Home About This Week On Dr. Phil DrPhil.com
August 11th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Free Steven Slater? Or Send Him to Jail?

AP Photo/Louis Lanzano

AP Photo/Louis Lanzano

By now, you’ve no doubt heard all about Steven Slater, the JetBlue flight attendant who decided to quit his job after a female passenger allegedly cursed him and conked him over the head with a suitcase.

And boy, did he quit in a big way. First, it was reported that he cursed back over the plane’s public address system at the passenger, dropping several F-bombs. Then, after one last defiant declaration — (he reportedly yelled, “That’s it! I’m done! F*** you all!”) — he allegedly grabbed a cold beer from the galley, released the inflatable emergency exit slide, slid down and disappeared across the tarmac. 

Now, Slater’s the new Internet celebrity. He’s got his own fan page and an online support group that is called “Free Steven Slater.” For a lot of Americans who have long wanted to cry out, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore,” he’s become a genuine folk hero, a dramatic symbol of hope to working stiffs everywhere.

But he’s also been charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and criminal trespass. And JetBlue executives apparently want him brought to justice. According to a memo issued by Vicky Stennes, a JetBlue vice president, “Some media outlets are portraying yesterday’s event as a humorous example of what individuals may consider doing at a point in their careers — walking off the job in a very public fashion. However … deploying a slide is a forceful event and yesterday’s deployment endangered, and could have severely injured or even killed.”

Slater’s fans are furious, saying it’s not as if he opened the doors when the plane was in the air. All he was doing, they insist, was standing up for his own dignity. And hey, they add, he didn’t get violent and go postal on everyone. He just slid away into the night with a cold brewski in his hand.

Let’s agree to one thing: it’s not easy to be a flight attendant these days. Passengers regularly give them grief for things beyond their control, like flight cutbacks, smaller and smaller food offerings, and extra fees for everything from checked luggage to earphones.

But let’s also be honest about something else. Flight attendants are taught from the very beginning exactly what they’re going to face on flights. They know they’re going to be dealing with very rude passengers who do things like drink too much or demand that their carry-on bags be stored exactly a certain way in a particular compartment. If we had every flight attendant throwing a tantrum over the kind of lousy work he or she sometimes had to do, we’d never get another flight in the air. And what if a pilot pulled a Slater? Would we be laughing then?

Still, I’m not going to sit here and just wag my finger at Mr. Slater. Haven’t all of us, at some point in our lives, considered walking off our jobs, telling everyone to shove it? (As I’ve said many times, if you have never had a job that you fantasized about storming out on, you just haven’t been working long enough.) And doesn’t it seem a little unfair that the passenger who allegedly bonked the flight attendant with the suitcase gets to walk away scot free?

I want to know what you think. We seem to be living in a world were more and more people are acting ruder — and stupider — than ever before, and they are completely getting away with it. Should they, like the lady passenger, deserve a Slater-like response, in which we rip off the masks of social niceties, get in their faces and tell them where to stick it? And what would you have done if you were in Slater’s shoes? Would you have given up your career for just one more glorious moment of outrage?

I look forward to reading your responses. And, I confess, I wish Mr. Slater well. But I do wonder what’s going to happen to him in a couple of weeks when the Internet loses interest in his story. What happens after his 15 minutes of fame? This isn’t TV. There won’t be any closing credits and happily-ever-after music playing. If he doesn’t land a book deal, the guy’s going to have a lot of trouble finding another job. I sure hope he enjoyed that free beer.

Tags: , ,

115 Responses to “Free Steven Slater? Or Send Him to Jail?”

  1. terry says:

    put mr.flambouant in prison.what makes him so special that he can skirt the law!

  2. Kaitlyn says:

    I believe that the bump on the head and rude comments from the passenger were the last straw and he snapped. I think that the passenger should have been taken off the plane and at least reprimanded for their behaviour and I think that Steven Slater does NOT deserve jail time or a police record. He does deserve a suspension with counselling.

  3. Maggie says:

    I agree with everything that Kaitlyn just said! I think that most people that have ever worked with the public, can understand!! People are getting ruder, and nastier by the day. They have a sense of entitlment that never ceases to amaze me.

  4. Ajani says:

    I do not condone the behavior of the passenger. I do say that the media hype given to the flight attendant afterward is an increasing trend of our society rewarding bad behavior. Go to jail become famous is a very bad trend.

  5. Sarah B says:

    Dr. Phil,

    It is true in today’s world people are getting more rude, but that does not warrant someone who works in the customer service profession to be rude back. I have worked in customer service since I was 15-from a summer program in a doctor’s office to now (a high school teacher) and working with people is just part of the job.

    Working in customer service is one of the hardest jobs in the business, but rewarding bad behavior for a customer service rep is not a good thing. The main point in customer service is “The customer is ALWAYS right”. Maybe Mr. Slater had a bad day but having a temper tantrum and risking the lives of other people must be dealt with accordingly. People need to realize there are consequences to their actions and in this case-there could have been deaths of the ground crew.

    Society needs to start looking beyond themselves-they may actually find a purpose!

  6. CJ says:

    I don’t believe that Steven is a hero, and he did risk possible injury to others by engaging the slide but I do understand his frustrations.
    Being in customer service has gone from being a pleasure to being a nightmare. The cliche, “The customer is always right” has turned into:
    1. You work a menial job and I will talk to you and try to degrade you in any way possible. Translation: (I will yell and curse and say whatever I want to you and you have to take it because it is your job. Plus I am entitled to anything I want because I have a job that pays more than yours and has more clout.”
    2. Even if I am wrong- I am the customer and I am right. Translation: “So what if I am not entitled to what I am asking for or if I am mean or hateful to get what I want. I pay your paycheck and you will do what I say. NOW!!!”
    3. You have a job to do and if you won’t do what I want you to do I will ask for a manager to make you feel that you are incapable of addressing my needs.(Translation: ” I will speak to someone who has power and will do what I want to keep me as a ‘loyal customer’ no matter how far in the wrong I am. I will get what I want and don’t care if I have to stay on the phone all day or stand at the counter all day.”

    People have become mean and nasty on a regular basis. I dread going to work and having to answer my phone because I know it is either going to be a call where I am being yelled at or called out of my name.
    I have had people spew the vilest statements at me such as:
    1. I hope your mother dies! (because I wouldn’t remove the 14th late fee for the year from the account)
    2. I hope your child dies!
    3. I hope you lose your job!(again- unreasonable request not accommodated)
    4. “You are going to what I tell you to do you minimum wage earning b****!
    5. You have a nothing job, with nothing pay. I make more in one week than you make in a year.
    I have been tempted to spew word lava back at those who have treated me so poorly, however I stop myself and remind myself that I don’t have to stoop to their level. Most people who treat others like that suffer from their own esteem issues and project self issues upon others.
    I don’t think he should do jail time, because him not being able to find a job anytime soon is punishment enough. He picked an inappropriate way to deal with his anger, but when pushed to the brink daily it is hard to handle emotions sometimes. Plenty of people say, “ Well if you don’t like the job then find another one.” That was fine a couple of years ago but today many of us are blessed to be employed at all and are forced to put up with tirades from others because we have bills to pay and families to support. As I said, I don’t believe him to be a hero but I do commend him on his guts to bring to the treatment of service professionals into the public eye so that people can re-evaluate the way they treat others.

  7. Jane says:

    I believe most of us are missing the real issues here.

    Why do we live in a world where more and more people are acting ruder — and stupider — than ever before, and they are completely getting away with it?

    Does it stem from the breakdown of the family unit?

    Does it stem from greed?

    This is not about social niceties. This is about the safety of individuals not only on planes, but trains, in cars, etc.

    Why is the focus only on Mr. Slater’s behavior?

    Why has this lady passenger not yet been named?

    Why is she allowed to behave in such a manner and more importantly why should JetBlue protect this customer’s privacy when her selfish behavior clearly put other’s lives in jeopardy by NOT adhering to the safety precautions as broadcasted by the InFlight Crew!

    If JetBlue is truly concerned with passenger safety, why then is nothing in place to immediately deal with an unruly passenger? There was clearly a good deal of time that elapsed before Mr. Slater felt he had no choice but to “escape” the insanity that was ensuing.

    I believe these are the issues that need addressing.

    It is clear Mr. Slater’s response to this unruly passenger was not the best choice but I suspect that if JetBlue had clear guidelines in place Mr. Slater would not have jumped the insanity ship if he felt he had an alternative.

    Having said that, I believe that BOTH Mr. Slater and this lady passenger need to be held accountable for their actions.

    For every action there is a reaction and clearly Mr. Slater reacted to this selfish passenger’s actions in not the best way.

    If JetBlue is seeking that Mr. Slater be “criminally” charged with his actions I EMPHATICALLY believe that this lady passenger be equally charged.

    And what would I have done if you were in Slater’s shoes? Would I have given up my career for just one more glorious moment of outrage?

    Since I was not in Mr. Slater’s shoes I could only hope that I would have gone to get help from another member of the Crew in dealing with this unruly passenger.

    I do not in any way believe that Mr. Slater’s career should be over. I believe that he acted as he needed to to take care of himself given the insanity of the situation – that ANY UNRULY passenger is not quickly disciplined and put in place.

  8. Sandra says:

    Steve just did what we have all wanted to do at some time in our lives.Just not on a plane.Good for you,Steve!

  9. Linda says:

    I can sort of understand him, because I have felt like doing something like that sometimes myself, but I would never actually do it. I agree with you though that he will probaly have a lot of trouble finding another job. Actually I am trying to find another job right now before I freak out and do something stupid ( and if I don´t get the job I will atleast try switching to another department).

  10. Amber says:

    I don’t blame Slater for doing it. I’ve felt that way more times than I can count. I’ve been in customer service for different companies and people are more rude now than ever. When I was in tech support for a cable company I actually had a customer threaten to hunt me down and hurt me just because his internet wasn’t working. I’ve had them scream profanities at me. I’ve had them be so horrible that I’ve cried and I have a pretty thick skin. As a cashier I had a customer scream at me because a $7 dollar movie ended up in the $5 bin at Wal-Mart. Screaming at me over $2? As a customer service manager I had a male customer to my face threaten to hurt me, my husband, and family and shouted profanities at me while my cowardly store manager just stood there and didn’t take up for me. Slater was hit on the head with a carry-on suitcase! That is assault. And nothing happens to her and yet he goes to jail for leaving an airplane while it was still on the ground? Are you freakin kidding me?! Now maybe it may have deserved displinary action for going against policy but jail? That is a big overreaction. We need room for real criminals in our jails and judges need to quit sending people to jail for stupid crap.

  11. Susan Anderson says:

    I hope Mr. Slater gets off personally. I am 100% disabled and confined to a wheelchair. I have flown a few times and I have had to deal with rude passengers because they let me on the plane first. You would not believe the cat calls and boos that I get just because I get on the plane even before the first class passengers. They don’t take in consideration that I can not deal with the crowds when going down th aisles. In fact, I bet they never noticed that I never go to the bathroom the entire flight. That is because I can’t. No wheelchair can get down the aisle. So once I am in my seat, I am stuck there. And did they ever notice that I am th last to get off. No! In fact I have had them bump me when going by if I am in an aisle seat and one time the stuwardess had to move the person sitting next to me because he was giving me a hard time for gitting on first. She had to put him some where else. I was very appreciative. Those stus take on more hardship than they deserve and still have a smile on their face when you leave the plane. I don’t know how they do it but I am impressed. So for Mr. Slater to finally break down, I don’t blame him. I probably would have helped him. I would have bonked the person back for him. So Mr. Slater, you have my best wishes. Good Luck for your future and I hope that you do find and job after all of this winds down because we all have our breakdown days.

  12. Donna says:

    What a big Jerk! Our society scares me, because of this kind of press. How come so many people are happy that he quit his job like an arrogant, immature boy. Shame on him and everyone else who thinks this is funny. It’s pathetic! grow up!

  13. suzanne says:

    I agree with commenters that Slater acted in a totally unprofessional manner, and all the customer service people who get mistreated. (which is literally almost everyone if you think about what that means — it’s all about relationships with others, people. Whether it’s your kids, your spouse, your family, your coworkers, your boss — we are all customers) who get mistreated — no excuses. We are forgetting all the lessons our [grandparents] and elders taught us.
    It’s a job guys– if you don’t like dealing with people (good and bad behaviors), then do something else.
    What makes this different, is that we are talking about the airline industry. What might stem as stupid and inappropriate in most other settings, is just plain not allowed when it comes to air travel, moreso since 9/11. Can you go postal like this and make stupid comments about blowing things up in an airport?? On a plane?? Heck no.
    Slater should have dealt with it in a more professional manner. I know jetBlue and applied for his job, actually, so I know how they are about treating customers. And I know the job is a “safety expert” not a waiter (at 30,000ft and several hundred miles an hour) who also happens to try to serve and accomodate people 99.99999% of the time (thankfully). And jetBlue expects that to be second to none service. I respect and applaud that.

    We also are not hearing from other passengers that support his claims. I heard one who commented that he was acting strangely from the start (one who has flown with him.) What was his frame of mind to be flying that day? Perhaps the bag just happened to knock him in the head– why does everyone assume it was intentional?? Why all the outrage towards the passenger– demanding charges, no less?!?! If he was struck, then deal with it as the law and FAA regulations clearly allow.
    We don’t know the facts yet, as far as I’m concerned, but regardless, the behavior is at best, inexcusable for anyone in that role.
    Had Slater dealt with it differently, we would not be having this debate. He would not be media central. I have a hard time believing from what I have seen and heard from him that he wasn’t wanting the attention. Who would do that??
    Seriously folks.
    He had NO business using profanity over the air. That alone would get him fired in any service role I have ever been in, managed, worked, etc. And severely impact his future employment (would you hire a loose cannon like that in front of the public and in a safety role???)
    Using company property in an unauthorized and unsafe manner, ditto.
    Drinking beer on company property/time, etc — ditto again.

    I’m sure there will be some pleading out. I do think the airlines have to take a tough stand on this. Whether he should be ruined for a really really stupid act, in most other industries– no. But this is post 9/11 air travel. The jury is out in my opinion.
    At the very least, stop glorifying his bad behavior. He should seek anger management treatment for sure. And apologize sincerely and publicly. And tell others to never ever react the way he did. Perhaps then this will all go away and he can find a new life, ….somewhere away from any planes I might be in, please.

  14. Susan McCord says:

    I do not look at Steve Slater as a hero but rather a man who finally got tired of being berated by stressed out people. Yes, we all choose our jobs and know what is expected for the most part, but that doesn’t mean that you should have to endure constant rudeness. I left my job as a flight attendant almost 3 years ago due to the never ending changes, 3 airline merges and drama on many of my flights due to passenger tension. I started to get anxiety every time I put on my uniform. I knew my health was more important and decided to leave. Not an easy thing to do in my late 40’s.

    After 911 everything changed for passengers & crew. The cutbacks the airlines made were huge and everyone was affected by it. Unless you work for Cathay or Singapore airlines the crew compliment is usually short staffed. Pay cuts were also implemented for many flight crews and pensions were altered! Very sad for some airlines. It is one thing to say that flight attendants are spoiled because they get to travel all over but we all choose our jobs and the perks that go with them. Trust me, if the “flight benefits” weren’t there, it would be a lot tougher to keep the airlines staffed. The long days, lack of sleep and radiation levels are not exactly enticing in a medical sense.

    I don’t think Steve would want to go back to his job even if they allowed it, and I do not think he will have trouble finding a job. He could do the next nicoderm commercial lol! Jet Blue should thank him to some degree because they are now a world renown airline with all this publicity. At the very least Steve can plead temporary insanity from the bump on the head he received and that sly little smile he had on for the initial interviews. I have felt your pain throughout those flying years Steven, and I wish you a wonderful career in the next part of your life.

  15. Sandy Jeakins says:

    I would never have had the nerve, but I have certainly had the sentiment more than once. It’s vicariously gratifying even. Give the guy a pass. When Jet Blue trains flight attendendants to deal with rude customers, is there a chapter on “Being Assaulted, Grin and Bear It”? Just curious.

  16. Angela says:

    I don’t see why what he did would be acceptable. He had a job he was being paid for and if he was that miserable there are acceptable ways to quit and find a job that makes him less miserable. Part of his job is to deal with different personalities and actions of passengers and he didn’t do that. Now because of his actions he left a plane full of passengers that were late to their destination and cost the airline and the passengers money for his temper tantrum.

    I say make him pay for his actions.

  17. Nicole says:

    Perhaps it is time that we stop rewarding immaturity in grown adults.

  18. Laura says:

    Here’s the thing about this episode that bothers me. Customer service is becoming increasingly hostile. The people who are supposed to help us when something goes wrong are disconnecting calls and keeping people from talking to managers. The managers are treating the customers who are trying to resolve issues as if they are the problems.

    My mother recently tried to work out a return with a local Best Buy, as directed by their own customer service. The in-store managers treated her very pporly and were extremely rude about the incident and would not help her. She had to call their own customer service, on her cell phone. The managers proceeded to use her cell phone, in the middle of the store, to argue with their own customer serivce. It was a very upsetting incident.

    My point is this, the passangers in question were wrong in their behavior and they should be reprimanded for that. However, this gentlemen’s response to the event are even more disturbing. His swearing and behavior of opening the doors and inflating the slide were no doubt upsetting to at least some passengers. Any child on that flight would probably have felt extremly uncomfortable and unsafe. While his actions may be soemthing we’ve all dreamed of at one point, there is a reason we don’t all do it. Not only did he warrant punishemnt by behaving as he did, he absolutely should be punished for his actions. We have got to stop letting peole get away with behaving this way.

    The more we allow things like this to become common, the worse it will become. If you had been on the plane, you may have laughed, or you may have been very upset. You don’t know because you weren’t there. The media is senseationalizing this event, which of course focuses more on the funny aspect of this event. I have a felling none of you would be laughing if instead of being a public tantrum, this man had directed his behavior towards an individual, especially if it was you. If we keep accepting this sort of thing as the norm, than you will certainly find yourself at the reciving end of an epsiode like this, or worse.

  19. Kim says:

    Mr. Slater is not a hero in my book. Nobody forced him to work for the airlines. Most of us have to put up with adverse conditions at times in our job. If he really didn’t like what he was doing or was tired of putting up with rude passengers etc. he should have quite but not in the fashion that he did. There is no excuse for that. Have some class. I do believe there are alot more rude and inconsiderate people in this world, there are alot more stresses etc. as well. Mr. Slater put himself in the same category as the people he was mad at, rude and inconsiderate.

  20. Kat says:

    I agree that someone that works in a customer service field should be able to calmly deal with rude customers, BUT, if the customer gets physically violent then all bets are off. I think that Slater handled the situation pretty well considering the fact that the customer got physical and Slater did not beat the customer’s a**! I do not think that Slater should lose his job but I do think some counseling may help. I think that JetBlue should stand behind Slater because the customer was not JUST a rude customer but actually committed a crime against Slater by getting physically aggressive. That customer needs to have assault charges pressed against them & be required to attend counseling & be put on probation for a period of time which should include not being allowed on a commercial air liner.

  21. Nancy says:

    I’ve heard that he was drinking before the incident, which is inexcusable for a flight attendent and therefore he should be held at fault for his behavior and the matter looked into further, with possible consequences of a punitive nature. Even if he was not drinking there is no excuse for him acting as he did and stooping to the passenger’s level. She too should receive some sort of punishment.

  22. Marie says:

    I don’t believe he should get off without any punishment.

    Everyone has bad days at home and at work. For the majority of people there are consequences for actions. Some people think no matter what they do it’s okay.

    It doesn’t matter what the lady said or did, he should not have acted in that way. It is his responsibility to handle situations in an appropriate manner. If she did say or do something inappropriate then it should have been handled better.

    So what if he had a bad day, join the rest of us.

  23. Bob Fountaine says:

    Do we really need another Reality Show Host?

    This man had a bad day and a meltdown. I do not see this as a reason to jail him or reward his actions by giving him celebrity status.

    We have all been there and not expecting rewards for our antics.

  24. Daryl says:

    What is fair?……He broke laws, he should be punished- but not with 7 years in prison. Lose his job (it’s surely not something he likes), probation &/or a few months in jail, given the special circumstances. The passenger however should have been booed and hissed and pelted with mud. At the very least she should be barred from flying for sometime. That would put a crap in her style. :)

  25. Sheila says:

    Getting hit in the head with baggage would trigger a reaction from anyone. Combine that with exhaustion and it is understandable he would react. While it is expected that flight attendents remain composed in difficult situation, this was physically inflicted pain, and he is only a human being.

    However, he should have quietly gone behind the fight attendent area to deal with what happened and regain himself. The microphone rant was not fair to the good passengers and was inappropriate. He did cost the airline a considerable amount of money by deploying the slide and also put that plane out of commission until the slide could be replaced. For the latter acts, he should be terminated from his job.

    Apparently, this isn’t really what he wants to be doing withi his life at this point.
    Should his bad behavior be honored with a t.v. show…no. It would only encourage more people to think it is okay to do as he had done.

    We can emphathize with what happened to him and his first reaction. However, the subsequent behavior needs to be rebuked.

  26. Dana says:

    The passenger should be placed on a no fly list and should be charged with assault. I disagree with the way the attendant handled the situation, however, as a USPS mail carrier, can definitely identify with the way we are treated and the urge to “go off” on the customer. The customer is not always right. The customer is usually wrong, and sometimes crazy.

  27. JayDean says:

    Good for Mr. Slater, I flow on a plan in 2008 to Orlando Flordia, the first time in 20 years and still things haven’t change at all. Mr. Slater have the right to feel what he is feeling and people now days are very rude on the trains, bus, resturants with waitresses being rude but yet expect a tip, I also say if you don’t like your job get a new job.

    Mr. Slater just couldn’t take it anymore, and my dear he had enough, regardless what the pay was and now long he worked his job he was just tried. Mr. Slater just wanted to be in peace without being stress out. Life is to short if you don’t like something then it time for a change. If you do hit somebody tell them you are sorry and mean it or excuse me.

    That is bad if the woman hit him or not wheather she meant to or not or if it was accident just apologize common curosity and people now days lost respect for each other. Good Luck!!!!!!!!!!!!You will be alright. Jay

  28. Susannah says:

    At first I want to say I’m sorry for the wrong orthography in my Reply. I live in The Netherlands. I understand what you all say, but I got some problems with the
    orthography. So… I hope that you understand what I’m trying to say in my reply.

    Oke, my opinion about this case; I can not say now if he should be a free man, or belongs to jail, Why? Because i only heard the things from the media. Everybody know’s that things grow bigger and bigger when it gets told, right? Oke, he did stupid things in his past. And maybe this is one of them. I want to hear his story. His reaction to the passenger was not right. But what the passenger did, was even not right.

    People are changing. When i walk on the street, people from my age ( 20, even younger ) are calling me nasty names. Why? Because I don’t look like a model. I walk alone, and they are a group. And they really say nasty names, and than they start to laugh. It really hurts, it is breaking down your self-systeem, and it is so frustrating. When they yell at me, my first thought is; Yell back. But I don’t.
    I don’t want to go at their level. I ignore them, When you yell back, they will laugh more. When you say nothing, It was not funny for them to yell at you.
    I can leave my thoughts the thoughts. But i can imagine that sometimes that one last word…. can be the last word you want to hear. How some-one react,is different by every person.

    I’m NOT saying that Steven Slater’s behaviour was OK, That wasn’t. The question that I can not set out of my mind is; Why did he react like this? What is his baggage from his past? Life and problems are making the person who you are now..

    Well, I hope that is readable for you!

    Heel veel succes met uw show Dr.Phil! Ook in nederland bent u erg populair!

    Translation; Good luck with your show Dr.Phil. Even in The Netherlands are you really populair!

    Susannah

  29. Nicole says:

    I agree with Kaitlyn too. I am a flight attendant myself and will not accept behaviour like that from a passenger. Although steven wasnt appropiate either it was lead from stress most proberly from work. I dont think id go so the length of blowing a slide which is 20 to 30k depending which aircraft thats one of every flight attendants worse nightmare to do.

  30. Rayman says:

    Apparently the trigger passenger behaviour was standing while the airplane is in motion as passenger went to get his stuff from the overhead compartment. This is a regulation by the FAA. Flight attendants are supposed to enforce this. Mr. Slater went overboard and confronted the passenger. An announcement should have been enough and the passenger takes responsibility for his actions to include injuries to other people. What passenger do not acknowledge is that reaching for the overhead compartment and gettin bags or whatever DOES NOT accelerate exiting the plane AT ALL. Many things have to happen before anyone can depart the plane. This behaviour is rather stupid. This flight attendant violated himself even more rules than the unruly passenger and SHOULD be held responsbile. The grabbing of the beers clearly illustrate the priorities of Mr. Slater. I am sure he will confront charges. He is no hero.

  31. gail Hvatum says:

    I think that he’s been disgruntled by his job for a while ,then blew his stack in an inappropiate way …………… I don’t believe he should lose his job but be counseled & retrained to problem solve with-in the company & if there’s not something in place for employee’s to mediate a solution for differing situation’s …….. THERE’S AN EVEN BIGGER PROBLEM ! ! ! ! !
    And … YES ! that woman should have concequence’s for her behaviour !!
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO this attention is inapropriate ………………………….

  32. Cheryl says:

    From what has been in the media concerning this situation, he should be fired and held legally responsible in my opinion. Other passengers are not corroborating his version of the events. His friends and family say he has spoken often of doing just such a dramatic act- quitting in grand fashion. This was no act of passion in the spur of the moment. He saw his big moment and decided to take it, and thereby endangered the passengers and ground crew.

    I have worked in customer service, and been cussed at, yelled at, etc, but you are paid to do a job, you do the job. Vent to your co workers off the clock, to your cat, to the dashboard in your car, but you don’t do this.

  33. Lina James says:

    Let the man alone = flying is a big hassle nowdays and it is frustating for the one who is flying and I am sure it is a job I could not handle now as it was hard enough in the 70’s when I owned a business. This is a beautiful world in which we li ve but the people in it can make it miserable at times for everyone. Wal-Mart greeters probably would like to tell off a few customers sometimes, eh? They happen to be the nicer aged ones who tolerate everything.

  34. suzanne in Ohio says:

    I think that passenger should hae sanctions on flying and charges pressed againts them. Its true as well that while customers AND customer service people are becoming more and more RUDE to each other….Steve obviously was burned out. He shouldnt ever be allowed to pilot again, but JAIL? NO,,I dont think so.

  35. Cheryl says:

    We, as humans and employees take abuse daily – it does get old and wears on you. However, if passengers complain this much, then I think the airlines should offer regular/monthly counseling/support/training on this issues. No employee at any time should have to take abuse from a customer/passenger and our employers should help their employees. Did/has the airline offered him any counseling, etc and his job back? Has the airline banned the abusing passenger from their airlines? What is wrong with this country? We, need to work together and when someone is wrong, they’re wrong! Let’s not make this political correct by condeming him – shame on his employer for letting this continue to the point a human can’t take the abuse and humiliation! Forbid the passenger to fly on any airline and then just maybe the next arrogant passenger will think twice about abusing an airline attendant, server, etc! thanks!

  36. Dorothy Moore says:

    I think his behavior is irreprehensible. He should definitely be heavily fined and jail time should be left up to the judicial system. Anger management classes would definitely by the order of the day.

  37. T. Frach says:

    I don’t think he deserves JAIL time. I also don’t think he deserves a massive amount of attention for his behavior either. So, he had a REALLY bad moment….we all do. Let’s get over it as a society. I’d rather see his consequences be counseling!!!! Isn’t that why we’re all here on the Dr. Phil forums!?!??!

  38. Mary says:

    I agree with the notion that this man needs counseling but not jail. Save the room for violent criminals and give the attention to someone doing positive actions to resolve real issues. Also, I don’t think the tax payers should pick up the tab on any of this. So if he is mandated to go to anger management counseling, then he should pay for it.

  39. Vivian Starnes says:

    Having been bonked on the head two or three times while the other passengers are retreiving their bags from the overhead (probably while talking on their cell phones), I now stay under the overhead compartment until the bins are empty. No one has ever apologized. What he did was inappropriate, but probably wasn’t the first time he had been hit on the head, and from what I understand this passenger was out of order and abusive.

  40. Terri says:

    I can understand his frustration, people are getting ruder and more demanding and when you work in a customer service type job it is hard to hold yourself together sometimes. BUT that does not make what Mr. Slater did right. He was wrong to use the PA, he was wrong to grad a beer but mostly to deploy the emergency exit shute was costly to the company and could have caused injury to someone on the ground below, he didn’t know if the grounds were clear. It was wreckless and without thought. There are better ways to handle people then to “let loose”, Mr. Slater got his 15 minutes of fame, now lets forget him and move on.

  41. sheila says:

    He should be fired and fined, but not imprisoned.

  42. Elizabeth says:

    Even if Mr. Slater was rightfully angry he needed to handle his anger much better. Possibly endangering passengers is never acceptable & as a flight attendant I would think he would have been aware of that. He ought to have just quit his job after that flight if he felt the need- instead an infantile reaction. Punishment for his actions is due & I would hope he’s get anger management counseling .

  43. FosterBoys says:

    Doc,
    Should marijuana smokers go to jail?

    There’s a great Texas Ranger quote that goes, “No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that’s in the right and keeps on a-comin.”

    You’ve had over 5 years to build your case against it. Is it that the research doesn’t support your position or that the vast majority of Americans don’t? Is it that your position falls to both common sense and common decency?

    Will you move out of California if Prop. 19 passes? How will you bear the thought of living in such close proximity to so many (legal) smokers?

  44. Diane Snyder says:

    I was a flight attendant for 31 years. I applaud Mr. Slater for what he did. No one who has not been a flight attendant really understands the abuse and rudeness that they have to endure daily from the public. I can fully understand his “last straw.” Society is sick and the lady who let the bag fall on his head should be sued. I had someone do that to me once when I was a passenger in uniform commuting home. I was bent over in the aisle seat getting my own bag when huge bag fell on my back. The person responsible didn’t flinch, apologize or care. I was just dirt in their eyes and even though I was injured it didn’t matter to them. No one in this world deserves to be treated like dirt, but it really gets to you when people do it repeatedly on a daily basis. Good for Mr. Slater. I hope he makes millions from a book or movie deal. Being a flight attendant these days is difficult, but many have to do it anyway since they have no other job. Jet Blue needs to find this lady and she needs to be prosecuted for violating FAR’s. (Federal Air Regulations) Where did she think she was going in a hurry anyway?

  45. JulieJules says:

    I don’t think Mr. Slater should go to jail. No one was harmed and he lost his job. Our prisons are for criminals that have been convicted of hurting people financially or physically, and are overcrowded. Let’s use the incarceration option for them.

  46. Dale says:

    Slater’s behavior is inexcusable and those who applaud his outburst are simply wrong. Our society is condoning hateful, irrational, dangerous, and selfish behavior, believing somehow that these actions and expressions are fundamental “rights” in a free society. Perhaps there is some anarchistic truth to that, however they are NOT acceptable actions and expressions in a free and CIVILIZED society. We have lost civility, are losing intelligence, and I fear for our future.

  47. Pam says:

    I’ve gotta tell you, as a flight attendant for 33 years, I am not one of the people jumping to join Mr. Slater’s fan club. Gimme a break! What if the little old lady in 10c wasn’t privy to the drama going on around her and followed him right down the slide onto the tarmac? I will not be surprised if it comes out that he was drinking in-flight and stole the beer to cover the mandatory alcohol test we are given after any in-flight incident. How could he do this to his crew, especially the flight leader? And how dare he do this to Jet Blue, the company who pens his paycheck every two weeks? I think Dr. Phil should do a show on self-sabotage. The employee who hates his job but is too weak to quit, so he forces the company’s hand. This was a passive-aggressive act. Not an aggressive act. If I was on the jury, the head injury would be the ONLY thing that would get him out of this. Momentary Madness. Passengers are 99.9% wonderful. They’ve paid my salary for 33 years and although I have to sometimes remind myself of that, I love them.

  48. Nicci Mckenzie says:

    i can not believe this guy !!!! not that i dont understand, we all WANT to explode every once in a while. but the fact is we dont. we go home and take it out on our family ( sorry that wasn’t funny, but true ) i think they should lock this guy up. and i hope finding a job now should be next to impossible. at least i hope. you do not do these kids of things in a work place and im thinking he has some serious mental issues that he cant seem to control

  49. Beverly says:

    We all have moments where we LOSE it. But we have to control ourselves~~so when the other person loses it, you have to maintain your composure! It’s never easy to do but you dig down deep and lower your voice, strike a proper tone, and kill them with kindness! This guy cannot work in an airline position and go all dramatic when he is having the worst day ever!!! This is one place I do not want to see drama and unexpected behavior from flight attendants.

  50. Daniel says:

    No one was harmed why the heck should he go to jail, he already lost his job… Isn’t that enough?

Leave a Reply