Air steward Steven Slater has become a social media hero after quitting his job over the plane’s public address system, grabbing a beer and exiting the plane via the emergency slide.
The incident happened on a Pittsburg to New York JetBlue flight after a feud with a female passenger over the size of her hand baggage which resulted in one of her bags being checked in as it was to big.
Once the aircraft arrived at JFK airport in New York, the same passenger agitated Slater further by trying to take her bag down from the overhead lockers before the pilot gave the all-clear for passengers to unfasten their safety belts.
According to other passengers, Slater got on the microphone before leaving the aircraft and said: “To those who have shown dignity and respect these last 20 years, thanks for a great ride!”
A huge campaign in support of the 39-year-old has been launched on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
JetBlue CEO Dave Barger said Slater “is not a hero in my book” as the air steward’s actions delayed the next flight and cost the airline more than $25,000.
After his dramatic exit, Slater was arrested and charged with criminal mischief and reckless endangerment, and released on £1,500 bail. He is currently suspended from his job while JetBlue investigates the alleged meltdown.
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