Too much humanity?

August 10, 2010

Yesterday, a JetBlue flight attendant lost it at JFK.

After a brouhaha with a passenger, Steven Slater, a 20-year veteran of the airline industry, cursed out the non-compliant flyer over the P.A., grabbed a beer, popped the emergency chute, slid to the tarmac and raced to his home in Queens.

Good for Steven!

Even though his airline career is over and he’ll probably be charged with multiple felonies, I’m glad that Steven stood up for himself. As a retired flight attendant told me this morning, there’s no glamour in air travel anymore. The goal is simply to get to your destination with as much decency and civility as possible. And flight attendants usually get the short end of the stick (where’s the flight attendants’ bill of rights?).

But what’s this do to the JetBlue brand? Will this hurt the business that was founded on the idea to ‘bring humanity back to air travel?’ Will anyone think twice about flying JetBlue because they have out of control flight attendants?

In short: Nothing. No. And no.

This is an isolated incident. This was a case where a very human flight attendant had finally had enough. This is not a case of systemic flight attendants gone wild; JetBlue has some of the most professional flight attendants in the business. And while I’m not condoning rogue behavior, this one incident will not tarnish the JetBlue brand.

As the guy who always seems to sit behind the jerk passengers who don’t listen to the flight attendants, I’m just sorry that the passenger who started this whole thing wasn’t prosecuted as well.

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