PR News Poll: JetBlue and the Evacuating Flight Attendant

On Aug. 9 JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater berated an uncooperative passenger on a plane's PA system, activated the emergency-evacuation chute, grabbed a beer and slid off the plane and into worker-rage history. This event has put the JetBlue brand in the national media spotlight.

In response, PR News launched a poll asking what effect the incident might have on the JetBlue brand. In a two-day period more than 1,700 people participated in the poll, and more than 200 added their comments. The final results are below.

What overall effect has the actions of flight attendant Steven Slater had on the JetBlue brand? Additionally, what advice would you give to JetBlue to handle this crisis (if, indeed, it is a crisis)?

PR News Poll: The Evacuating Flight Attendant and the JetBlue Brand 8/11/2010


Flight attendants should make jokes while going over preflight info on where emergency exits are.
Posted by JetBlue Fan on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:13 PM
JetBlue should move on. they've already responded and people are tired of the story. Feature the great attendants they have
Posted by Laura carabello on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:15 PM
I think he should be fired. This is the man who is supposed to stay calm in an emergency?
Posted by kristin Conner on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:15 PM
Mr. Slater will have had his 15 minutes of fame, and Jet Blue will continue enjoying its competitive position in the discount airline space.
Posted by Ken Wenninger on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:15 PM
Had never heard of JetBlue before so take advantage of the extra eyeballs and create a conversation that pokes a bit of fun at yourself and the incident. For example: Going rogue...go JetBlue!
Posted by Kim on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:15 PM
I would recommend that JetBlue publicly apologize for the attendant's behavior; and take corrective action by giving free flights to those who were on that flight; give attendant training to staff; and put out ads/tactics featuring attendants who love their jobs and are committed to JetBlue and serving its customers.
Posted by Dr. Dionne C. Clemon on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:15 PM
Is the description of "uncooperative passsenger" accurate? I thought she was worse than that. How about sharing the full story?
Posted by TheBox on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:15 PM
Any publicity is good publicity, and even if this appears as a crisis, it is a great time for them to show what their values are in taking care of the customer, and even doing something public with the employee, not to embarrass either, but to make a positive and lasting impression on how it handles both employees and customers.
Posted by Aaron on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:16 PM
Emphasize core values and mission; look for media opportunities to showcase exemplary customer service. Educate frontline employees about talking to media and providing positive examples of customer relations.
Posted by Bryan Daniels on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:16 PM
Give the flight attendant a raise. Some passengers deserve it.
Posted by Steve handschuh on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:17 PM
I think this incident speaks more about the lack of civility by the passenger than the flight attendant.
Posted by Glenn Johnson on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:17 PM
I don't think it will have any impact on the brand. Three weeks from now, nobody will even remember what airline it was.
Posted by Beth Schmidt on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:17 PM
JetBlue, Steven Slater and the uncooperative passenger should have a beer with Obama.
Posted by Greg Gatlin on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:18 PM
Offer anger stress maangement classes. Passengers really should abide the rules - it happens alot when a passenger feels they are entitled to do as they like.
Posted by roxanna on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:18 PM
Well it's painfully obvious there is an absolute disconnect between JetBlue and its own employees, so there needs to be some enormous internal work done to shore up the company's own employee base and their beliefs as these relate to their employer!!! The company has apparently forgotten that the first rule of thumb is to treat your own employees as if they are your consumers because THEY ARE your consumers/clients/promoters, etc., and the old saying here applies "If momma ain't happy, no one's gonna be happy (or a variation)!
Posted by Sue Sitzmann on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:18 PM
Even Slater knows that what he did finishes his career but where is Jet Blue on at least saying someething about the passenger? That is what is so ridiculous about this story - this passenger was breaking FAA rules and needs to take their punishment as well! Southweset should give this man a job...
Posted by Kim on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:18 PM
I have flown so much that I hate it but I find customers who are rude and uncooperative with attendancts un acceptable. Having said that charging people for luggage only exacerbates crowded conditions and tight time schedules so don't charge for luggage is what I would say to all airlines.
Posted by Susan Romeo on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:18 PM
I don't see the event having a whole lot of impact on the JetBlue brand. Anyone who flies has run into those types of passengers and has wanted to do the same thing.
Posted by Dave Gemma on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:18 PM
JetBlue has had a number of reputation-killing incidents lately. The brand is already bruised. This will only add to it because while the passenger incident was the trigger, they were probably management issues pecolating beneath the surface. JetBlue is no longer a shining star.
Posted by MarkWreck on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:19 PM
I believe the positive or negagtive fallout depends on what Jet Blue does next. I would find a way to position Jet Blue as supportive of its employees, and offer special counseling and help to Slater.
Posted by Henry Urick on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:19 PM
They are handling it beautifully! For a company with a huge focus on word-of-mouth marketing, they couldn't have any better PR than having the national spotlight on a disgruntled employee. They have yet to be blamed - AT ALL - but the airline is mentioned constantly in the story. Great awareness building! They have to keep quiet due to the investigation, but they are blogging in the right way - being authentic about the fact that they can't comment while still having a sense of humor over the stir... and they even close with a shout out to their wonderful employees. Wonderful job, Jet Blue!
Posted by Melissa Gullickson on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:19 PM
reprimand him, then use his celebrity to do viral videos to promote jet blue. humorous clips to educate on proper flight behavior. he is turning into a folk hero to the working class and someone will capitalize on his story if Jet Blue does not.
Posted by Terry Williams on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:19 PM
the focus of attn is on the employee, a flight attendant - one easily disassociates with the airliner's brand in my opinion
Posted by Mary on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:19 PM
Issue a statement expressing regret at the incident but reminding passengers of proper, polite behavior. Whoever starts with the abusive language is the aggressor. The fault was not all with Slater.
Posted by Tom Mullaney on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:19 PM
JetBlue should post bail for him and get him some mental health counseling. They should also ask for a reasonable amount of leniency, especially since no one was harmed
Posted by LFlanagan on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:19 PM
If JetBlue treats the situation and the flight attendant right, they can come out of this OK, maybe with an even better reputation than before, and with untold free publicity about their airline.
Posted by C. Gunther on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:20 PM
He's destined to become a folk hero of sorts ... but his flight of fancy puts a few skid marks on JetBlue's image. The company can be understanding of workers' stress but needs to assert its disapproval of the behavior. Customers first.
Posted by John Leonard on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:20 PM
Steven Slater is a hero to us all--we want to either marry him or BE him. He overshadows JetBlue entirely.
Posted by Pat Ireland on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:20 PM
Honestly, when most people I've talked to hear how the flight attendant was treated by the passenger, they are ready to give him a high five! Yeah, he should have controlled his anger however, I'm sorry, but the customer is NOT always right. He did not deserve the treatment he got. Not an ideal way for him to handle it but still ... And no WAY should he be arrested for it.
Posted by April on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:21 PM
Poke fun at it- it's hysterical!
Posted by Ashley Engelman on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:21 PM
In light of media attention, handle appropriately and mindfully and put out alot of press releases about how great they are.
Posted by Vivian on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:21 PM
People will be able to relate to his frustration, especially with the economy, job loss, health crisis and more. I think the person who hit him should publicly apologize to Steven. Companies would not tolerate emlpoyees abusing each other, why should they tolerate customers abusing employees?
Posted by Barbara Palazzolo on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:22 PM
Although the flight attendant's actions are questionable at best, JetBlue walks a fine line in their discipline of this employee because of his popularity. Disciplinary actions should be kept private.
Posted by Jennifer Merback on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:22 PM
I have to believe Steven Slater knows his actions were wrong, regardless of the passenger's behavior. JetBlue has an airline to run; it should investigate what happened on Slater's flight. And when it has all the facts, make them known. Until then, it can use its Facebook page and other channels of communication to say the airline is investigating the matter, and will report its findings as soon as possible. Justice is supposed to be swift, not immediate.
Posted by William Perry on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:22 PM
Although a mistreated/abused flight attendant who fights back is a sympathetic or heoric figure, he did launch the slide, a dangerous mistake. The PA announcement with cussing...not his finest hour. But we've all gone on a rant. Should the recommendation by the airline be discipline commensurate with the policy violations, and not outright dismissal, they will appear humane and compassionate. As one would hope a good employer would be. Good help is hard to find. If he has an unblemished record and likes his job, he deserves to be disciplined and everyone should move on. I am curious about what the passenger's issues were and the extent of her rude/abusive behavior. If you can be "barred" from a business, why can't a patron be barred from future flights on an airlines, if that is warranted? If he's not the only one culpable here and was provoked by the customer, and passenger safety jeopardized, then the customer should go.
Posted by PRPRO on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:22 PM
All employees need to be even more nice.
Posted by Steve Jalkut on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:22 PM
JetBlue should do the minimum and not press charges. They did not adequately protect their employee and he really could sue them for creating a hostile work environment.
Posted by Kim Phillips | Lucid on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:22 PM
In a time where worker-rage too often translates into a shooting, this was nothing and doesn't impact the brand.
Posted by Elena on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:22 PM
I don't think it really has anything to do with JetBlue. If I were JetBlue, I wouldn't be too worried about it. Slater has taken on an identity of his own that doesn't really have anything to do with the JetBlue brand. I read an article today about what effect this will have on Jet Blue's social media...I say not everything has to be addressed on social media. Just because social media exists doesn't mean it should be used to deal with every situation. I would stay mum about it too, especially if there are legal issues involved. This is pretty serious when it comes to pressing criminal charges. I think Slater's actions have more to do with being a disgruntled with the nature of the job, not JetBlue as an airline. People can relate to it. It's one individual who will achieve folk fame, but shouldn't tarnish the brand at all. I doubt one person will not fly Jet Blue as a result of the incident.
Posted by Emily L. on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:22 PM
Let it play out in the courts and news media. Clearly the flight attendant no longer works with Jet Blue and his actions were not inline with his training and the company's standards. Most people will laugh about the man's "bad day," and buy their next ticket on Jet Blue knowing they are going to get so "great" service in the coming months.
Posted by Joe Quimby on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:22 PM
JetBlue must make some form of reprimand - perhaps suspension without pay; but, I think the bigger issue is airlines must consider this as a very serious consequence of many rediculous fees customers must pay to fly.
Posted by Billy Morehead on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:22 PM
let the story die it's death. do nothing that will give it anymore steam than it currently has.
Posted by philip andrews on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:22 PM
public support for the attendant seems pretty high, people (seem to) sympathize with the stress of the job and the rudeness of customers. The company should give the guy back his job, after counseling him some and using the opportunity to re-train employees on handling stress. Firing him comes across as a little harsh, considering the circumstances, although the company is justified in re-emphasizing that over-reacting and overly-dramatic stunts such as the chute-shoot are totally inappropriate.
Posted by Jack on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:23 PM
This is clearly a disgruntled worker and should be treated as such. If there are any "fans" within your workforce, activate them now! Tell your story! This is a single person, not indicative of the collective people who make up your workforce.
Posted by Gina Morales on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:23 PM
The Steven Slater meltdown will play out as a positive for JetBlue. As a PR practitioner, I am sure JetBlue is preparing a statement condoning Mr. Slaters actions. However, alluding to supporting its employees and insuring its customers that the company beleives in safe, curtious and supportive work practices.
Posted by Keith L. F orest on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:23 PM
I'm not in the business of giving free advice - and Jet Blue didn't ask - something for all the PR pontificators to remember. I'm getting a bit tired of "instant PR advice" for every situation that comes down the pike.
As far as I'm concerned, Jet Blue got more visibility that it could have paid for, no one will really care, and most will wish they could do that on their job so they will relate to the guy. End of story. Move on.
Posted by Consultant on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:23 PM
His actions show a serious lack of employee training in customer relations and handling difficult situations.
Posted by Carolyn Stephens on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:23 PM
Let the story ride (or slide) with Slater - it is his story more than JetBlue's - they should stay a cool distant second.
Posted by Sharon Pomerantz on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:23 PM
This situation is a reflection on Steven Slater's (in)ability to manage his anger and the flier's manners -- or lack thereof. JetBlue doesn't "own" its employees. The only 'crisis' that JetBlue needs to handle is what to do with Mr. Slater now -- reinstate him or attempt to put him in jail. My advice: Send him to anger management training and give him a different position at JetBlue.
Posted by Karen Szulgit on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:23 PM
I would release a statement that cites the JetBlue employee code of conduct and apologize to passengers on that flight for his behavior.
Posted by Evie Klopp Holzer on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:23 PM
I am a very happy Jet Blue customer. I would advise that Jet Blue employees have a chance to decompress after each flight. There are many people that are rude and inconsiderate when flying and I can see how he snapped but there has to be a plan in place for extreme circumstances. I am sure it was scary on both ends but rude customers should be penialized in some way, I am sure others would agree...
Posted by Mary Ann on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:24 PM
Crisis? What crisis? Hiring him was a master stroke. Retaining him is imperative, since he embodies the independent, efficient, fun-loving spirit that would serve JetBlue well. The crisis will come if they let him get away!
Posted by Richard Johnstone on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:24 PM
Maybe if the company treated and supported its employees a little better, the employee would have been a bit more tolerant. Employers today treat employees like crap, and they get away with it. I hope JetBlue lays a big egg.
Posted by Ralph C. Jensen on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:24 PM
What is interesting about this situation is that the employee simply mirrored the actions and attitude of the customer. While I don't think his actions were great, I do think as customers we need to step it up a bit and quit being so impossible to work with. Everyone has been in that place - furstrated with an overly demanding uncooperative person. Steven Slater should have waited until he was out of site to do his venting but then again, no one is talking about the irrational customer. Maybe we should be!?!?
Posted by Jantina on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:24 PM
Probably no effect as some news shows were reporting that this fellow just lost his mother. Everyone has a bad day, he was obviously at his limit. Deploying the evac chute is what I object to as it could have endangered some of the passengers.
Posted by Alan Adelson on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:24 PM
Stand by their flight attendant(s).

"While we don't condone Mr. Slater's actions, some customers behave so far outside the mainstream (you know who you are) that they would drive even the most patient to drink."

Posted by mduncan on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:24 PM
It would be radical but think of the fact that the flight attendant was standing up for the opinions of probably all the other passengers who stayed in their seats - I think if passengers don't follow the rules of the airline which are designed for our safety they should not be allowed to fly - period - done deal - I am so tired of rude passengers taking advantage of the flight team - passengers were alot nicer after 9/11 - but it only took a few months for the jerks to resurface - no excuse for bad manners on flights!!!Rehire the flight attendant and empower them to put these rude passengers on no fly lists - that will help all the rest of us !!!
Posted by Andrea Barthello on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:25 PM
The customer isn't always right, and Slater snapped.What can be learned? This is an opportunity to review importance of passengers complying with safety instructions and carry on limits.
Posted by Pam Dickinson on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:25 PM
I have flown Jet Blue a number of times, but will not do so again unless and until Jet Blue either fires or disciplines the offending flight attendant in a meaningful way, and makes a public statement that abuse of passengers by flight attendants will not be tolerated, that staff statements expressing negative feelings towards passengers are against Jet Blue's culture, and that mandatory training will be held to reinforce a culture of being understanding and responsive to passenger concerns or distress, even when it appears the passenger is being difficult. Without passengers there would be no need for flight attendants.
Posted by Glenda Wina on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:25 PM
It's amazing how much uncooperative passengers get away with these days. I find the flight attendant reaction a bit over board but at the same time refreshing and comical. There are more and more instances where passengers need to understand they are in the wrong. Maybe the delivery was not so well executed but i'm sure the intent was felt by many people on the plane.
Posted by jessica on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:26 PM
This is fantastic for them--when's the last time JetBlue got national coverage? They're handling it just fine.
Posted by Jennifer Petit on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:27 PM
I would discipline the employee with one week off without pay but not terminate his employment.
Posted by Kathy Atkins on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:27 PM
Drop the $25,000 charge, offer to re-hire him, pay his legal fees, support him in court, and develop some strategies targeting uncivil passenger behavior. It's a wonder more people (personnel and passengers) don't snap, given the stress imposed by airlines. The entire experience of air travel in the US has become a disgrace. Charge $50 for each bag that goes into the onboard compartment and no fee whatever for checked baggage. Current airline policies do not take human needs into consideration.
Posted by Harry Haines on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:28 PM
JetBlue should acknowledge that it was a bad reaction to an out of control passenger. Both the employee and the passenger - being adults - should have been better at resolving their problem. In no way, does someone have the right to abuse an employee simply because they pay for services. In kind, a customer has a right to be treated with respect as well. Both parties are wrong, but Jet Blue is not necessarily at fault no more than Delta would be.
Posted by Kaye on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:28 PM
Let it go. Maybe a couple weeks off for stress relief.
Posted by Judy on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:28 PM
After the comic novelty wears off (like, now), passengers will begin to wonder about the character of JetBlue FAs. Now, it's getting serious, and so should JetBlue, by promptly firing and pressing charges against the attendant, issuing firm and clear statement that this was an isolated "rogue" employee; will review its recruitment and training practices, and take any necessary corrective actions, to ensure that an episode such as this never, ever happens again.
Posted by Tom V on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:29 PM
I don't think this is a crisis. It will blow over. The statement they released was appropriate about how their crew is professional in general.
Posted by Petra Tuomi on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:29 PM
Much like KeyCorp firing the teller for apprehending a bank robber, JetBlue's firing of this attendant for what the public sees as a justified outburst puts them in a negative light with some potential customers. Corporations are looked at unfavorably now by the general public, so scrutiny over how the company handles this will abound. They should focus on the fact that it was an altercation with a passenger and was really not at all about a disgruntled employee (i.e. disgruntled re: benefits, pay, etc.). Putting together a passenger etiquette manual (in a tongue-in-cheek manner) might help. The fact that Steven potentially endangered passengers and crew with his emergency exit is an issue. They could also merely issue a statement that they are working on training adn they are sorry it happened. Steve has made it a publicity stunt for him, but it isn't clear that he is mad at JetBlue.
Posted by lhammel on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:29 PM
Use humor. It is not the comapny's fault that the guy lost it. Announce that they are giving him a loong vacation to de-stress... then move on ;)
Posted by Wendi Tush on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:30 PM
JetBlue treads a dangerously fine line. They err gravely if they unintentionally help their potential jet "blue collar" customers from turning away by the company's perceived mistreatment of Mr. Slater. Though his actions cannot be s(m)oothed over, it appears from news reports that he suffered some severe indignities that may not have been adequately addressed by the company (e.g., pilots on board). I'm not sure most average Joes or Julies out there today still buy that the customer is ALWAYS right, no matter what.
Posted by Judah on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:30 PM
I hope that Jet Blue will stand beside Steve and support him; lets face it, people are Rude and i am sure that Steve just had enough of it; I felt the same way when i was in real estate and sales. It would be very nice to finally see a company stand up for there employee... i am sure that America would see it as a positive thing; not to be abused -- because companies do want professionalism in their employees but i cant blame the gu y on this one...i wish steve and the company the best!!
Posted by Margo Colestock on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:31 PM
As far as the JetBlue Brand, yes, I think people will opt to fly other low fare airlines if only for a temporary time frame. Ouch! However, I think JetBlue should use this free coverage and run with it. I am tired of everyone having to accommodate to rude customers! She busted his forehead! I mean come on! I would have flipped too, minus the pulling the shoot and taking 2 beers!
Posted by Samantha Hargrove on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:32 PM
Jet Blue needs to get in the conversation. Overnight, Slater got hundreds of thousands of fans on facebook. There has to be an opportunity for Jet Blue here somewhere. Rehab for a frazzled employee? Top 10 worst customer experiences and how Jet Blue typically handles them? Come on, Jet Blue. Speak up.
Posted by Jan Owen on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:32 PM
Crisis? its the best PR Jet Blue has gotten in a long time. Everyone hates the passengers who don't follow instructions and keep the planes late or disrupt the mood in the cabin.
Posted by walter Marcinowski on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:33 PM
Keep him on desk duty for awhile...people will forget....
Posted by kim on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:34 PM
Don't fire the guy. Pay his bail ("in recognition of his years of great service"), publicly recognize the difficulty of providing exceptional service to the public under frequently difficult circumstances and put him on leave under workman's comp. JetBlue will be a hero in passengers' eyes.
Posted by dennis Fitch on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:34 PM
This is a one-off incident that will blow over quickly...IF Mr. Slater learns to present an appropriate demeanor when appearing in public regarding this situation. Smirking while being read charges is neither professional nor likely to garner official sympathy. Advice to JetBlue? Don't over-apologize, but don't have a public hanging either.
Posted by Kirk Hazlett, APR, F on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:36 PM
In a recession, someone lost their cool and quit their job. Hello, now accepting job applications!
Posted by Candice on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:37 PM
This is an isolated incident which could have happened on any airline. JetBlue is not responsible for an employee having a meltdown. Apologize for the incident and move on.
Posted by Dawn on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:37 PM
There is no excuse for abuse by the public of flight attendants. Problems with the airline and traveling shouldn't be pushed onto them. Passengers have gotten really rude generally. This has created a back attitude by some employees. The company needs to control this, that's why it is Jet Blue's fault. This is the company that thought it was alright to have passengers on a plane for eight hours not moving. It starts there.
Posted by Mitchell Young on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:39 PM
They should not respond in a typical "corporate" fashion. Slater didn't react to the company, but to a customer. Companies who respond too corporately to these things lose credibility and the opportunity to appear human.
Posted by Cole Quinnell on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:39 PM
he's my hero - this did no damage to JB and the insults and abuse they have to face as flight attendants on a regular basis....well, this was long overdue, funny and didn't harm anyone. get over it and don't fire him!
Posted by Susan on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:39 PM
How about a funny passenger/flight attendant behavior feature or seat back card? Treat passengers like sheep and charge us to pee, or treat employees like punching bags and all of us are going to snap. I've felt like smacking a few rude passengers myself, and I don't have to put up with them as my career! Slater needs to go on Letterman!
Posted by Sandy Smith on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:40 PM
This has no negative effect on the JetBlue brand. No publicity is bad publicity - the JetBlue name is getting great coverage right now!
Posted by Laura on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:40 PM
He shouldn't lose his job over the incident. The punishment should fit the crime, but that's all. The passenger started this mess by 1)ignoring him; 2) hitting him with her luggage; and 3) cursing him out. Clearly, he was affected. Though that's not an excuse, it is a mitigating factor. He should he held accountable for unprofessional conduct (cursing out the passenger on the PA system) and violating safety regulations (opening the emergency chute), but I don't think it warrants him losing his job.
Posted by Lauren on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:42 PM
Everyone's having a good yuck, but this is not good for JetBlue and there is little they can do to spin away the reality that an employee flipped out and seriously endangered everyone (passengers, crew, ground personnel)around him. Lasting damage for whatever brand equity they have.
Posted by Jim M. on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:42 PM
I'll bet a lot of passengers on that plane would have loved the opportunity to voice the same opinion Slater vented over the PA system. They should hire him back and send a "NO More Flights For You" letter to the woman passenger who got exactly what she needed to hear.
Posted by Dave W. on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:42 PM
JetBlue should send flight attendent Steve Slater to an anger management course
Posted by Eric Goldman on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:43 PM
Drop any action against Slater close the books on it.
Posted by Tim McCulloch on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:44 PM
This will have no impact on me because I recognize how stressful flight attendants jobs can be, among those who understand the safety implications.
Posted by Bob Beaulaurier Mark on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:45 PM
JebBlue should use the opportunity to share with various audiences how much it appreciates its dedicated crew members and thank them publicly for the service they provide. This compassion and understanding would go far with employees and customers. This incident won't affect the company's image long term.
Posted by Robb Crouch on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:46 PM
JetBlue needs to walk the fine line of standing up for it's flight attendant in light of a passenger's reprehensible betvavior, while at the same time not condoning Steve's shoot and beer episode. It's really tough being a flight attendant and as a frequent JetBlue flier,if the company doesn't stand behind it's guy, I'm going to be mighty disappointed in them.
Posted by Jeanne on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:47 PM
JetBlue should set up a program allowing all flight personnel to file a report on abusive passengers that after review could result in restrictions or denial of booking future fights. Passengers should be made aware that disruptive and abusive behavior to fight personnel and other passengers will not be tollerated and could result in penalties and or denial of future services. Mr. Slater might not have reacted the way he did if he knew this type of program was in place.
Posted by Rodney Baker on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:48 PM
Jet Blue should make him head of customer service, or a company blogger about consumer issues.
Posted by Robin S on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:49 PM
The quality of air travel has deteriorated, the price has gone up and this makes people angry. Slater's tirade reflects the general mood of discontent. He may not be cut out for customer service, but then neither is the industry.
Posted by Mary Jane Guffey on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:49 PM
this too shall and will pass
Posted by kayja on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:50 PM
Although Mr. Slater's actions were drastic, it appears we are currently living in an angry society with quick tempers and quick reactions. It's my belief that a lot of people view those who serve us as part of their occupation as people they can unload on. I don't condone Mr. Slater's actions, but I certainly understand them. I've always heard "any press is better than no press." I don't know that I agree with that, but at least this press helps people remember Jet Blue's name.
Posted by Gina on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:51 PM
The JetBlue PR team appears to be the only people not getting the humor out of this. It was a folk-hero story of how we would all like to quit a job and JetBlue turned into a disaster by refusing to embrace the humor. JetBlue consistently seems to make the wrong PR decisions.
Posted by Matt on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:55 PM
They should treat this like any other employee disciplinary issue. Investigate, weigh the facts and respond appropriately and fairly. Whether his actions caused a "media storm" should not factor into his discipline...if any is warranted based on the facts (most of which none of us possess). Then explain why. As for the passenger, I'd say "thanks but no thanks" to any of her future business. You can explain that as a favor to your employees and all the passengers that may be forced to fly with her in the future.
Posted by David U. on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:56 PM
Every employee brings a brand to life. Steve did not positively affect the brand with his behavior. Yes the customer was despicable, but there were better options. I doubt that other passengers were too thrilled by a flight delay caused by the deployment of the emergency-evacuation chute. I wouldn't worry about Steve keeping his job. He's famous now. We'll probably see him on a reality TV show soon.
Posted by Marilyn Kroner on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 05:57 PM
As a pilot and CEO
of an ad agency, I can tell you the flight attendant blew it. he is suppose to be the one who is calm and cool during a catastrophe. so he should be fired and his career in aviation services comes to an end here. JET BLUE meanwhile will go on to be a hot shot small airline that competes well with the majors and does a good job with its image. what Jet Blue need is an ad campaign to set the world straight on who they are....
but they won't do that. I do know,
but associates at
Oglivie & Mather tell me the CEO of Jet blue is practically unapproachable.
and ya have to be willing to warm up to people for them to help build your branding. advise:
Loosen up Mr CEO OF JET BLUE.
Posted by keith brunson on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:00 PM
Even when the customer is wrong, he or she is right. Translation: we need to protect our reputation during extreme incidents. Jet Blue should try to both have a sense of humor about the incident and do some kind of "kiss and make up" with the berated passenger -- all publicly, of course. Because when you do the right thing, you might change the way people think and act -- in this case, the mind of an errant passenger, and millions of Americans that are having a good belly laugh over the affair.
Posted by Roberta Guise on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:00 PM
What action has been taken against the passenger who created a public disturbance and endangered other passengers?
Posted by Juno Joy on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:00 PM
Jet Blue needs to respond to the situation, but the errant behavior of an employee should not reflect the overall brand, unless they do not respond to the situation. This appears to be a situation where the employee knew he was going out with a splash, and it is a choice he made, but it does not reflect the Jet Blue brand. Handle it and move on!
Posted by Andrea Vogt on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:02 PM
It's interesting to me that such a number of the public are supporting this flight attendent. It may have been prompted, but his reaction, while in a professional role, was anything but. The airline industry quit caring about customer service a long time ago. From a business owner perspective, the employee has to be accountable to his/her actions. It sounds as if blame can be placed on both parties here.
Posted by Tim Harmon on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:02 PM
While I don't condone Mr. Slater's action, I can understand where he was coming from. People today are very angry and frustrated and just don't know what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior anymore. Too much now, people look at anyone in the service industry as their own personal dogs to kick and I believe Mr. Slater just got kicked once too often and "bit". I think his losing his job will be punishment enough. I don't think this will have a negative impact on JetBlue. They really should use it to their full advantage with improved customer service and with jokes. Had I been there, I'd have probably clapped for him!
Posted by Dianna on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:02 PM
Give the full story, customers think they have rights to do anything too in some cases so even if his actions were inappropriate, maybe it would "wake up" the rest of us that is it not okay to be rude either!!! The moment is gone, move on with positive advertisements on what values JetBlue can offer thier customers
Posted by unknown on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:02 PM
Slater's was not the act of a folk hero. The safety of many trumps the dignity of one. Many of us can relate to his feelings but would think twice before acting as he did. That's just common decency and common sense - as well as doing a job. JetBlue's few reported reactions seem entirely appropriate.
Posted by Donna on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:02 PM
Jet Blue should make a series of spoof videos poking fun of the situation but reiterating their commitment to excellent customer service.
Posted by Lindy on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:03 PM
I hate to fly so the best flight I ever experienced was a comedy flight on the way back to San Diego from Las Vegas. The lead flight attendant was so funny and entertaining that I don't think anyone would have attempted to be rude or to open the overhead bin while the plane was still in the air.
Posted by Cheryl B on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:04 PM
This is a teachable moment if there ever was one. It provides a solid platform for JetBlue to begin a broader discussion about the expectations one should have about courtesy during day-to-day interactions.For instance, is the customer really, always right?
Posted by Andrea Disario on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:04 PM
It depends on how JetBlue actually handles the situation. People should realize that flight attendants are a good deal more than aerial waitstaff.
Posted by Lesley on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:04 PM
The flight attendant should stay cool, calm and collected at all times. He/ she should gently persuade the passenger to cooperate, and explain that without his/ her cooperation the aircraft will not leave the ground. A rule should be in place to make passengers cooperate for the benefit of all passengers and crew. If the flight attendant's polite request does not work, the captain should be called in as a last resort.
Posted by Maroi Shoji on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:05 PM
It's not a JetBlue problem, it's an airline problem. Airlines need to treat customers well, but when it comes to rules designed to maintain safety, they need to back up their employees 100%. Abusive behavior by passengers should never be tolerated.
Posted by Ian on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:06 PM
This guy has become a folk hero and his story has taken on a life of its own. It has captured the heart of all people who would love to have the guts to "not take it anymore" from idiots (customers, not the company). JetBlue is getting an incredible amount of publicty they could not purchase.
Posted by Sue R. on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:07 PM
Jet Blue sells on the basis of price, not service. This is just a blip. Jet Blue's decisions regarding Slater should be based on company & HR policy, not public opinion.
Posted by red on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:10 PM
Recently in a trip abroad, I noted the number of times that the flight attendants had to tell the people to sit down, stop taking baggage in and out from above units, going to the "john" when the seat belt sign was on, etc. I agree in not saying that Mr. Slater was absolutely correct in his behavior, but one reaches a point with the public as in this case when enough was enough!
Posted by Joseph Sciame on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:11 PM
I commend Mr Slater! People who take advantage of "positional power" are cowards and I, for one, am tired of them!
Posted by John X on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:17 PM
I'm no expert on crisis communications, but I've yet to hear the airline's apology to the traveling public. The employee snapped and will have his 15 minutes of fame. Law enforcement is taking it serious, and probably appropriately so. But I have n educated suspicion that the employment lawyers at Jet Blue are calling the shots. Unless they want their image to be that their passengers are rude, and their in-flight crews are hotheads, the airline's brass should be communicating.
Posted by TCU Ken on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:20 PM
I don't believe in the notion that all publicity is good. As a consumer, I'm wondering how many other Jet Blue attendants are on the verge of flipping out? Are these people not trained to handle diffult passenger situations? Who needs that when there are other flight options. Jet Blue has an interesting situation in that it has two publics impacted by this incident: their customers and employees. I'll be following what kind of communication strategy they develop for both.
Posted by Bruce X. on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:22 PM
Since so many Americans are not happy in their jobs, Mr. Slater gave those who can't jump ship a chance to vicariously live out their own fantasies. I doubt many people care about the airline one way or the other. They love it that someone got out of the situation they hated with a flourish. JetBlue could use the incident to its advantage, but it won't hurt JetBlue unless the company decides to ignore why an employee would get to this point.
Posted by Donna on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:22 PM
I agree with much of the sentiments expressed already; JetBlue's responses to date haven't been substantive enough to defend its brand and reputation for customer-friendly service.
Posted by gws on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:30 PM
The overall effect on JetBlue's brand should be positive, provided the airline handles the affair properly. Jet Blue now has an opportunity to elaborate on its priorities as a company to both its customers and employees. There's no doubt that passengers can rude and obnoxious, that's been true for a number of years now. Is it the airline's fault if an employee allows the actions of the public to completely unhinge them?

I think most people will recognize this incident for what it is: the actions of a single, disgruntled employee that apparently was at his breaking point. Exiting the aircraft via an emerg. chute is totally unacceptable, naturally. Such behavior wouldn't be tolerated in any workplace setting.

Bottom line: JB gets press it wouldn't have received in the absence of the incident and they can capitalize in a very positive fashion...if they're savvy at handling the press.

Posted by alan on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:31 PM
Sounds like Jet Blue knows how to party. Seriously though, any media coverage is better than none. Give that attendant a raise for increasing brand awareness..
Posted by KL on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:34 PM
Jet Blue is getting great press -- they should leverage the heck out of it. What a great way to go! Most of the public are idiots -- surprised we haven't seen more of this type of thing.
Posted by Pamela Gilchrist on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:37 PM
Jet Blue should stand behind Mr. Slater.
Posted by Sylvia on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:38 PM
JP gets press. And the press is calling attention to the changes in all airlines that are making passengers grumpy. It is part of our current stressful era.
Slater is likely to become a cult hero, of sorts. Tired, overworked people from around the country will relate to him, rather than see themselves as the angry passenger.
I don't think it will hurt JB at all.
Posted by Kathleen on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:39 PM
JB's image is their's to mismanage. Treat it as an isolated incident. There are amazing opportunities for JB - to improve inflight passenger behavior.
Posted by DenisW on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:48 PM
Mr. Slater reacted to the passenger’s bad behavior with potentially dangerous behavior as he was charged with the safety of the passengers and his boorish behavior endangered everyone on that plane. He also confirmed what most of us have been thinking for a long time…that Americans are increasingly self-absorbed folks who feel entitled to react to every real or perceived slight by the most inappropriate and outlandish behaviors, simply because they can.
Posted by Rosemary on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:48 PM
JetBlue provides a good service in a shrinking market, the flight attendant should be fired, after all everyhting you think shouldn't be said to a customer.
Posted by Lynn K on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:49 PM
JetBlue is known for its incredible customer service. Anyone who knows their culture would also assume that the annoying passenger should be banned for life. They've already made the right moves and should just move on. Their brand is the sum total of the experience and all of their employees on hundreds of flights with thousands of people every day, not based on one rude passenger's effect on one employee on one flight.
Posted by megan on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:54 PM
I don't blame him at all. I've been on too many flights with"entitled" and rude passengers blocking passage ways with carry ons and acting like they own the plane. Had a few incidences myself with fellow pax packing too much in overhead or next to my feet at my sea where I almost lost it.
Posted by pattip (Travel Diva) on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 06:58 PM
Actually, as a human being, it made me laugh. As a passenger, I could relate (how many times have we all seen rude passengers?) . As a PR person, I'd caution them NOT to over react because the employee could stand for the common man. I agree that JB has the opportunity for positive PR. In the end, it was an SNL clip in real time.
Posted by Agi on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 07:05 PM
If handled correctly could means some positive pr for JetBlue.
Posted by Pat W on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 07:06 PM
No harm, no foul - give Steven a suspended sentence and his job back. The passenger should be exposed and rediculed.
Posted by sunsync on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 07:08 PM
If the passenger was out of her seat and would not sit down when asked to, and did indeed strike Salter (even with her bag) and failed to apologize, charges should be filed for violating FAA rules and assault. I too am tired of passengers who abuse crew members!!!
Posted by GJ on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 07:10 PM
passengers pretty much have no rights on a plan. a passenger has a complaint or disagreement with a flight attendent/air bitch and bam their off the plane. they are like drill instuctors with a chip! there were many times I wanted to pull that damn chute. everyone has bad days though! I gotta say that situation is pretty funny.
Posted by jen on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 07:12 PM
Remember the US Post Office disgruntled worker going "postal" a few years ago? This a perfect example of stress at the "n"th degree! Supervisors should be able to prevent cases such as the one in Jet Blue. Recommendations: Develop pro client, pro service campaign ASAP!
Posted by Olga Mayoral Wilson, on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 07:18 PM
I'm curious as to why JetBlue is hiding under a rock and why the passenger has not been charged with her various violations. Having said that, this episode exposes what we all know: traveling by air these days is now a classy experience. It is essentially an overcrowded flying cattle pen, after you've been groped or full body x-rayed by the creepy security folks. It's something you only do now when you absolutely have to.
Posted by Wendi on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 07:28 PM
jet blue should come up with a playful ad campaign to make light of this....the passenger was more of the problem than the flight attendant. let's be honest, wouldn't all of us love to exit a job this way?
Posted by blaire on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 07:35 PM
I think most reasonable people recognize that he acted on his own and this is not necessarily a reflection on Jet Blue. If anything, it gave Jet Blue more brand exposure.
Posted by Janet Riley on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 07:36 PM
Jet Blue should state it policy on how its workers are to react to angry customers. They should not make any quick decisions until an investigation is complete. They should not take sides until all information is available and should state that in their response to the media. Letting it be known appropriate action will be taken at the proper time.
Posted by Russell Bynum on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 07:38 PM
It doesn't have a negative effect, everyone in the country is buzzing about JetBlue. Employers are sorry for the airline for having an employee gone bad. Travelers are promising they would never be out of hand. Airline employees are watching their P's & Q's and hopefully JetBlue will try harder to keep everyone's travel dollars. So everyone wins. Did they mention what kind of beer he grabbed by chance?
Posted by Amy Levy on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 07:38 PM
Jet Blue needs to keep on providing good service at great prices (which they do) and in the end no one will remember.
Posted by Kristin on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 07:42 PM
If the airline would revisit the charging for checked baggage policy, the overhead space issue would "self-remedy".
Posted by Mark on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 07:55 PM
Recommendation: They should change their name to Rebel Airlines! Go Jet Blue! Too bad he didn't take her with him!
Posted by Stanley Lewis on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 08:14 PM
The public sympathizes with this man and his situation. Airlines are notorious for poor customer service. I would have laughed if I were on this flight and will be even more likely to use jetblue in the future
Posted by A on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 08:25 PM
The FA attendant's behavior was inappropriate, but understandable. If passenger rudeness is as common as it seems, it is important that JetBlue (and other airlines) establish a support system for their land and air crew. I would suggest some some of contest, were employees could rate the politeness and cooperation of passengers. Those with top marks could get discounts on tickets, upgrades, etc.
Posted by Rebeca on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 08:54 PM
Bad passenger behavior happens on all airlines; it's noxious and growing.
Slater's passenger was in the wrong, acting selfishly and irresponsibly. I wish another attendant had risen to Slater's defense and told the boor to sit down and be quiet. She was way out of line and belongs on a no-fly list.
Posted by Elizabeth on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 08:57 PM
Jet Blue is a rotten outfit with double dealing management with loyalty only unto themselves. But the man did over-react and should be fired, although I think he said he was quitting. And, frankly airlines in the US are the world's worst in service and in how they flim flam the public with ridiculous charges.
Posted by lorry on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 09:22 PM
Celebrity death match sponsored by JetBlue: Unruly Passengers v. Firm but Friendly Flight Attendants? But really, given the Colbert spot the other night I think this is surprisingly good for the JetBlue brand. Let's not forget they are NY's hometown airline...don't mess with NY!
Posted by David Gonzalez on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 09:23 PM
While I think Mr. Slater has a flair for the dramatic, I certainly don't want copy cat antics from other service providers...but I think we may see a lot more. Others may think,"Hey, Slater got away with it, so I'm going to do it, too." I understand that he was angry, but it was a very unprofessional performance.
Posted by Astrid Sheil on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 09:36 PM
Slater snapped--and I can understand it. Dealing with the public is difficult on a good day. I guess JetBlue should be thankful Slater didn't kick the passenger's ass or break his neck. I sure as hell would have !!!!!
Posted by Mollie L West on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 09:48 PM
It's about time that someone stood up to a passenger. I used to work as a Security Screener and passengers are so abusive to Screeners and Flight Attendants and the policy is to just take it, enough is enough boundaries have to be set ! Good 4 U Steven!!
Posted by Brenda on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 09:48 PM
If Jet Blue comes to their employee's defense, from an HR perspective, as a burned out employee that needs help, and plays the "we care about our employee's health" card - they'll make millions
Posted by Chet Wesley on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 10:19 PM
Milk it! Get that guy on ads for Jet Blue before somebody else does.
Posted by Russ Barclay on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 10:24 PM
I think it is never acceptable for an employee to accept abuse from a customer (client). This may have been the 99th time that a passenger was all-out rude and/or physically assaulted him. He snapped. It could have been worse...he could have been packin'.
Posted by Thelma Walker on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 10:24 PM
Why is he a hero or symbol of what is wrong with the workplace? He was very unprofessional and inappropriate. He does not represent colleagues who I know. Jetblue did the right thing and he does not deserve more publicity
Posted by Howie Sholkin on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 10:29 PM
Flying can be a very stressful experience, especially on long flights or with multiple destinations. It sounds like the passenger was endangering herself, the other passengers and the crew and should be charged for her actions. Also sounds like the flight attendant had just had enough interactions with rude passengers and decided to move on with a flourish! I think it's a good reminder that service industry folks are humans and not immune to the childish/demanding and unreasonable behaviours of certain members of the public!
Posted by Jenn on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 12:25 AM
It has been reported that Mr. Slater is an alcoholic. With that noted, I’m not convinced that alienating themselves from him is the best way for the airline to protect the brand. He was one of them, heck, he will forever be known as one of them! So how should they proceed? Well, they should do something completely out of the ordinary, see to it that he gets help. This negative has to be turned into a positive – and no, I’m not just referring to Mr. Slater’s future in reality TV.
Posted by Jocelin Martinez on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 01:28 AM
Two wrongs don't make a right. Passenger and worker were out of control. This won't affect JB's brand. A wakeup call to the airline industry. we'll see this on SNL and on an episode of "The Office"
Posted by Chirt Tom on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 02:02 AM
Milk it more...hire a Hollywood agent and pitch Saturday Night Live on a revival of the old airline skit with stewardesses waving "Bye, Bye" only with this new twist...point out the beer was free because Jet Blue still believes in customer needs first
Posted by Jonathon on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 02:38 AM
The attended should receive additional traing and be returned to work.

The passenger should be arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Posted by Jerry on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 02:46 AM
Jet Blue and other airlines would be far better offering superior customer service than spending any valuable time worrying about Mr. Slater. The public will quickly forget this incident, but will NOT so easily turn its attention from overcrowded flights, poorly trained personnel and those damned baggage fees.
Posted by Melvin Cox on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 03:28 AM
Cut Steve some slack.Passengers tend to ignore our years of experience and training and laugh our procedures off. Jet Blue should capitalize on the publicity by using this as a platform to run there next add campaign.
Posted by Eleanor Mc Lellan on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 03:29 AM
JetBlue could turn this into a positive experience if they helped their flight attendant with employee counseling rather than just firing him. Also, they need to stand up for the rights of employees not to be abused by passengers. "The customer is always right" mantra has improved customer service, but it also has turned too many people into whiny bastards that need to be put in their place from time to time. No employee in any line of work deserves to be treated as part of a machine and not as another human being trying to do their job, and often a thankless one at that.
Posted by Ari B. Adler on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 06:21 AM
I think we should focus ont he real issue - which is most likely, based on my many, many flights every year (travel 50% of the time), inconsiderate passengers. The ones that ignore the rules for carry-on, place their oversized baggage over others seats, use the overhead for the small things that should go at their feet and generally make it hard for everyone. Their poor behaviour makes the other passengers frustrated and the only one to take it out on is the flight attendant that is unfortunate enough to have to tell the law-abidoing passenger that they have to check their size appropraite baggage. There are issues with the failure of the airlines to handle all passengers equally and appropropriately. Good for Mr. Slater and his - screw-you attitude. Maybe it will cause the airlines to actually think about how they run things. personnally - if thedrive will take less than 8 hours I do not even think of flying any more.
Posted by Kat on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 06:34 AM
Fire the Passenger!
Posted by Marilyn on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 07:39 AM
I used to love to fly. Now you pay a fortune for a small crowded seat and bad service. The airlines act as if they are doing you a favor, when you- the passenger- is the client. That said, I am curious as to why the flight crew did not restrain the passenger if she was truly abusive and charge her with violations of FAA rules. Since 9/11 the flight crew seem to have the upper hand over passengers.
Posted by Kitty on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 07:58 AM
People do push the envelope on carry on and listening to the flight/pilot instructions.
Posted by Lee Ann Moran on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 08:01 AM
This incident will have no effect on whether I fly JetBlue in the future. The whole thing was sparked by a rude passenger, and those are on every airline! The flight attendant didn't have the wherewithal to react in an appropriate manner and took it over the top, but didn't endanger anyone. He should have alerted the pilot and taken appropriate measures to charge that passenger to the full extent of the law. If he'd stayed on the flight, he could have gotten her name and done just that, instead of getting himself fired and charged with a criminal act. It was unfortunate that he lost it. I don't consider him a hero or that big of a villain, either. No one will remember it in a few weeks.
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 08:23 AM
This is the attendant's problem, not JetBlue's. I would not hesitate to fly JetBlue because of this. I sympathize with Slater - the behavior of the general public is in a severe downslide into selfishness and entitlement. That, however, does not excuse his behavior either.
Posted by Jeanette on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 08:24 AM
Let it go. The incident happened, everything about it was wrong from the abusive passenger to the actions that S. Slater took. No need to make this guy famous for his actions. Get back to business as normal.
Posted by Michele on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 08:27 AM
Seriously, why wasn't the passenger arrested? If he hadn't have been provoked and gone off, the passenger would have been! While it was wrong of him, the passenger should have been too. Last I knew, you go off like that you WILL be arrested.
Posted by Jenna Kinslow on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 08:42 AM
I think the beer brand should be taking off with this one. I see a great commercial in the works.
Posted by Mark on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 08:44 AM
A small part of the "entitled" flying public is out of control and needs to be called on it. Unfortunately, here, as in sports, the official catches the retaliation and calls that foul while missing the cause. The lady involved, based on some stories written, is probably luck she was not arrested for assault.
Posted by Dan on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 08:58 AM
It looks like this is an incident of one individual employee's reaction to a situation than a company's action (or inaction). Not sure that it has much of an effect.
Posted by Adam on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 09:13 AM
What makes this passenger exempt from the consequences of her actions? She is hiding because she is more than likely at the very least, embarrassed by her actions. If Steven wants this job back he should get it - with combat pay!
Posted by Gayle on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 09:21 AM
I feel this passenger should have to face some charges. The attendant, at worst, should have to take some time off but not fired!
Posted by Kate on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 09:21 AM
Some people just deserve to be told to f-off.
Posted by Marisa on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 09:21 AM
Overall effect on brand -none. Initially, JetBlue may enjoy some increased awareness with national attention on the issue - but overall negative tone will long be forgotten by the public's short memory.The incident does have a serious safety concerns making it a negative issue for the airline, so JetBlue should stick to the facts and let them speak for themselves and report the results of investigation, steps to ensure passenger safety and perhaps disciplinary action of employee in an timely, logical and orderly fashion rather than exploit the employee's rant and rage in social media or other quick forms of attention. Sometimes, less is more!
Posted by Ellyn Caruso on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 09:39 AM
Jet Blue should see what positive aspects they can get from the publicity and move on.
Posted by Len on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 09:41 AM
JetBlue should spin the event to their favor in upcoming advertising. For example, as seasoned and courteous traveler, I have often been appalled at the behavior of rude passengers. JetBlue should simply create an ad that states, "Don't want to travel with rude passengers? Neither do we .....come fly with JetBlue..." I'd buy a ticket.
Posted by Lisa on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 09:49 AM
Funny as Slater's response was (for about a minute) he clearly has other issues. JetBlue crisis management strategy is letting the conversation ride out. Too bad they don’t cleverly embrace the conversation this idiotic act sparked. We all experience and hear ad nausea about frustration with flying/fees these days – would be nice if an airline actually took a leadership role in the social dialogue.
Posted by jari rouas on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 09:57 AM
Until you mentioned JetBlue I had no idea what airline it was. The attention is on the flight attendant. I think JB should leave it there. It wouldn't hurt to do an ad campaign on great customer service and employee appreciation for those who travel alot and may be aware of the airline involved. Those ads could also draw in those who have no idea it was a JB employee that bailed. Certainly, they should not have that guy back on the job.
Posted by Nona on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 09:58 AM
I think Steven Slater's impactful, glorified manner of quitting his JetBlue job became heroic to many Americans who because of the economy have been forced to stay in positions that make them unhappy. Sure, maybe now we know that working at JetBlue may not be all sunshine and butterflies. This doesn't impact what it's like to fly jet blue. I think a campaign regarding working at JetBlue would be an over-the-top obvious PR stunt. This is an isolated incident and I'm sure consumers will identify it as such. It may even have the "negative publicity turns to positive results" effect where JetBlue may see a rise in sales due to name recognition.
Posted by Brittany on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 09:59 AM
Overall I think Jet Blue has a professionaly trained group of people and it is one unfortunate incident.
Posted by Ed Thibault on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 10:00 AM
Steven, Grow up! You are not in a reality show. JetBlue, toughen up and get into damage control, your employees are not your best Brand ambassadors!
One should reflect on the recruiting criteria at Jet Blue: Hiring someone who does not respect the strict security guidelines shows a flaw in the hiring process. Activating the emergency-evacuation chute downplays the importance of security material and procedures when flying on commercial airlines. Letting that person in charge of passengers is frightening. Had he lost it at 30 000 feet up in the air, it could have had dire consequences. As a customer, I am expecting flight attendants to control their emotions. Anger management issues have no place when dealing with the public.
If a model employee can demonstrate such behavior we should question the management skills at JetBlue and the loyalty of its employees.
Posted by Brigitte on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 10:02 AM
While not condoning his response, Jet Blue would be wise to reinstate Slater if he wants to come back to work. If his action had jeopardized passengers' safety, it would be a totally different issue. But basically, he snapped under stress, when he felt that he had no recourse in dealing with an obnoxious passenger. Ban the passenger from ever flying Jet Blue again.
Posted by Pat on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 10:30 AM
I regularly fly Jet Blue and will continue to do so. It infuriates me when passengers disregard safety rules and instructions. What's so urgent to get off the plane that you can't wait till it stops? I'm glad to know the attendants know how to operate the slides and that they work.
Posted by CB on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 10:34 AM
Passengers have not right to abuse crew members. Crew members are only human, and humans sometimes lose it.When buying a ticket, you should have to sign a statement that clearly says what appropriate behavior is while on flight
Posted by Ana-Maria Hurtado on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 10:35 AM
Utilize the moment to maximize the exposure. since most people seem to take this incident with humor, making T-shirts to commemorate the fellow, now would be time to do ads that humorously take advantage of the kerfuffle. Even Robert gibbs, PR pressman to the prez, used the escape chute as a talking point today to indicate he would not be leaving his berth. Smart money is on using it with judicious humor--and ribbing passengers, too, for their lack of politesse would be a good side-benefit, too.
Posted by marion ds dreyfus on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 10:44 AM
Creates an opportunity to connect emotionally with customers/prospects. They should ask themselves how Southwest would handle the same situation and leverage it into a positive by having a since of humor and creating a difference between stuffy "bigs" and Jet Blue.
Posted by Doug Hogan on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 10:54 AM
People are having a good chuckle over this. Anything that gets people laughing these days is a good thing.
Posted by Tamara Bergstrom on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 11:03 AM
I've never used Jet Blue and probably won't if they fail to take any action against the unruly passenger. While I don't condone what the flight attendant did, I slao would be reluctant to use an airline that allows passengers to get away with unruly behavior. Just bear in mind that this whole incident wouldn't have happened if it weren't for the disrespectful passenger...she not only disrespected the attendant, but everyone else on the plane.
Posted by Ken Nelson on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 11:25 AM
JetBlue should milk this for all its worth. They should make sure their brand is inserted into the inevitable SNL skit -- perhaps even pitch to have a real JetBlue exec on the show. Their flight attendants should talk about it with passengers for awhile in a playful way because passengers will be talking about it anyhow. If they're looking to differentiate themselves from their competition, this could be an opportunity.
Posted by Ted on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 11:55 AM
I don't consider this a crisis for JetBlue; however, I would suggest that they not take his pension and all of the things he earned with his career as a JetBlue Flight Attendant. While his acts were unprofessional at best, he's had a difficult time in his life from what I understand, and to send one packing with nothing to show for his/her work for the company would be unjust.
Posted by Kathy on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 12:32 PM
Steven Slater has become famous for being incapable of handling his emotions at work. He might get a reality series, but who is going to hire someone who ditches his job that way while on the job. He is highly irresponsible, and I don't think JetBlue should suffer for it.
Posted by D Reed on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 12:46 PM
Any PR is good, right? Jet Blue is known for its humor, and I thought their response was appropriate for the situation. It was well done in that it recognized the hundreds of good, responsible employees they currently have. Steven Slater was obviously having a bad day, but if he hadn't quit, he should have been fired for grabbing the bears and deploying the chute. What he did will give him his "15 minutes," but he will quickly be forgotten while Jet Blue will remain newsworthy for one thing or another.
Posted by Laura Porinchak on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 01:08 PM
Several passengers have said that Slater was acting funny all through the flight. I think airlines should have crews "informally" check the moods of their colleagues. He clearly had a plan to do this and was lucky some passenger played into it. It might have been anything else. People on a plane know when something strange is going on. Spot a terrorist, spot a disgruntled flight attendant. Slater did tap into the angry mood our nation is in. He is the first of many. Good thing he was not intent on hurting anyone physically. Crews, check your colleagues!
Posted by Stuart Osnow on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 01:17 PM
This is a crisis? Was the customer arrested for assult? Fight or Flight - I guess he made the best decision given the situation, although it was a bit extreme... probably should have left the beer. Is that theft? And didn't he quit?
Posted by Brenda on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 01:21 PM
Jet Blue is getting exactly what most companies want, the spotlight! Brilliant!
Posted by Cathy Hayes on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 01:28 PM
Unfortunately many passengers have had this experience while flying. Jet Blue needs to spin it into a postive, light-hearted marketing campaign, while at the same time attempting to underscore great customer service and professionalism. Let's face it, in this economy if Jet Blue offers the best deals on flights they will not suffer greatly.
Posted by Jamie Carlington on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 02:15 PM
As the story develops, it appears this is an isolated incident committed by a flight attendant with a rather eccentric personality. Doubt that it will have a lasting effect on people's perception of JetBlue.
Posted by Deb Toledo on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 02:30 PM
How the JetBlue brand is effected by this incident greatly depends on how the company responds and public opinion of that response. It's too early to tell at this point what the long-term brand effects will be.
Posted by Ashley Richards on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 02:38 PM
It was funny, but also indicates the sad state of air travel these days. It's become a necessary evil for many of us, and has taken its toll on passengers and airline crew alike. And JetBlue's supposedly one of the better carriers. They might stop charging passengers to check their bags, for starters.
Posted by Howard Cohen on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 04:24 PM
Good Crisis Management for Jet Blue:fire flipped-out Steven who not only violated several important safety rules of the job but immensely enjoyed doing so. Ban the obnoxious psgr, as well. Message to all: actions have consequences...especially when dealing with safety. What a good teaching lesson, too!
Posted by Kathy Kammer on Thursday, August 12, 2010 @ 04:55 PM