Travel industry employees may have found their Robin Hood. JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater sparked a media frenzy after he dramatically quit his job at the airline, leaving an airliner through its emergency slide and stealing alcohol from the plane’s beverage cart on the way out. His story is one of several winning praise from airline employees, and it could lead to improved in-flight etiquette.
Flight attendants have embraced Slater as an icon of their trade, claiming that poor treatment and limited approval from guests is part of their job. His dramatic exit has been well received by both the public and those employed in aviation, with several flight attendants labelling him as a working class ‘hero’. Slater is currently out of New York City jail after consulting lawyers and posting bail.
Alongside the approval from service employees is an acknowledgement from those on the other end of the transaction. Audiences have taken kindly to Slater’s story, claiming that it has increased their understanding of what service staff go through. While Slater himself has largely avoided speaking directly with the press, many believe that his ‘meltdown’ could improve onboard airline behaviour.
Slater’s story has been a top feature on news shows throughout the United States, and his ongoing trial in New York will likely continue to get attention. The airline employee has claimed that he is interested in returning to work, blaming a series of events in his personal life for the bizarre exit from his job and subsequent media attention.
For JetBlue, the dramatic exit could prompt a study into employee treatment. For Slater, it could end up landing him with a large fine and a potential prison sentence. For air travel employees, it may result in better treatment, even if it is at the risk of an unusual emergency slide escape.