Awesome: Fed up JetBlue flight attendant curses out passengers, quits — then pops emergency chute and flees

posted at 6:18 pm on August 9, 2010 by Allahpundit

Via Mediaite. Actually, my headline’s wrong: He grabbed a couple of beers, then popped the chute and fled. Which, simultaneously, makes him (a) the greatest airline-related folk hero since D.B. Cooper and (b) the inspiration for what’s sure to be Will Ferrell’s next movie.

On a busy news day, we wouldn’t have time to cover something this stupidly awesome. Give thanks, my friends.

JetBlue Flight 1052 from Pittsburgh had taxied to a stop at Terminal 5, Gate C around noon Monday when flight attendant Steven Slater, 38, was struck in the head with luggage that a passenger was trying to unload from an overhead compartment, according to an airport official with knowledge of the incident.

Slater demanded an apology from the passenger, the official said, but the passenger refused. The two argued before the passenger told Slater to “f— off”, the official said. The official said that Slater then got on the plane’s PA system and directed that same obscenity at all the passengers and added that he especially meant it for the man who refused to apologize.

Slater is alleged to have then activated the plane’s inflatable emergency slide, grabbed two beers from the galley, then slid down the chute, the official said.

The attendant then ran from the tarmac into the terminal, the official said. He made his way to his car and drove to his residence in Belle Harbor, Queens, the official said.

If you’re the praying type, pray that someone took cell-phone video. The alleged transcript:

“To the passenger who called me a m—-f—er, f—- you,” flight attendant Steven Slater ranted over the intercom, passengers said.

“I’ve been in the business 28 years. I’ve had it. That’s it.”

After activating the emergency exit and sliding down to the tarmac, Slater returned to pick up his bag and rode the AirTrain to his car parked the the JetBlue lot, cops said.

In the movie, Slater/Ferrell will slide off the chute — and directly into Katherine Heigl, in classic meet-cute fashion. He’ll become an instant celebrity, famous across America for his Howard Beale-esque display of mad dignity in the face of recession-fueled chaos. But as time wears on, the fame will go to his head, ruining the everyman who struck a blow for the little guy by popping a beer — and the escape chute! — that fateful day on the tarmac. Can the Love Of A Good Woman save his soul and restore him to the lovably humble lunatic we knew at the beginning of the film? Why … yes, assuredly it can. Exit quotation: “Sources said the steward was ‘having a bad day.’”

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I do it without even thinking about it.

swash_plate on August 9, 2010 at 7:07 PM

I often do it even when it’s not my fault. It’s reflexive.

Esthier on August 9, 2010 at 7:13 PM

Future GOProud President.

txag92 on August 9, 2010 at 7:13 PM

portlandon on August 9, 2010 at 6:25 PM

He can’t subtract. That makes him qualified for BO’s economic team….I hear Mr Slater is looking for employment.

jbh45 on August 9, 2010 at 7:14 PM

My brother LOVES JetBlue… Now I see why…

Khun Joe on August 9, 2010 at 7:19 PM

For cussing and inflating a slide? Guess you’ve never worked in the service industry.

Esthier on August 9, 2010 at 7:12 PM

“The attendant was arrested at his nearby home about a half an hour later by Port Authority police.

Steven Slater, 38, of the Belle Harbor section of Queens, N.Y., has been charged with criminal mischief and reckless endangerment, according to a spokeswoman for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which runs the New York-area airports. The case is still being investigated but will be referred to the Queens District Attorney’s office.”

The passengers would have had to be put on different flights and the plane will most likely need a new emergency chute.

cynccook on August 9, 2010 at 7:21 PM

Just because “the customer is always right” doesnt give license for them to participate in douchbaggery

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on August 9, 2010 at 7:24 PM

cynccook on August 9, 2010 at 7:21 PM

Yeah, I read all of that already. But, there would be no reason to get on a new plane. These people were leaving anyway. And you just seem to be guessing on the chute unless you have some proof that it’s no different than an airbag.

But really, that’s the worst of it, opening an emergency slide.

Sorry, but I’m just not seeing what’s so horrible there.

Esthier on August 9, 2010 at 7:25 PM

As a former TWA flight attendant of the non-gay variety, I can tell you that the odds are very good that he is, in fact, gay and very likely what we called a “cabin queen”. In fact I wouldn’t be surpised if I knew him. I wonder if he was Scottish …NTTAWWT….
Of course there were times that we all wanted to just crush some of the jokers we had to deal with, especially the ones that assumed we were all gay, smirked and called us “deary” or something like that.

TBinSTL on August 9, 2010 at 7:29 PM

Oh I love it. What a drama queen.

mjk on August 9, 2010 at 7:30 PM

As humorous as this story is; is it that much of hit to ones pride to say, “I’m sorry” or “Excuse me” when you bump into someone or whack them in the head with your luggage? I do it without even thinking about it.

swash_plate on August 9, 2010 at 7:07 PM

swash_plate: No kidding,even if I think I bumped into
somebody,I would of automatically apologized!

canopfor on August 9, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Esthier on August 9, 2010 at 7:25 PM

I suspect the chute would have to be re-inspected before take off so they would have to take the plane out of service.

sharrukin on August 9, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Actually, deploying that slide probably took the plane out of service for more than a day and cost the airline 150k just for the replacement….you can’t just shove them back in place.

TBinSTL on August 9, 2010 at 7:32 PM

Repeal DADT, huh?

BKeyser on August 9, 2010 at 7:32 PM

I suspect the chute would have to be re-inspected before take off so they would have to take the plane out of service.

sharrukin on August 9, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Probably but I assume they have contingency plans when a plane cannot make the next flighted it’s scheduled to take. Surely things happen on a regular basis without maleficence that cause planes to be taken out of service temporarily.

Esthier on August 9, 2010 at 7:33 PM

As humorous as this story is; is it that much of hit to ones pride to say, “I’m sorry” or “Excuse me” when you bump into someone or whack them in the head with your luggage? I do it without even thinking about it.

swash_plate on August 9, 2010 at 7:07 PM

Well, we don’t know who ignited the confrontation.

When people ‘get into it’ what started off as something small becomes the end of the world, and the next thing you know you’re sliding down an escape chute with two beers in hand!

sharrukin on August 9, 2010 at 7:33 PM

Surely things happen on a regular basis without maleficence that cause planes to be taken out of service temporarily.

Esthier on August 9, 2010 at 7:33 PM

Sure, but it sends the wrong signal to just let him walk. I think they need to deal with troublesome passengers firmly, and by the same token, this guy should have the book thrown at him, the same way a passenger would.

sharrukin on August 9, 2010 at 7:36 PM

For cussing and inflating a slide? Guess you’ve never worked in the service industry.

Esthier on August 9, 2010 at 7:12 PM

Flight attendants aren’t waitresses, Esthier. They are, as I said before, highly trained safety personnel who should be able to handle it when someone calls them a name. I don’t expect miracles, but I do think the traveling public should be able to expect that a flight attendant’s “bad day” doesn’t result in something that endangers the passengers and other airline employees (like inflating the emergency slide on the tarmac).

Infidoll on August 9, 2010 at 7:45 PM

That’s a pretty big hissy fit.

BowHuntingTexas on August 9, 2010 at 7:45 PM

OMG – this story made my day!

The only better news story this summer will be if one of Pelosi’s aides “pops the emergency chute” during the upcoming special House session. Does she keep beer in her office or is it syringes of Botox?

gopmom on August 9, 2010 at 7:45 PM

In the movie, Slater/Ferrell will slide off the chute — and directly into Katherine Heigl

um…. there is something you must not know about male flight attendants…

Do you not fly much AP?

Ampersand on August 9, 2010 at 7:47 PM

What happened to the passenger? What, no arrests for aggression, or assault, violate federal rule that states to not get up till the plane comes to a complete stop?

Where’s the flight marshall? Are they still around or just scattered?

ProudPalinFan on August 9, 2010 at 7:50 PM

@ Ampersand on August 9, 2010 at 7:47 PM

Apparently he did not see the “was arrested when found in a sexual embrace with his partner” exit quotation.

gopmom on August 9, 2010 at 7:50 PM

Just curious: who says M—– F—–?

OldEnglish on August 9, 2010 at 7:55 PM

“I’ve been in the business 28 years. I’ve had it. That’s it.”
flight attendant Steven Slater, 38,

So he’s been a flight attendant since he was….10?

portlandon on August 9, 2010 at 6:25 PM

He meant slides.

exception on August 9, 2010 at 7:57 PM

I don’t know if there is something wrong with me but… my first reaction is just to HATE the passenger! You know he was d-bag. Probably one of those asshat business men who are loud and always think they are the most important person on the plane. If you flying commercial your not so important you can’t wait a few minutes to get your crap.

He was probably one of those people who has to be told over and over to get off the phone.

Ampersand on August 9, 2010 at 7:57 PM

Just curious: who says M—– F—–?

OldEnglish on August 9, 2010 at 7:55 PM

Maybe it was something like this?

NSFW

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_mDTLphIVY

sharrukin on August 9, 2010 at 7:58 PM

sharrukin on August 9, 2010 at 7:58 PM

Thanks, I’m getting the picture now.

OldEnglish on August 9, 2010 at 8:01 PM

Slater was later arrested at his home in Belle Harbor, Queens by Port Authority officials. He was found by police in a sexual embrace with his partner, sources said.

I do not want to be judgmental, but the mean things said about the Prop 8 judge must have prompted this.

Mr. Joe on August 9, 2010 at 8:03 PM

Esthier on August 9, 2010 at 7:25 PM

http://gothamist.com/2009/03/31/man_attempts_daring_escape_during_l.php

cynccook on August 9, 2010 at 8:05 PM

was struck in the head with luggage that a passenger was trying to unload from an overhead compartment, according to an airport official with knowledge of the incident.
Slater demanded an apology from the passenger, the official said, but the passenger refused. The two argued before the passenger told Slater to “f— off”, the official said.

So what was Schumer doing flying in from Pittsburgh?

Actually, deploying that slide probably took the plane out of service for more than a day and cost the airline 150k just for the replacement….you can’t just shove them back in place.

TBinSTL on August 9, 2010 at 7:32 PM

It may even be more than that. I was told it costs $150K to repack the KC-135 slide (which is not integral to the aircraft). I also thought blowing the slide, no pun intended, was a felony offense.

cobrakai99 on August 9, 2010 at 8:09 PM

And did he make his “bad day” any better?

Cindy Munford on August 9, 2010 at 8:10 PM

Slater was later arrested at his home in Belle Harbor, Queens by Port Authority officials. He was found by police in a sexual embrace with his partner, sources said.

I do not want to be judgmental, but the mean things said about the Prop 8 judge must have prompted this.

It must be Bush’s fault.

Mr. Joe on August 9, 2010 at 8:10 PM

“For those of you out there wondering how much of a hassle it is to repack the emergency slide, Gadling’s resident flight attendant Heather Poole says it is a huge expense for an airline, which has to take the plane out of service. “It doesn’t get fixed quick, that’s for sure,” she says.”

I guess that’s why I said that, Esthier.

cynccook on August 9, 2010 at 8:14 PM

Reason 1,969 that there should not be male stewardesses.

TinMan13 on August 9, 2010 at 8:15 PM

I can only imagine the bitchy rant this guy laid on to the passengers for messing up his ‘do. I wonder if he used his jazz hands to emote while on the PA and if he looked like Greg Louganis when he made such a daring exit…./

ted c on August 9, 2010 at 8:18 PM

Not to harp on this, but am I the only one here who finds the image of “found by police in a sexual embrace with his partner” to be….arresting?

How do you “Find (someone) in a sexual embrace?” Did the cops break the door down? Did he answer the door while his friend was, uh, tailgating?

“Awright, we know you’re in there. Come out with your, uh…”

warbaby on August 9, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Reason 1,969 that there should not be male stewardesses.

TinMan13 on August 9, 2010 at 8:15 PM

I only need two – legs.

OldEnglish on August 9, 2010 at 8:23 PM

So what was Schumer doing flying in from Pittsburgh?

cobrakai99 on August 9, 2010 at 8:09 PM

If you read the NBC article it clearly says

The argument began when one of the 100 passengers on the flight, got up early to get her luggage from an overhead compartment, according to sources. Slater told the passenger to sit back down — but, as he approached, the woman continued to pull her belongings down and struck him in the head with her bag, authorities said.

Slater asked for an apology but the woman cursed him out, saying in effect “go f–k yourself” and calling him a “mo-fo,” [mother f*(ker] according to law enforcement sources who are still sorting out the specifics. Then Slater got on the flight’s announcement system and allegedly cursed out everyone on the plane — especially the person who mouthed off to him, according to law enforcement sources.

SgtSVJones on August 9, 2010 at 8:23 PM

So was the passenger Pete Stark?

GnuBreed on August 9, 2010 at 8:26 PM

SgtSVJones on August 9, 2010 at 8:23 PM

It was an indirect reference to this incident. Maybe Schumer is pulling the drag queen look now. Schumer is that person on the plane. This lady is not much better.

cobrakai99 on August 9, 2010 at 8:40 PM

One reason this story resonates with all of us is that it’s a perfect metaphor for what’s going on in America just now.

The plane represents Obama’s socialist utopia that we’re all locked away inside of.

The rude passenger who provoked the steward represents the faceless bureaucracy that seeks to boss us around (go ahead, pick your fav: ObamaHealthcare Dept., ObamaEnviro Agency, ObamaWallStreet Oversight Division…)

The steward escaping out the hatch and down the chute represents us, busting free beginning this November and afterward.

FlameWarrior on August 9, 2010 at 8:40 PM

The only thing a jury will ever convict this man of is awesomeness in the first degree.

Chuck Schick on August 9, 2010 at 8:47 PM

The rude passenger who provoked the steward represents the faceless bureaucracy that seeks to boss us around (go ahead, pick your fav: ObamaHealthcare Dept., ObamaEnviro Agency, ObamaWallStreet Oversight Division…)

FlameWarrior on August 9, 2010 at 8:40 PM

Ummm, I have an inkling suspicion that the rude, “m-fer” cursing passenger more likely represents the entitlement class that is hijacking our economy and causing the rest of the passengers (i.e. taxpayers) to pay for her self-centeredness (higher and higher taxes).

cynccook on August 9, 2010 at 8:48 PM

That’s gotta be one of the BEST job exits ever!

I’m telling ya, as one who years ago finally said “F-It” and pulled something like this in a lower-level chump-change job I was just fed up with, this guy will be famous for life!

Long Live Steven Slater!!!!

cane_loader on August 9, 2010 at 9:09 PM

warbaby on August 9, 2010 at 8:22 PM

That had to be one of the funniest comments here.

onlineanalyst on August 9, 2010 at 9:16 PM

Just read the fine print of the statement from JetBlue:

“He is being charged with 2nd-and 4th-degree criminal mischief, 1st- and 2nd-degree reckless endangerment and criminal trespass in the 3rd degree, according to a spokeswoman for Queens DA Richard Brown. Slater faces up to 7 years in prison if convicted.

No one was injured in the incident. JetBlue, in a statement, added, “At no time was the security or safety of our customers or crewmembers at risk.”

—————–

So if no one was ever at risk, taken from the airline’s statement, no way can he do more than 30 days.

Maybe financial restitution – but if no one was at risk, freely admitted by the injured party, you don’t put someone who, yes, had a bad day – in prison for 7 years.

Case closed.

Plus, to cover his own butt, he damn well better sue the passenger who defied the rules and started pulling down the luggage while the plane was moving, hit him in the head, and told him to f-off.

Civil suit – big-time. I’d take the case pro bono in a heartbeat!

cane_loader on August 9, 2010 at 9:22 PM

“I do think the traveling public should be able to expect that a flight attendant’s “bad day” doesn’t result in something that endangers the passengers and other airline employees (like inflating the emergency slide on the tarmac).

Infidoll on August 9, 2010 at 7:45 PM”

——–

Infidoll, dear, loosen up baby (in the immortal words John Riggins spake to Sandy O’Connor under the influence)

JetBlue says that no one was ever at risk. That’s an official statement, whether they like it or not.

Any corporate exec with half a lick of compassion says, “Hey, that was a good SPOT-CHECK of the emergency slide, Steve! Now we know our inspection regime works! Bud or Coors??”

cane_loader on August 9, 2010 at 9:28 PM

Cabin queen or not, jail time or not, you gotta respect a guy who has the stones to pull this one off.

CapitalistPig on August 9, 2010 at 9:32 PM

So, does the passenger work for our overlords on Wall Street?

Jeff2161 on August 9, 2010 at 9:34 PM

Delta says it intends to press charges against the man on the grounds that he obstructed the flight crew.

From the story you linked…

cynccook on August 9, 2010 at 8:14 PM

Jeff2161 on August 9, 2010 at 9:38 PM

Personally I’d like to buy Slater a drink.

Ampersand on August 9, 2010 at 9:41 PM

Delta says it intends to press charges against the man on the grounds that he obstructed the flight crew.

From the story you linked…
cynccook on August 9, 2010 at 8:14 PM

Jeff2161 on August 9, 2010 at 9:38 PM

Right, but that’s a different story than the flight attendant story. One happened in Guyana in 2008 involving a drunken passenger, the other happened in NYC today involving an upset flight attendant.

cynccook on August 9, 2010 at 9:53 PM

Will Ferrell

Steve Carell

portlandon on August 9, 2010 at 6:26 PM

Congressman Anthony Weiner

TN Mom on August 9, 2010 at 9:54 PM

Congressman Anthony Weiner

TN Mom on August 9, 2010 at 9:54 PM

Yeah, I could totally see him as a wee-wee’d up flight attendant launching an obscene tirade in public.

cynccook on August 9, 2010 at 10:03 PM

So a queer had a hissy fit and walked off the job. I don’t see what is so admirable about that.

keep the change on August 9, 2010 at 10:06 PM

So a queer had a hissy fit and walked off the job. I don’t see what is so admirable about that.

keep the change on August 9, 2010 at 10:06 PM

He also messed up the plane so that the next scheduled passengers had to be re-routed to other planes. He also cost the airline who employed him thousands of bucks to re-pack (or possibly replace) the inflatable slide.

Dang. We’re not fun, are we?

cynccook on August 9, 2010 at 10:09 PM

He also created an endless source of entertainment for the whole airline industry who will debate it and laugh and bitch for the whole next year on this, as some off-duty guys repack the slide for free.

cane_loader on August 9, 2010 at 10:19 PM

He also provided an endless source of insider airline industry entertainment that will have them laughing and grousing about passengers for a year and overall they will lift a glass to him as some off-duty guys repack the slide.

cane_loader on August 9, 2010 at 10:22 PM

If Gutfeld doesn’t hire this guy at the Allah Fun Pit he’s not paying attention….

warbaby on August 9, 2010 at 10:27 PM

Here’s a great link to check out – for those who don’t know, http://www.airliners.net is the premiere discussion place for aviation pilots & workers & enthusiasts.

So here’s a link to their “professional” thread on Slater the Slider! Good reading:

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/4893416/

cane_loader on August 9, 2010 at 10:34 PM

Please! Anyone but Will Ferrell. Obama’s even funnier.

NNtrancer on August 9, 2010 at 10:41 PM

Just curious: who says M—– F—–?

OldEnglish on August 9, 2010 at 7:55 PM

Samuel L. Jackson?

Merovign on August 9, 2010 at 11:08 PM

Looks like he picked a bad day to stop sniffing glue.

/Airplane!

CatchAll on August 9, 2010 at 11:11 PM

I just want to register my official sympathy for the flight attendant.

liberty0 on August 9, 2010 at 11:12 PM

Just curious: who says M—– F—–?

OldEnglish on August 9, 2010 at 7:55 PM

Samuel L. Jackson?

Merovign on August 9, 2010 at 11:08 PM

Lol, yes. But I was thinking in more general terms – if you get my drift.

OldEnglish on August 9, 2010 at 11:58 PM

He wasn’t pissed off, he was horny. You know how it is sometimes…

leftnomore on August 10, 2010 at 12:44 AM

Can the Love Of A Good Woman save his soul and restore him to the lovably humble lunatic we knew at the beginning of the film?

I don’t think that’s going to happen to with this guy.

Some people are just too obnoxious to deal with. At least he put the conceited dickhead in his place.

Cr4sh Dummy on August 10, 2010 at 2:18 AM

Wow. The Taiwanese animators need to get on this stat.

ThanksMo on August 10, 2010 at 3:34 AM

We need to have a new internet meme for this.

I think this speech

Combined with this.

Sometimes I wished I could edit video. It’d be my 15 minutes of fame….

Tim Burton on August 10, 2010 at 4:26 AM

I’ll Scratch Your Eyes Out

Kini on August 10, 2010 at 4:33 AM

Certainly he’ll be fired, but I really don’t get where the criminal part is.

Meanwhile, let’s plaster as many pics of this piece of trash passenger. It’s only fair.

MNHawk on August 10, 2010 at 7:10 AM

Somebody had the Monday’s…

right2bright on August 10, 2010 at 8:13 AM

Airline hero! I think grabbing beers was the coup de grace!

allstonian on August 10, 2010 at 8:50 AM

Good for him. That passenger is the same kind of person who has waitresses and waiters dancing around while they treat them like dirt. The few folks I’ve been with who play this game are usually the sorts who are somewhat powerless in their actual lives and take it out on those they know can’t or don’t fight back.

jeanie on August 10, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Wish the attendants wouldn’t use the phrase, ‘if you’ve reached your final destination’. Must be an inside joke. BTW, what brand of beer was it, since we’re so interested in the details of this story.

Kissmygrits on August 10, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Hmmmm.

Oh. My. God.

Even if it’s Ferrel that makes this movie I’ll go and watch.

memomachine on August 10, 2010 at 9:51 AM

He was rude to a customer, used the PA system to shout profanity, stolled alcohol, and probably caused all kinds of extra maintainence work by popping the slide.
How does this make him a hero?

Count to 10 on August 10, 2010 at 10:09 AM

this whole thing is AWESOME! That is all

texan_forever on August 10, 2010 at 10:10 AM

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