Flight Attendant Arrested After Exiting Plane Via Emergency Slide


JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater made a dramatic exit from a flight he was working at Kennedy Airport today shortly after it landed, City Room reports:

Slater2  "One passenger got out of his seat to fetch his belongings from the overhead compartment before the crew had given permission. Mr. Slater instructed the man to remain seated. The passenger defied him. Mr. Slater approached and reached the passenger just as he pulled down his luggage, which struck Mr. Slater in the head. Mr. Slater asked for an apology. The passenger instead cursed at him. Mr. Slater got on the plane’s public address system and cursed out all aboard. Then he activated the inflatable evacuation slide at service exit R1, launched himself off the plane, an Embraer 190, ran to the employee parking lot and left the airport in a car he had parked there.

In a statement, JetBlue said it was working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to investigate the incident."

CBS: "Aviation sources said Slater got on the plane’s public address system and yelled:
'To the passenger who called me a (expletive), (expletive) you. I’ve been in the business 28 years. I’ve had it. That’s it.'"

Slater, 39, was arrested in Queens and charged with reckless endangerment and criminal mischief. He could get seven years if convicted of the charges.

UPDATE: He grabbed two beers from the galley before he left.


  1. says

    What fuckin baby. Though this story is rather epic LOL. However, even with customer service in place, the airline does need to back up its employees and give a statement that tells people that they do need to do what flight attendants tell them to do. If the flight attendant didn’t act like such drama queen, the customer might have been arrested for suspicious activity.

  2. Chris says

    Rule #1. Flight attendants are the law on-board an aircraft. Defy them, and you, the passenger, risk arrest. Slater obviously forgot this and performed a hissy-fit-erectomy on his own brain instead of simply calling for assistance from his fellow attendants. What a way to ruin your life. I hope the troglodyte who needed his carry-on is happy.

  3. DavidW says

    Sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.
    And to the holier than thou commentators here….suck up the political correctness sometimes and have a bit of fun in life..no one was endangered, no one died and I’m sure the passengers will tell this story at many a dinner table for years to come.

  4. Lexxvs says

    Well, the guy had his insanity moment. Not a big deal, he didn’t hurt anyone, he just lost his temper. Sadly he won’t be flying again, not as an attendant that is. Someone who can’t stay calmed even when faced with fuckers can not be in charge of dealing with passengers.
    I wouldn’t be that harsh on him, there are way more crazy people out there.

  5. A. Beaverhausen says

    flight·y (adjective)
    a. Given to capricious or unstable behavior.
    b. Characterized by irresponsible or silly behavior.
    2. Easily excited; skittish.

  6. Denis says

    Being a flight attendant is probably #1 on my list of Jobs I Would Hate. Being stuck in a tiny tube with obnoxious morons and shrieking kids day after endless day, is my idea of hell. I’d totally have a breakdown too.

  7. RobbyRob says

    I have to say, if I were a flight attendant, and a passenger on my plane willfully disobeyed a direct order, then hit me in the head with his luggage, then cursed at me instead of apologized, I honestly think I’d beat the living crap out of him. In my view, Slater took the high road.

  8. arch says

    love this story, we are like machines in the modern world, our grandparents lived the perfect lives; free spirits to explore a modern world just starting to emerge. We on the other hand are blase about the wonder of the modern world at the same time as lacking the balls to be independent humans.

    My great aunt told me a story about arguing with Churchill at his bunker in London where she worked as a lowly private operating the security door at the age of 19. She had a stand up row with him when he came back drunk one evening during the blitz in 1940 and he sent her to Alexandria for the duration of the war – which she loved. She later married a chinese man who had escaped china in the 1930s to make a new life in Canada.

    Our generation has no balls or spirt we will waste our life wondering which colour to have our i fucking phone

    so i say well done airline man attendant person. ! you have balls and fuck them all and their rules !

  9. Bill says

    Haterosexual males are the biggest troublemakers in the world by lightyears. You all know the male that started this situation is haterosexual. I would not want to be a flight attendant because of hatersexuals’ poor manners, violent tendencies and entitlement.

  10. jakeinlove says

    Geez. I would expect Jack McFarland to do something like that on Will & Grace. Not an actual adult from Jet Blue. Then again, it is Jet Blue so….carry on.

  11. says

    Arch I am with you 100%; I currently have a boss that I whenever around work in a few catch phrases that goes over her bloated head and body. We are far too pacified and do not have any FIRM legs to stand on. We have taken the Jerry Springer approach to disagreement and it has reduced many peoples brain and will power.

  12. says

    I sympathize, girlfriend! When you gotta go, you gotta go.

    There’s many situations in life where I would have hopped on an inflatable evacuation slide if only there’d been one nearby. And imagine dealing with a-holes on a plane day after day . . . it’s only surprising you don’t read about this happening more often.

  13. stranded says

    I’m no expert about flight attendants, but I knew a guy once who worked as one, and he had to live on food stamps to survive on his meager salary. Mr. Slater seems to have exited his job with a flair. I’m sure we’ve all fantasized about quitting our jobs in dramatic fashion. Maybe there’s a new market for inflatable slides.

  14. TANK says

    It’s not just flight attendants who have to live on food stamps and plasma donations to subsidize their lives…it’s pilots, too…pilots who make sixteen thousand dollars a year…which means the people who you want flying your planes aren’t interested.

  15. anon says

    It all comes down to the inherent authority of flight attendants to declare an emergency. The charges might get dismissed simply because the courts won’t want to second guess flight crews all the time. I’m sure he didn’t follow procedure, so the FAA and JetBlue probably have another case against him on an administrative level.

  16. Grant says

    As a former flight attendant I can certainly understand his going “commercial.” I was based out of NYC and used to do LGA to West Palm alot…poor guy…but it must have felt great for a few minutes!

  17. TANK says

    ASDF: Ummmm, nope. The female copilot on the plane that crashed in buffalo NY made only $16k per year. Provided, it was a regional airline, but the pay cuts for pilots are actually big news that you’re clearly oblivious to…but let me educate you and alleviate you of your extreme ignorance with sully sullenberger’s (you probably don’t even know who he is…you turnip) testimony in front of the house subcommittee on aviation of the transportation and infrastructure committee.

    “while I love my profession, I do not like what has happened to it. I would not be doing my duty if I did not report to you that I’m deeply troubled about its future. Americans have been experiencing huge economic difficulties in recent months, but airline employees have been experiencing those challenges and more for eight years. We’ve been hit by an economic tsunami. September 11th, bankrupcties, fluctuating fuel prices, mergers, loss of pensions and revolving-door management teams who have used airlines employees as an ATM have left the people who work for the airlines in the United States with extreme economic difficulties. It is an incredible testament to the collective character, professionalism and dedication of my colleagues in the industry that they are still able to function at such a high level.

    It is my personal experience that my decision to remain in the profession I love has come at a great financial cost to me and to my family. My pay has been cut 40 percent. My pension, like most airline pensions, has been terminated and replaced by a PBGC guarantee worth only pennies to the dollar. While airline pilots are by no means alone in our financial struggles — I want to acknowledge how difficult it is for everyone right now — it is important to underscore that the terms of our employment have changed dramatically from when I began my career, leading to an untenable financial situation for pilots and their families. When my company offered pilots who had been laid off the chance to return to work, 60 percent refused. Members, I attempt to speak accurately and plainly, so please do not think I exaggerate when I say that I do not know a single professional airline pilot who wants his or her children to follow in their footsteps.

    I am worried that the airline piloting profession will not be able to continue to attract the best and the brightest. The current experience and skills of our country’s professional airline pilots come from investments made years ago, when we were able to attract the ambitious, talented people who now frequently seek professional careers elsewhere. That past investment was an indispensable element in our commercial aviation infrastructure, vital to safe air travel and our country’s economy and security. If we do not sufficiently value the airline piloting profession and future pilots are less experienced and less skilled, it logically follows that we will see negative consequences to the flying public and to our country.

    We face remarkable challenges in our industry. In order to ensure economic security and an uncompromising approach to passenger safety, management must work with labor to bargain in good faith, we must find collective solutions that address the huge economic issues we face in recruiting and retaining the experienced and highly skilled professionals that the industry requires and that passenger safety demands. But, further, we must develop and sustain an environment in every airline and aviation organanization, a culture that balances the competing needs of accountability and learning. We must create and maintain the trust that is the absolutely essential element of a successful and sustainable safety reporting system ;to detect and correct deficiencies before they lead to an accident. We must not let the economic and financial pressures detract from a focus on constantly improving our safety measures and engaging in ongoing and comprehensive training. In aviation, the bottom line is that the single most important piece of safety equipment is an experienced, well-trained pilot …

  18. dattexas says

    Am I missing something? Those flight attendants are worked into the ground. The fact that more don’t absolutely lose it is surprising. It was unprofessional conduct, but you have no idea what was really going on.

  19. Disgusted American says

    as another commentator stated…he didn’t harm anyone but himself,and maybe in a way – got self-satifaction in knowing he went out the way he wanted..told them all to fuck off.
    Sometimes you just do have a day where you’ve had it! Especially in that business.

  20. asdf says

    I am quite aware of the financial hardships facing the airline industry. That doesn’t negate the fact that your original comment, which attempted to suggest that pilots in general make a paltry sixteen grand, is unequivocally false.

    And copy/pasting a bunch of keyboard diarrhea that you googled does not make you seem any smarter. Nice try though, asshole.

  21. David says

    Reporter : What kind of plane is it? Johnny : Oh its a big pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the window and wheels. It looks like a big tylenol.

  22. john says

    poor dude, sounds like he was pushed too far this time, and he’s probably been putting up with shitty passengers for a long time too….hopefully he can work this out. poor guy, he probably feels stupid about it all too, but we can all go that extra step too far when our buttons get pushed.

  23. SeaMonster says

    I fucking LOVE this story! After working in customer service during my college days, I can totally appreciate where this guy is coming from. People can be assholes and after 28 years of dealing with it, he had enough… good for him! And to all you bitchy queens out there, you know you would have a total meltdown if the same happened to you!

  24. Mark says

    I remember how furious I was reading of Courtney Love’s trans-atlantic flight from LA to London in 1st class on Virgin Airlines. Apparently she was drunk and disorderly and assaulting flight attendants and by the time the flight got there the British police were there to meet her at the airport. So who’s she partying with in London that same night? The founder of the airline.

  25. Mark in ATL says

    The best part is, apart from such a LEGENDARY exit, is that he got arrested while boning his “partner!”

    Quit your job in the face of violence, grab two beers and slide down an emergency exit, then go home and get arrest while fucking your boyfriend.

    Best day ever!!

  26. ATLJason says

    ASDF (and others)…

    Forget everything you’ve heard in the media about rich pilots. Yeah, the guys who work at Delta and American make a good salary (although even their first year guys only start at about $35 grand) but you know how long it takes to get there? Most guys don’t make it until their late 30’s or early 40’s after YEARS of gutting around in the regional airlines for food stamp wages.

    I’m not a big fan of Tank’s on here but he’s spot on about this one. I was a pilot for 8 years and topped out at $45 grand before I decided to switch to something else. In the beginning it was less than $30…and I was actually one of the lucky ones! First year co-pilot pay at most regionals is less than $20K/year.

    And whoever quoted the link about “average pilot pay” that they found online…please. “The internet” tells me that flight INSTRUCTORS make $60/grand per year and I’ve never known one that could pull in more than $30 TOPS. Those “average” number (for any profession!) are a bunch of crap.

    Get a fuckin’ clue before you start posting about shit you don’t know anything about. I’ve got an airline transport pilot license, a flight instructor license, and 4000 hours of flight time. What do you have that makes you an expert on this subject?

  27. ken says

    I cannot be the only one who caught that he says he’s 39 and says he’s been in the biz for 28 years. That would make him 11 when the diva fits started… y’all are usually much faster on the uptake…slow night on Towleroad…?

  28. asdf says

    Thanks for the info, Jason. But Tank’s still wrong (per usual). Forty-five, thirty-five, even thirty grand is a far cry from the preposterous sixteen grand he quoted as standard pilot pay.

  29. TANK says

    No, I’m not wrong…and you’ve had someone who was actually a pilot tell you that I’m not wrong. I didn’t say that the average was sixteen grand–whatever you think I “implied”…regional airline pilots do pull in less than 20K. Look, either you’re a shill for corporate airlines, or you’re a fool. Which is it?

  30. MajorTom says

    Jet Blue ought to consider itself lucky the guy didn’t have access to an ejector seat. Seriously though, while I appreciate the guy’s sense of theater, I don’t think you can just roll those emergency ramps back up and stuff them back into the plane. I would bet they’re like the air bags in cars which, once deployed, cost a bundle to put back. If I’m correct, Queen Hissy Fit will likely get the book thrown at him.

  31. Randy says

    I just find this awesome. He’s like a superhero. Sometimes people need to be told, and airline passengers can often be among the worst.

    If they try to charge him, I’m certain that hit on the head will be brought up in his defence that he wasn’t thinking properly.

    But I wish I could have been there. Awesome.

  32. Bear says

    Being an airline-steward is one of the worst jobs imaginable. Airline passengers are the worst passengers of transportation. After years of belligerent passengers with their rudeness and constant shoving to be first I’m not surprised he did not do more than exit the plane. Most airline-stewards leave the job after only a few years, the turnover is very high. The primary reason for leaving is the passengers.

    The person who did not follow instructions and return to his seat should be arrested. He should also be charged with; endangering the flight operations, endangerment to fellow passengers, failure to follow authorized instructions, assault on an official, and several other charges.

    I was on an overseas flight and encountered a similar situation with a fellow passenger. The frustrated airline-steward could do little to the belligerent passenger. However, as a passenger myself I could do something. What I did was to take the mans bag and throw it on the floor and then I took his lap-top out of the overhead compartment and shoved it under the center seats. When he started to yell at me and came close to me I merely told him, “Please, touch me so that I can legally kill you.” He was so shocked at my calm and direct statement he froze in place. Then slowly he turned and returned to his center isle seat.

    Too many times these obnoxious passengers have bullied the air-stewards because they know there is little they can really do to maintain order in the flight. It is up to the other passengers to support the air-stewards so that everyone can have a pleasant flight. Being in a rush to off board solves nothing. You still have to wait for; luggage, customs and other operation procedures. Many times I have been the last to leave the aircraft and have been among the first to leave the airport. By being patient and allowing the airline employees to do their jobs everything works out smoother and faster.

    It is because of the rudeness of the passengers on air-lines that I now travel by train. I have even taken the bus at times. (though I hate busses because of the uncomfortable seating and tiny, smelly bathrooms) The railroads are clean and I find the other passengers to be much nicer, and honest when talking. This goes for rail in Europe, China, Canada, Australia and in America. I’ve ridden them all. When the train I was on had a wreck all we felt as passengers was a small bump. Then we smelled the brakes. A few people who were standing at the time fell and only one person was hurt. (scratched – no medical attention needed) At another instance several cars left the tracks and turned onto their sides. The railroad was in constant contact with local authorities and medical attention was there within a few minutes. A local High-School was set up as a treatment center with the worst injured air-lifted to Hospitals. The railroad brought in cots, blankets and food for everyone. Within hours those passengers that did not require special attention were on their way. The passengers all followed direction by the rail-car-stewards who were friendly yet direct. Everyone was happy in spite of the bad experience. No passengers were killed and only three required a hospital stay. Those three were sent home in less than a week. A very bad situation was handled well because of the passengers who all helped each other and followed directions. Never would that happen on an air-line where passengers are all for themselves only, rude and obnoxious belligerent fools.

  33. CCGuy says

    I can’t believe noone else has yet to comment on the fact that he’s been in the business for 28 years (or so it’s been quoted) and he’s 39! So he started at 11?????? Although I totally support the hissy fit, I hate people on planes who can’t follow a simple procedure.

  34. seb says

    After 5 years spent working for an american airline I totally understand. Americans are so obnoxious and they think they own the airline! Good for him!

  35. says

    The New York Daily News is reporting this morning, that when Port Authority police went to Slater’s home to arrest him, he was found in bed, having sex with his boyfriend. My question is, what earthly reason would there be, to let the public know that? It’s not relevant to the story, and if Slater were in the closet, how does publicly outing him like that contribute to the original story?

    If Slater were straight, would the NYDN have reported that he was having sex with his girlfriend? Probably not. The PAPD probably announced to all at a press conference, that Slater was having gay sex, to show how Slater is “sick” and “perverted”. It makes the story amount to Slater having a “gay hissy fit”, when the real issue here is the constant workplace abuse flight crews endure from the flying public, which treats FA’s like subhuman slaves.

  36. asdf says

    No, Tank, you WERE wrong. And you DID imply that all pilots make sixteen grand… “the people flying your planes” would indicate all pilots, not just the 1 example you’ve been able to find using your exquisite googling prowess (the only skill you posses).

    But your self-esteem is so low that when finally called out on your bullshit, you throw a tantrum like a spoiled child. Keep whining. It’s not gonna make you any less ugly.

  37. MichaelJ says

    There should be a three-strikes rule against passengers who are disobedient — after two warnings, they should be put on the no-fly list. Passengers who are violent and/or truly jeopardizing the safety of others should be arrested on the spot. This of course should apply to drunken rock stars and other celebs.
    Whatever happens to Slater, the airline should, as someone already wrote above, issue a statement in support of employees who do their job in enforcing regulations and reminding passengers that they need to respect their employees and their authority on the plane.

  38. SCV Malcolm says

    ABC NEWS at 11PM last night in CA showed him in handcuffs after he was arrested getting into a police van with another man in handcuffs proceeding him into the van.

    What gives with 2 men being arrested at his apartment???

  39. Joseph Frazier says

    He is 39 and claims to have been doing this job for 28 years…….how old was he when he started? 11? Another stretch of the truth by a bitter queen. I can just imagine what the real story of what happened was…..you know how we tend to exaggerate….and I do mean “WE”.

Leave A Reply