QUOTE(Becky_KSTS @ Aug 12 2010, 03:22 PM)
It has been a few days now since this incident and I thought I would post some comments regarding it, but no one (that I can tell) has posted this yet. Perhaps I will be opening Pandora's box regarding cheap flights and the ultimate cost but here goes...
Stephen Slater is all over the news like Captain Sully was when he was able to put the jet down in Hudson sparing all the lives of those on board. However this story is a bit different; Slater, a flight attendant who worked for Jet Blue over 20 years, got fed up with a rude passenger and decided to call it quits right then and there on board the aircraft and in front of all the passengers. A rude passenger who apparently thought the rules did not apply to her defied Slater's instructions to remain seated until the plane came to a full and complete stop. Details aside, Slater was hit in the head by the luggage she was trying to haul down before anyone else could. Slater lost
it, berated her over the intercom, grabbed a beer and opened the emergency door, deployed the slide and down he went. Of course he was later arrested at his home. However the public seems to think he is a hero. There are many opinions on his actions, but I am including an aviation blog from aviator's view point....read on:http://www.avweb.com/blogs/insider/AVwebIn...e_203111-1.html
Becky, my initial reaction was surprise that something like this hadn't happened sooner. I personally noticed the downward trend in passenger behavior in the early eighties, so it likely began at some point much earlier. I'm not well versed on the whole Carter deregulation issue, so hopefully someone could shed some light regarding its impact, but some have pointed to it as the root cause. All I know is that when I was a kid growing up, we were, as a family, expected to dress UP for the occasion of airline flying and behave in a manner consistent with the attendance of a formal event. Now it seems as though we see pretty much the same behavior we might expect while using public transit.
Now regarding Mr. Slater. He does not belong in the profession. What he did wrong should provide material for an entire new chapter in the initial and recurrent training syllabus for flight attendants. Lets look at the psychological aspect. Has there ever been even one flight attendant in the last thirty-some years who hasn't fantasized at least once of doing just what he did? Probably not. Yet they didn't, at least not to the point of abandoning ship and all the other decent passengers who didn't
hit him over the head with a bag. Instead, he knowingly violated many of the rules he was tasked to enforce. Then, consider the impact of his actions to his co-workers. Is it fair to say that their own day suddenly became just a tad more difficult? And just how many of those GOOD passengers missed connecting flights, or were otherwise inconvenienced over this stunt?
Flight attendants are professionals who are trained in the handling of a myriad of situations, an unruly passenger being just one of many, but hardly the most serious. Getting bopped over the head by a passenger while taxiing to a jetway probably isn't something listed in the training manual index, but it will soon be with special thanks to Mr. Slater.. So instead of going on an intercom rant, he should have instead informed the flight crew to have law enforcement waiting at the gate. Had he done that, law enforcement would not have taken him away from his house in cuffs....
While I can certainly understand the sympathy, lots more has been endured by his colleagues who didn't abandon their post. If dissatisfied with his job, he should have just quit between shifts, but hardly during the shift.
I'd love to hear the flight attendant community's take is on this. I'm guessing that Mr. Slater's actions have lit up the discussion boards on their own forums.