General Question

phaedryx's avatar

Should Steven Slater, the former JetBlue flight attendant, serve time for his actions?

Asked by phaedryx (6099 points ) August 10th, 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/10/nyregion/10attendant.html

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/10/jetblue-attendant-held-on-bail-as-his-lawyer-offers-details-of-flight/

In summary, he quit in dramatic fashion after dealing with a surly passenger. He cussed her out, grabbed a beer, activated the emergency exit chute, slid off of the plane, and went home.

He’s facing felony charges for reckless endangerment and criminal mischief.

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33 Answers

missingbite's avatar

As an Airline Employee, yes. Activating an emergency exit on an airplane is an action that can not be accepted. If you have never seen one of these things activate, you should look for a video of it on You Tube. It is a violent action. If the slide had his someone on the ground it could have killed them.

The cussing on the PA is nothing. No jail time for that….but the slide. That was DANGEROUS!

skfinkel's avatar

It was an active of frustration and bravado. But just because he was angry, he really should not have endangered anyone. He’s lucky no one was hurt—I would think a big fine would suffice—putting him in jail will accomplish nothing.

tinyfaery's avatar

As with most first time offenders he should get a fine and probation. Putting the guy in jail would be another pointless burden on the already overwhelmed penal system. He is very unlikely to do it again.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

No. Kinda like killing a fly with an a-bomb: overkill. A fine and some community service should do it.

missingbite's avatar

@tinyfaery The fact that he knows as a first timer he will probably only get a fine and some community service possibly led to him being willing to do it. If he had known he would see jail time for first offense, he may have reconsidered. Maybe not. We’ll never know.

marinelife's avatar

I think the normal course of action for someone who does that sort of thing should suffice. Which I imagine is a fine, a suspended sentence and probation. Community service would be good too.

SundayKittens's avatar

Give him a fine, then give him a tv show. MY HERO.

RocketGuy's avatar

Needs anger management classes:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0305224/

phaedryx's avatar

@missingbite to play devil’s advocate a little bit, JetBlue released this statement: “At no time was the security or safety of our customers or crew members at risk.”

missingbite's avatar

@phaedryx That is a typical response from a company. I have seen these slides open and the company is wrong in their statement. If anyone was at the bottom of that slide, they would have been at risk.

Keep in mind that there is a lot going on at the bottom of an airplane when it reaches the gate. Engines are still running, it is extremely loud and everyone is wearing hearing protection. Tugs are being driven in close proximity of the aircraft.

It is not a controlled environment like the following video clip. The raft itself is not exactly light either. They come out with force and speed. You Tube

missingbite's avatar

On a side note, that was a United 747. This moron was on an Embraer 190. Much much smaller and closer to the ground. Less time for someone who is looking the other direction, wearing hearing protection, and watching for moving tugs and other airplanes to react and get out of the way.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@missingbite Wouldn’t the raft itself be smaller and/or lighter, then?

aprilsimnel's avatar

I don’t know about the clink, but most definitely some community service, probation and a fine.

missingbite's avatar

@Dr_Dredd Sure it would. But the force that it comes out at would be just as strong. These slides are regulated so they have to be fully opened in a certain amount of time. If someone was standing with their back to one of these slides and it hit them. Not only could the slide do damage, it could push someone into the suck zone of another running engine. Check out this video. WARNING DISTURBING VIDEO.

Keep in mind that this is a tail mounted engine. The engine on an E190 is VERY low to the ground. No need for a ladder.

CMaz's avatar

Yes. Then he should run for congress.

JLeslie's avatar

No. He should be fired for sure, but not serve time. Maybe some court ordered anger management at most.

jonsblond's avatar

I agree with @missingbite. If he had been a passenger, I’m guessing he would get time in jail. Why should he get special treatment? He works for the airline, he should know better.

mammal's avatar

no, completely ridiculous. probably on a shit wage and was drawing attention to a brat passenger who was endangering others by petulantly ignoring safety regs, so no, no no, she should be doing the time. i guess the customer is always right though.

SuperMouse's avatar

I don’t think he deserves to serve time in jail. @missingbite, how about a compromise? Say a nice little house arrest? That punishes this fellow for irresponsibly deploying an emergency slide and keeps the tax payers from footing the bill for his keep! Dude had a meltdown after years of working in customer service and being required to endure rudeness with a smile of his face. Not an excuse, just a possible explanation.

missingbite's avatar

@SuperMouse I get the meltdown. I as a Captain have had people call me a liar to my face when all I was doing was trying to keep them alive. I doubt this guy will see any jail time. I wish he would. I am all for a citizen paying a fine that will cover the majority of the jail time he/she gets. Say $150.00 per day they serve. This guy gets a 30 day jail term and a fine of $4500.00 to help cover the jail cost. They need to learn a lesson and fines don’t always do it.

YARNLADY's avatar

I think he should be sent to a lunatic asylum Residential Treatment Facility for some much needed rest and rehabilitation.

phaedryx's avatar

@missingbite
A couple of curiosity questions. Are flight attendants trained trained on how to use the emergency exit slide? Can’t you look and see if the area it will open into is clear? Forgive my ignorance, but it doesn’t sound that risky to me.

missingbite's avatar

@phaedryx They are trained in the use and the dangers of it. There is a very small window on the door to see out but the sight picture is VERY limited. I’m not sure if you fly very much but next time you are at the airport, look at how close the planes are parked to each other. Many times the engines on the plane next to you are running, tugs and baggage carts are driving by, and it is VERY loud. Not to mention fuel trucks that are pumping thousands of gallons of jet fuel, catering trucks pulling up to cater the plane, cleaners underneath the jetway waiting for passengers to deplane so they can board and clean it, and maintenance people working around the area to service other airplanes.

The list goes on but I’ll leave it at that. It’s busy and dangerous.

missingbite's avatar

@phaedryx Take a look at this photo to see how close these airplanes are to each other. Also note the equipment on the ground all around this. The slide that was deployed extends very far out and could have hit someone or something and pushed it in to anything very easily.

missingbite's avatar

@phaedryx Here is a VERY DISTURBING photo of a pilot that simply turned around and walked into a wing. He was not hit with anything but could have been hit by an evacuation slide. This is an extremely dangerous place and this flight attendant should see some jail time.

SuperMouse's avatar

@missingbite I don’t have the stomach to look at those pictures so thanks for the warning!

Anyway, this lady got 60 days in jail and 3 years probation because she was unhappy that she couldn’t get McNuggets. I’m starting to rethink my stance on this guy. I am also becoming more and more disturbed by the fact that Dude seems to be becoming some kind of folk hero.

missingbite's avatar

@SuperMouse No problem. Those photos are pretty bad. I agree. This type of behavior is out of control and must stop. He is far from a hero and everyone should know it. On the flip side, the customers who have gotten used to “always being right” have to learn a little respect. But a professional flight attendant ought to be ashamed. And shame on the company for saying no one was in danger when they knew people could have been hurt or killed.

filmfann's avatar

This guy will be off on stress for a few months, which I am sure is what he wanted.
He won’t go to jail. His poor mother has cancer, and he was just wound too tight.~

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

Yes he should. And the charges he got were well-deserved. No matter how annoying a customer is, one should never lose his/her cool and act like an idiot.

BratLady's avatar

His actions were immature. As a taxpayer, I can’t see what purpose jail time would serve. He does deserve fines and community service. Someone stated his mom has Cancer. That’s no excuse for his behavior. I do think the media should stop making him out to be a hero.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Oh, I dunno. I work with the public, too, and believe me – some people are such ass-hat, dick-wads that I’m surprised that this sort of thing doesn’t happen more often. Just because we are in a service field and are trained to take all kinds of abuse, we are only human.

prioritymail's avatar

Felony charges? Punishment would not fit the “crime”. Who was injured? What property was damaged? This guy had a bad day at work and let it out in a less than ideal manner. It happens.

I’ve always wanted to see what that emergency slide looks like…

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