Steven Slater is back in the limelight for a moment today, appearing on CBS's Early Show. The former JetBlue flight attendant went from folk hero to zero in August after making a dramatic departure from his job, and the aircraft he was on. As we all know by now, Slater told a passenger off over the intercom, deployed an emergency chute, grabbed a few Blue Moon beers, and took his leave.
So what exactly happened on that JetBlue flight 1052? Slater says, "Some passengers were struggling with carry-on bags... I went to intervene and assist in that situation and in the craziness that was going on, I managed to get whacked with either the suitcase or the bin coming down. I don't know, there was a lot of flurry of craziness going on there. And while I don't advocate my response to that... There had been a lot of frustrations, there were a lot of things that went wrong on that flight. I often describe it as the perfect storm of bad manners." And about his exit method? He says, "I knew that if I went out that front door that I was probably coming right back and I think when I look back on it, maybe subconsciously, I needed to go in a way that I knew was final."
Last week he was in court, where he plead guilty to two counts of criminal mischief—he avoided jail, but will be paying $10,000 for that emergency chute, and participating in a mental health program in Queens.