JetBlue flight attendant: a PR hero or zero?


JetBlue is no stranger to bad PR. Just look back at the Valentine's Day storm of 2007. But this week, we have a much more interesting crisis at JetBlue: the behavior of flight attendant Steven Slater. After getting into it with an allegedly abusive passenger on Monday afternoon, Slater snapped—he got on the PA system and reportedly said: "To the passenger who just called me a motherfucker, fuck you. I've been in this business 28 years, and I've had it." He then apparently grabbed a beer, activated the plane's emergency chute, slid out, ran to his car and drove home. (He was later arrested and faces charges including criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.) So, what's the upshot for JetBlue? Certainly you don't want a flight attendant initiating emergency sequences because he's pissed. On the other hand, the guy has become a folk hero for refusing to take the sort of crap that's all too common on flights these days. Has Slater damaged the JetBlue brand by being an impetuous moron, or burnished it by having the courage to reject the longstanding (and frankly, stupid) notion that the customer is always right? It's obvious how the Facebook group "I hate the motherfucker that called Steven Slater a motherfucker" feels about it. What about you? In the meantime, JetBlue can feel free to use our suggested new logo, posted above. UPDATE: "When authorities found Slater [at his home] he seemed to be in the midst of having sexual relations." Yeah, folk hero.