip (those are the ones that have it engrained in their natural personality) and finally for the male attendants, it is easy to tell the ones are sparkling clean with uniforms crisp in every detail and not a hair out of place. Sometimes you have to watch out for them because they can often be the power trippers.

Knowing in advance how to size the crew up, and how to treat their individual traits will make your flight and theirs a lot easier. A nice little trick that I often use is to have a pocket size voice recorder in my shirt pocket. I normally don't have to use it, but there are times when I run into a real obnoxious disturbed attendant, that I have recorded their insults and provided it to the airline. You can't imagine how many free trips that you can get with a small $30 device.

RigthTurnClyde   October 26th, 2010 11:18 am ET

I have no love for airlines and I will avoid flying (and drive or take the train), but why would they hired this fellow back? That chute incident exhibited an unstable side to that guy that does not belong inside an airplane. We all understood the frustration but .. he needs to look someplace else for work (and on the track record he created). ... and now he realizes unemployment is actually about 20% and its not so easy to find a job. A flight attendant didn't learn anything other than being a waiter ... so that's probably where he ought to look. (actually that could be good money in NYC)

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