For the past two weeks, former JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater has become a household name since he refused to put up with a passenger’s obnoxious behavior, grabbed a few cold beers from the galley, and departed his scheduled flight via the emergency exit of his plane. It’s been argued plenty as to whether Slater deserves his hero status, as invoked by the national media, but the drama behind the way he quit his job has undoubtedly garnered him fame’s bright spotlight.
Already with a publicist, Slater has reportedly received a variety of offers, from book deals to reality TV gigs to public appearances, and while he seemingly enjoys this newfound attention, he still has a little matter of some felonies to deal with before he can dot the I’s and cross the T’s on any contracts. Slater is facing reckless endangerment and criminal mischief felony charges to the tune of seven years in prison. You know when flight attendants tell you not to screw with stuff on airplanes? It’s because you can face seven years in prison, dumb-dumb.
But what’s the next best thing to being Steven? Pretending to be him, apparently. An unidentified man claiming to be Slater weaseled his way into a VIP birthday cruise for Playgirl VP of Marketing Daniel Nardicio. The cruise featured 350 gay men celebrating Nardicio, and among them was this dude who really doesn’t look anything like Slater. Then again, I’m regularly mistaken for Brad Pitt, and who wants to let fans down?
Yet with all of this Slater hoopla, we forget that there are other men and women making our air travel experience safe and free of people who beat their children. A Southwest Airlines flight attendant witnessed a mother slap her baby during a flight from Albuquerque to Dallas and immediately interjected by confiscating the child. Apparently the other passengers didn’t take too kindly to the mother’s behavior, and police have praised the flight attendant’s actions for calming an otherwise catalytic instance. The parents were not punished, but that child’s going to grow up, so they will be eventually.
Delta flight attendants have also had it with the high stress factors of their jobs, and they’re considering unionizing for the first time ever. In the past, only Delta pilots and ground crew employees have been part of their respective unions, but since Delta and Northwest merged, there are quite a few flight attendants looking for security. 20,000 of them, to be exact. There’s no precise timetable for their decision, but hopefully it’s amicable and doesn’t result in a few thousand emergency exit departures.
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