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Come Fly The Sort Of Friendly Skies

By / 08.18.10

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.

[news-links]

  • Steven Slater has some new job offers, you know, once he gets past that whole going to prison thing. (Entertainment Weekly)
  • Guy pretends to be Steven Slater to get into Playgirl VIP party, no one notices. (Gawker)
  • Slap your kid on a Southwest flight? You can’t have it back until you land. (MSNBC)
  • Delta flight attendants might unionize, and they might not. A country silently waits. (Philly.com)

[/news-links]

[news-morenews]

  • We must do something to stop this incessant heat. Mainly because it just killed seven puppies on a flight from Tulsa to Chicago. Not cool, Mother Nature. (Associated Press)
  • Delta and US Airways are duking it out over New York LaGuardia and Washington National airport routes. While the feud is mostly speculative, one US Airways rep was overheard telling a Delta flight attendant, “So about those unions…” (USA Today)
  • JetBlue is bringing back its All You Can Fly promotion, meaning that for prices between $500 and $700 you can fly as much as you want for one month. JetBlue reported that the promotion spiked sales 860%. The airline has asked, though, that passengers not hit their flight attendants anymore. (CNN)
  • [/news-morenews]

    KNOW YOUR STATS

  • American travelers are experiencing lighter wallets during the travel season as U.S. flights can cost as much as $60 more per domestic ticket during the holidays, due to hidden fees and additional charges. (Bloomberg)
  • Flying still rules as more than 42% of Americans take to the air for leisure trips, while 48% of Americans choose airlines for their business travel purposes. (US Travel)
  • In the U.S., Southwest is one of the safest airlines as the company has never experienced a passenger’s death due to crash or any other accident. However, an airline’s safety ultimately depends on that company’s policies and practices. (Air Safe)

  • TAGSDELTAFLYINGJETBLUESTEVEN SLATERUS AIRWAYS

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