Flight attendant uses slide to escape dispute

Curse n scoot

The dramatic getaway was short-lived. Steven Slater, 38, was arrested at his home not far away in Belle Harbour, and charged with reckless endangerment and criminal mischief.
The contretemps unfolded as JetBlue Flight 1052 from Pittsburgh landed at Kennedy around noon — on time — with a full load of 100 passengers and pulled up to the gate, said the law enforcement official.

One passenger stood up to fetch belongings from the overhead compartment before the crew had given permission. Slater instructed the person to remain seated. The passenger defied him. Slater approached and reached the passenger just as the person pulled down the luggage, which struck Slater in the head.

Slater asked for an apology. The passenger instead cursed at him. Slater got on the plane’s public address system and cursed out the passenger. Then he activated the inflatable evacuation slide at service exit; launched himself off the plane; ran to the employee parking lot; and left the airport in a car he had parked there.

JetBlue said it was working with the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate the incident.

A MySpace page appearing to belong to Slater indicates that he has been a flight attendant since 1990. His LinkedIn entry says he has worked for JetBlue since January 2008.

In addition to serving as chairman of JetBlue’s uniform redesign committee, the LinkedIn entry says, Slater serves on the airline’s in-flight values committee.

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