back to article Air steward resigns via emergency chute

The internet has wasted no time in celebrating the dramatic resignation of air steward Steven Slater. Slater, 39, took exception to a jetBlue passenger who "refused to apologize after accidentally striking him with luggage" as Flight 1052 from Pittsburgh taxied to a halt at New York's JFK airport yesterday. Instead of an …


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  1. Rob 30

    bit harsh.

    how is that criminal and who did he endanger?

    -i'm not saying he didn't/it isn't but i can't see how..

    1. Peter Simpson 1

      Pretty much...

      ...anything you can do on or near an airport is criminal if "they" want it to be. It's a zero-tolerance and common sense-free zone.

    2. Lee Dowling Silver badge


      Escape chute might have explosives to blow the door away, expand the chute etc. (a little like airbags), he could have got someone with the chute itself, or could have tangled the chute in other machinery and caused damage/fire/tipping of the airplane, could have disturbed refuelling lines of the plane, could have caused a static spark if the plane hadn't properly grounded itself, etc. He abandoned his post as a safety officer for the passengers, provided passengers with an unauthorised escape route which may have got some of them onto the airfield itself, may have left the cabin effectively "unmanned" because of the necessary legal ratios of passengers to stewards, etc.

      That's just a handful, some of which are not unreasonable at all.

      1. Ted 3

        Yes, and...

        Yes, and people running with scissors should also be prosecuted.

        This flight attendant is is a hero to those in the service industries (and fellow passengers!) who have had to put up with rude and selfish people as part of their daily routine. Give him a medal, I say!

    3. peter 45

      endangerment vs no risk

      Quite how he can be charged with reckless endangerment when the airline issued a statement saying that there was no danger to the passengers.

      Wonder if his lawyer knows?

    4. Annihilator
      Thumb Up


      Not that I'm disagreeing with your point, but I could well imagine that he's not cleared to be on the runway or the outside areas of airport that are a controlled zone - especially if the airport is one with jetways.

      But fair play to him, we've all wanted to do something like that. Although I have noticed a tendency for American cabin crew to over-react to most over things, wouldn't be surprised if this were one too. Remember the man who was booted off for asking about a meal?

  2. Sir Runcible Spoon


    Arrested for "Wreckless endangerment"

    Spokeman said "At no time was the security or safety of our customers or crewmembers at risk"

    Hmm, can you say "not guilty m'lud"

    Can anyone explain what 'criminal mischief' is?

    This storys' legendary status hinges on the grabbing of the beers before departing down the chute :D

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Criminal mischief

      He 'damaged' the plane by using the escape slide to exit the plane. Replacing the escape slide and making the plane flightworthy again costs around $32,000. The airline may consider that criminal mischief on the basis that the airline had to take the plane out of rotation, which in turn damages its ability to generate revenue (presumably the next sector that was to be flown by this airframe was delayed in order to swap in a replacement).

      Nonetheless, Steven is the perhaps unwilling hero of many a flight attendant in the US who have to deal with rude and a****le customers/passengers on a daily basis.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        not just a hero to the staff

        heck, as a passenger I applaud his efforts in making a stand for decent behavior.

        I've never had a problem with a flight attendant that wasn't grounded in some stupid corporate policy or money making scheme... but I've lost count of the number or rude, smelly, drunk, fat people I've been crammed next to for 5 hours (not to mention trampled on the way to the gate ... absolute classic last week flying out of LAX... snotty business type on his cellphone literally ran over a mother and child and knocked the mothers bag and child over... turned, looked back and ... didn't even pause his conversation and went on his way.)

  3. Tiny Iota
    Black Helicopters

    So the movies lie?

    Hang on a minute. In the movie 'Speed', they drive around the airport so the news choppers can't fly in to see the bus. Was that whole movie one big sham?!

    1. Test Man

      Not that I actually know for sure but...

      ... that film was set yeeeeeeeears ago. Regulations might have changed then. Not saying that the film is actually accurate but...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Paris Hilton


        The airspace above an airport is "controlled airspace" - meaning that you have to get permission to enter it.

        The 'speed' film presumably worked because the cops told the airport to deny permission to the news crews, or that there was an understanding that the airport never permits such aircraft, or the airport took it on itself to deny permission for a news crew to monopolise their airspace.

        Either way, it's entirely possible.

        Whereas in this incident, airport controllers will have been aware of the incident and may have chosen to give permission for news crews to fly over the terminal building on the understanding that they avoid interfering with normal airport operations (ie avoid the runway/approach/departure routes)

        1. ravenviz Silver badge

          Re: Airspace

          How high does airspace start? Presumably walking / driving around an airport is within controlled airspace, or is it only when I leave the ground? Or does common sense prevail?

          1. JHH


            I think Airspace varies in radius and altitude depending on the airport, where it is and what kind of traffic it handles. All I know for sure is the low end here in the states for our radio towers. Anything over 200ft has to be registered with the FAA and have marker lights on it. If you have a GPS that has an airplane mode it will show you the airspace of near by airports.

    2. Annihilator


      "Was that whole movie one big sham?!"

      Yes, but you only had to suspend your disbelief for the "chopper rule". The bus launching itself over a 50ft missing overpass though, that bit's OK.

  4. Ol'Peculier
    Thumb Up


    Very true, but they will probably have been Miller Lite or something, and therefore not beer on a technically

    After some of the waits I had getting off planes last month, to push a button, grab a beer and be off would have been heaven!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Homer Simpson?

    I can see Homer Simpson doing this. Genius!

  6. The_Police!

    Brilliant way to exit!

    Nice one that man!

    Beer for obvious reasons!

  7. Lamont Cranston

    "reckless endangerment and criminal mischief"

    Was there someone at the other end of the emergency chute? Pah, leave the guy alone.

    As for criminal mischief, that always puts me in mind of the Mr Men!

  8. Shady
    Thumb Up

    The man is an inspiration

    To you sir, another beer salute.

    @Sir Runcible Spoon - the entire world, barring perhaps one irate airline passenger, agrees. It is now a matter of public record that he endangered no-one and caused no inconvenience. To prosecute him the airline would surely have to perjur itself?

  9. Keith 21

    Go Steven!

    Seriously, this guy is a hero.

    Treated like shit by an arrogant twat of a customer, he quits in a way of which most of us can only dream . Grabbing the beers was the crowning touch :-)

    Good on you Steven! You, Sir, have raised the resignation bar for us all and given us all something to which to aspire!

    As for being arrested and charged? For what? They themselves said there was never any danger.

    Arrested? The guy should be given an award!

  10. Kerry Hoskin

    as wobblies go it sounds a good one!

    I bet this poor sod has had the same thing happen to him on every flight. "Ladies and Gent's please remain seated until the plane stops" queue some clown standing up and getting their luggage.

    How many of us have the same, PLEASE DO NOT USE EMAIL as the system is being patched, etc queue the phones calls that they can't open outlook. We've got a number of Xerox Phaser printers, they really don't like to be power cycled as when they warm up they use a lot of wax, so we have BIG DO NOT POWER OFF signs on them, found a user switching one off, got the reply to my question of didn't he see the sign "oh didn't think that applied to me!"

    Only thing missing in this story was the bloke should have punch the t*at in the face, at least the arrest would have been for something worth while.

    1. anarchic-teapot

      Easily sorted

      > Only thing missing in this story was the bloke should have punch the t*at in the face,

      > at least the arrest would have been for something worth while.

      No problem. I'm pretty sure there are thousands of us happy to queue up to use the anal orifice as a punchbag while Hero Steven cheers us on. As he opens another refreshing beverage.

  11. John Savard

    What About

    Improper activation of an aircraft's emergency slide doubtless resulted in delays and expense for the owner of the aircraft.

    Uttering naughty words within the earshot of a minor without that minor's parent's consent... may not be a criminal offense in most U.S. jurisdictions, but I see that as a pity.

    And, of course, a bottle of beer is an item of property, so theft charges are also possible.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge


      "Uttering naughty words within the earshot of a minor without that minor's parent's consent... may not be a criminal offense in most U.S. jurisdictions, but I see that as a pity."

      How can words ever be naughty? You would like to see America's jail population swelled even more by people going down for trivial offences, would you?

      Where's the redneck icon?

  12. Snake Doctor

    Emergency Chutes ?

    No chutes in the video clip only a baggage loader at the rear and an open cargo hatch at the front..............

    Still a great way to hand in your notice :-)

  13. Andrew Bush
    Thumb Up


    Steven Slater = My Hero

    Customers. They buy a $2 cup of coffee and think they own your ass.

  14. Reality Dysfunction

    nice one

    is there a defence fund we can contribute to?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    This may have been a huge inconvenience to the passengers - who undoubtedly had to suffer a lengthy delay on the tarmac as everybody tried to figure out what the hell was going on - but without things like this, our society would lose a big element of humanity. Hats off to him - disproportionate response or not, he's livened up a lot more people's days than he's ruined.

    1. Adam Foxton

      To stop future passengers being pissed off

      they need only tell them the reason that their flight's delayed.

      I'd have laughed my ass off and not been too irritated if it'd happened to me.

      One more beer for that man!

  16. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Acts from the Wilderness ...... Renegade Rogue Private Pirate Play

    It is very comforting for passengers to know that emergency slides work so well in the case of emergencies.

    Great PROMotion Stunt.

  17. Anonymous John


    Where's the post from Anonymous Wanker with the IT? logo?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      IT Angle


      Where's the IT angle? Was the 'chute release perhaps software controlled?

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: But...

        Angle *this*.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Black Helicopters

          Tsk tsk

          Ms Bee, The timing of your posting demands a black helicoptor!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Much is made in the good old US of A about airport security and how tight it is. So how come a guy can activate the escape chute of a plane and walk of the airport without being aprehended? Guess the security isn't all it should be. Could that be the guy's biggest crime? Demonstrating that airport security is lax is not something that is going to make you popular when the authorities keep shouting about how good it is.

    What if, for example, a terrorist wanting to get into the USA had pulled the same trick (minus the beer and PA shinanegins)? Is it always so easy to jump off an incoming flight and walk out of the airport? If so are heads going to roll?

    1. Gary Turner


      A flight steward would likely have had the proper credentials to move through restricted areas. Were a terrorist to try the same stunt, he'd likely also have the proper credentials, don't you think?

      Then, there's always the tendency to assume a person in uniform, and already in the area, belongs there. After all, he came from the tarmac, also a restricted area.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Both those arguments are no defence at all.

        Somebody has just blown the escape shoot on a plane. People don't do that by accident, it's expensive (very - you thing refitting the airbags for a car at about £2K is steep? Muliply by ten and you're probably not close), it's dangerous (very - anybody on the ground near that plane could have been badly hurt) and it's not normal. So until they knew what was going on security should have had the airport locked down.

        Assuming that a man in uniform has a right to be airside is a massive security fail. It would normally be very unusual for a steward to be wandering round on the tarmac anyway. Air crew don't usually disembark directly onto the tarmac. So security should at the very least have been asking "what the hell are you doing here?". And how hard would it be for a terrorist or an illegal to slip on an air stewards uniform in the toilet?

        I suspect that heads will be rolling quietly. I'm sure the US authorities don't want

  19. JohnG

    Red mist

    He could try the red mist gambit and claim he was so angry that he felt he needed to remove himself from the situation for the good of his passengers. That might fly even if he doesn't.

    I hope he gets a few paid TV appearances to compensate for any fines, legal costs and lost pay.

  20. Miss Lincolnshire


    How about prosecuting the passenger for being a dick head?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perfect Excuse

    He got hit on the head by a piece of luggage - CONCUSSION!!! Simples!!

    (Where is the Meerkat icon??)

  22. DP 1

    The passenger

    Why haven't the police arrested the passenger for assault? If he smacked the attendant on the head with his bag, surely that's as prosecutable as "criminal mischief" or whatever it was.

    I hope he escapes punishment. He doesn't deserve that after the way the passenger treated him.

  23. Lee 13

    What a dick

    .........he only grabbed one beer?

    Ah, he was driving......makes sense now :-D

  24. Nev
    Thumb Up

    Fair Play To Him!

    People who get up after being asked to stay seated are self important morons.

    Hope the arse who dropped his case on him was severely inconvenienced by the ensuing delay.

  25. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    When Someone Performs...

    ...a service, you owe them.

    Where tipping is possible, you can reward the server, but you can't escape the Social Obligation with mere money.

    The only true repayment is respect and service to others.

    Else comes madness.

  26. Ricky H

    Pilots get paid jack-all

    Fight attendants get paid peanuts. Because all of the money has been sucked up further up the corporate chain, these people can barely scrape a living so it should come as no surprise that temperatures rise and tempers flair.

  27. ivan itchybutt

    finished his day with rumpy pumpy...

    according to my local news:

    "Officers eventually caught up with Slater at home – but he wasn’t waiting quietly.

    Slater was allegedly having sex when he was arrested."

    1. skeptical i

      That's why he grabbed two beers, then?


    2. Wize

      But did he come quietly?

      yea yea, I'm getting it.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Looks like the plane had just landed.

    Small point. I guess from the WSJ article that the plane had just landed.

    Any delays to the rest of the passengers would have been minimal. Also if they didn't have to wait in the plane they would inevitably have to wait longer for baggage.

    Hat's off to him.

  29. kain preacher

    @ac 14:39 GMT

    Jet blue waited 20 minutes before calling the police .

    1. ravenviz Silver badge

      Re: @ac 14:39 GMT

      That was after they found out there had been a theft.

      <- no beer in any pockets

  30. gimbal

    Say no more...

    Epic win.

  31. Matthew Anderson

    Something in the air

    So that would make two excellent resignations today :-)

    1. Keith 21

      That one is a hoax.

      Yup, you've fallen for a hoax with the "girl quits job on dry erase boards".

      Full details are already floating round the tinterwebz.

      Steven, however, is a true hero, hisresignation technique was epic.

      And unlike the one you cite, not a set-up fake.

      More beer!

    2. PsychicMonkey
      Paris Hilton


      boss was right though.

  32. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    raised the bar indeed

    I've said for years that if push came to shove, I'd tender my resignation by crapping on the boss' desk and sticking my ID badge into it. Sadly, that now seems inadequate compared to this. <sigh>

  33. Martin Lyne



    Should have just told the air marshal that the guy said something about a bomb.

  34. skeptical i

    If a jury trial somehow comes of this, I hope he gets a jury of his TRUE peers.

    I doubt any helldesker, customer service personnel, waitstaff, or anyone else who deals with the moronmass, er, general public on a daily basis would give him more than community service or award more than a token dollar in damages.

    Might I add another beer to the many already offered, the boy done good!

  35. JaitcH

    Why do you quote the WSJ

    when Murdoch, the Neanderthal is, he first to try monetising what others provide at no cost? This ignores the fact the WSJ is now simply an opinion column for Murdoch.

  36. Allan George Dyer

    "Wreckless endangerment"?

    So there was no wreck, and therefore no danger?

  37. bugalugs

    IT connection ?

    BEER !!!!!

  38. Confuciousmobil


    Am I the only one who thinks that the US treat everyone like animals? Why handcuff him? Was he a threat?

    Mind you, I'm sure they wouldn't be allowed to treat animals like that.

    I think it's a brilliant way to resign but I'm sure he'll regret it when his case gets out of the limelight and he gets sentenced to 90 years hard labour....

  39. Craig 28

    Re:Reckless endangerment

    Not being familiar with the situation's full details I have to wonder whether the presence of the attendant or remnants of the chute might have endangered *other* aircraft using the airport. You certainly can't have someone wandering around the tarmac willy nilly with beers in hand.

    Of course this is still a classic.

  40. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


    Any truth in the rumor that Michael O'Dreary wants to employ him in customer relations?

  41. JHH

    More power to him

    Wont argue what he did wasn't dangerous and breaking the law but that has to go down as one of the most epic exits ever. As someone who deals with the public my hat is off and I'd buy him a beer.

  42. heyrick Silver badge

    There's some naff video footage now...

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