Several Said He Was Rude For The Entire Flight
It's one thing to make a dramatic
exit from one's job, but as more people come forward, evidence is
emerging that Steven Slater's now-famous slide to unemployment
might have been as much his own fault as that of any passenger
on the plane.
Some passengers on the JetBlue flight from Pittsburgh to New
York last Monday are saying that Slater was the instigator of the
confrontation that led to his announcement he was quitting over the
aircraft PA, after which he activated an emergency slide and
exiting the airplane in dramatic fashion. Slater was later arrested
on a variety of charges stemming from the incident.
The Wall Street Journal reports that one passenger said
Slater got into a "heated argument" over another passenger's
luggage. She said that the young woman asked the flight attendant
where her luggage had been stowed, at which point the conversation
turned ugly and Slater blurted an expletive at the passenger.
Another said she had asked Slater for something to clean up
coffee which had been spilled in her seat, to which Slater
allegedly said "No. Maybe when we get in the air. I have to take
care of myself first, honey." The passenger said Slater was
pointing to what has been described as a sizable cut on his
That passenger said the coffee was not dealt with, and that
Slater spent a good deal of the flights opening and slamming
overhead bins and refrigerator doors.
The confrontation which led to Slater's taking over the
airplane's PA system, swearing at the passengers, and leaving the
plane via the plane's emergency chute was not witnessed by all of
the passengers. One said she was not aware of the ending of the
drama until she saw it on the news later that night.
Meanwhile, the paper reports that JetBlue is being investigated
for its failure to report that the slide had been activated for
about 25 minutes after the incident occurred. There was also
reportedly a delay in handing over the flight manifest. JetBlue
spokesman Steve Stampley said "We are participating and cooperating
fully in the investigation.
Slater has pleaded not guilty to charges of trespassing,
reckless endangerment, and criminal mischief.
For its part, JetBlue posted the following on its blog:
"Perhaps you heard a little story about one of our flight
attendants? While we can't discuss the details of what is an
ongoing investigation, plenty of others have already formed
opinions on the matter. Like, the entire Internet. (The reason
we're not commenting is that we respect the privacy of the
individual. People can speak on their own behalf; we won't do it
"While this episode may feed your inner Office Space, we just
want to take this space to recognize our 2,100 fantastic, awesome
and professional Inflight Crewmembers for delivering the JetBlue
Experience you've come to expect of us."