Posted by Mary Caraccioli | Filed under Lifestyle
By SAMANTHA BOMKAMP/ AP Airlines Writer
NEW YORK (AP) – A rogue JetBlue flight attendant’s explanation
that an uncooperative passenger caused him to melt down and slide
down a parked plane’s emergency chute may not hold water, the
airline says in an internal memo.
And even if it’s true, a bad day at work is no excuse for flight
attendant Steven Slater’s behavior, JetBlue says in the memo
obtained Friday by The Associated Press.
Slater went onto the public address system Monday on a plane at
New York’s Kennedy Airport after a JetBlue flight from Pittsburgh,
cursed out a passenger he said had treated him rudely, and then
slid off the plane.
He was arrested, charged with criminal mischief, reckless
endangerment and trespassing, and released on bail. Slater’s
attorney says a passenger’s “lack of civility” prompted his
JetBlue Chief Operating Officer Rob Maruster says in the memo
that the airline is still investigating, but that no one has yet
corroborated Slater’s version of events. In fact, JetBlue notes,
several passengers “have given interviews that tell a different
“If Mr. Slater’s story proves to be accurate, and even if there
was a precipitating event that motivated his behavior, that still
doesn’t excuse his actions,” Maruster wrote.
Slater has been hailed as a working-class hero on social
networking sites for the ultimate take-this-job-and-shove-it
The airline said “the most distressing aspect” of news
coverage is that the danger of deploying an emergency slide hasn’t
been taken seriously enough.
“Slides deploy extremely quickly, with enough force to kill a
person,” the letter to employees read. “Slides can be as
dangerous as a gun.”
Maruster added that the “episode does not reflect the
professional and sincere service you deliver to our customers every
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)