Letters: JetBlue Flight Attendant Steven Slater

Listeners wag their fingers at JetBlue after hearing the story of Steven Slater, the fed-up flight attendant who snapped after dealing with an abusive passenger. Slater cursed out the passenger on the plane's PA after landing, then left the plane via emergency chute. He was later arrested. Melissa Block and Michele Norris read from listeners' e-mails.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.


From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.


And I'm Melissa Block. It's time now to go to our inbox. Several of you offered strong opinions after hearing my interview about Steven Slater. He's the JetBlue flight attendant who snapped after dealing with an abusive passenger.

According to Slater's lawyer, a woman was bickering with another passenger about using the overhead luggage bins. After Slater intervened, she slammed the overhead luggage rack into his head.

NORRIS: The dispute apparently escalated and when the plane landed, Slater cursed out the passenger on the P.A. system, then activated the emergency evacuation chute, grabbed a beer from the beverage cart, and slid off the plane. He was later arrested, and charged with felony counts of criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.

BLOCK: Go Steve, writes Joseph Kate(ph) of San Antonio, Texas. He continues: No one has the right to physically harm another human being. While Steve's behavior may not have been professional, the passenger's conduct was criminal.

NORRIS: And Alison Temper(ph) of New Albany, Indiana, writes this: I don't know when the attitude in the country changed from the customer is always right to the customer is completely allowed to abuse the staff.

BLOCK: But Aaron Isquith(ph) of Tucson, while agreeing the passenger's behavior was wrong, says he's encountered too many flight attendants who viewed coach passengers as customers to be put up with.

Mr. Isquith writes: Carts in the aisles blocking access to bathrooms, constant banging into the seated passengers - either with a cart or with their bodies -sodas spilling, annoyed tones of voices when the customer doesn't have the exact price for a drink. All I can think of is that the top-down communication is lousy, the flight attendants are severely underpaid, and the average passenger pays for it with indignities and discomfort.

NORRIS: If you want to share your thoughts about this subject or anything you hear on the program, you can write to us at npr.org by clicking contact us at the bottom of the page.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.