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Going out in style: Furious flight attendant quits over the tannoy, grabs a beer... then uses jet's emergency slide to exit plane



By Mail Online Reporter

Last updated at 12:43 PM on 10th August 2010



When fed-up flight attendant Steven Slater got into a foul-mouthed row with a passenger after landing at JFK airport he decided enough was enough.


The 38-year-old immediately announced his resignation over the public address system, grabbed a cold beer from the galley, activated the jet's emergency slide, slid down and headed for his car.

According to eye-witnesses on the JetBlue flight from Pittsburgh, Slater 'snapped' after he was struck by a piece of luggage a passenger was taking down from an overhead locker.

When the unnamed woman passenger refused to apologise, the flight attendant walked straight to the back of the plane and used the plane's public address system to announce his immediate retirement.


article-1301798-0ABEB18D000005DC-651_468x402.jpg He won't be needing the ID card any more: Steven Slater flew into a rage after a passenger tried to retrieve their luggage from an overhead locker too early, and went on to 'resign' in the most unambiguous manner.


article-1301798-0ABEAAA4000005DC-452_468x431.jpg Steven Slater in the galley of a Jetblue plane. Although he has probably served his last in-flight meal, he has earned himself a temporary celebrity online.



Passenger Philip Catelinet told how Slater announced: 'To the passenger who called me a mother-f***er, f*** you. I’ve been in this business 28 years. And that’s it, I’m done.’

Then, pausing only remove his airline tie and to grab himself a beer from the galley, he deployed the emergency slide threw his own luggage off the plane and headed into the sunset.

Temporarily at least.

New York Port Authority officials arrested the by now ex-air steward at his beachfront Belle Harbor home a few hours later.

Police sources said he was in bed with his boyfriend when officers arrived at his home.



Slater happily confessed to police that he had deployed the escape chute and used it to make his dramatic exit, complete with baggage.


article-1301798-0ABFD170000005DC-954_468x351.jpg Slater is cuffed and strapped into the back of a New York City Police Department van after being arreted




article-1301798-0ABFD2CC000005DC-571_468x429.jpg Slater with a model of a jetBlue passenger plane similar to the one he made his dramatic exit


'Oh yes I did! I threw them down first and I went down after,' he told arresting officers.

He has been charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing.


He was later released from Port Authority custody, displaying a painful-looking cut on his forehead which is said to have been caused by falling luggage from an overhead locker.

The airline, Jet Blue, said at no time was there any risk to the safety of either passengers or crew members. The company is co-operating with the ongoing police investigation.

According to a passenger who overheard Slater talking about the incident on the Airtran shuttle bus: 'He said he had a bad day, that this passenger had set him off, I thought it was a crazy way to quit your job.


'And I thought if only we could all quit our jobs so spectacularly, but not get arrested in the process.'

Slater had been with JetBlue since 2008. He was the chairman of the airline’s Uniform Redesign Committee and a member of the Inflight Values Committee.

Slater has already become something of a folk hero online, with Tweeters, bloggers and Facebook groups celebrating the theatrically final resignation of a put-upon 'trolley dolly' who had taken enough abuse, and wasn't going to take any more.


article-1301798-0ABFD54D000005DC-746_468x369.jpg Slater with a close friend: The flight attendant was in bed with his boyfriend when he was arrested, according to NYPD sources


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