JFK Security, JetBlue Under Scrutiny After Slater’s Outburst

Airline Makes Light Of Bizarre Incident In Blog Post

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Across New York and across the country, people are talking about Steven Slater, the flight attendant who found his 15 minutes of fame by quitting his job in highly dramatic fashion.

The part of the story that has yet to be addressed is how Slater’s unique escape to freedom has exposed gaps in JFK Airport security. As CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reports, the finger-pointing is now taking place between the Port Authority and JetBlue Airlines.

According to security professionals, the deployment of the emergency chute used by Slater to mark his dramatic resignation should have issued a red flag.

“The deployment of a chute off the back of an aircraft as it just entered its docking space should have alerted people on the ground to immediately respond,” said security expert Bill Daly.

CBS 2 has obtained a recording between the seemingly stunned cockpit and air traffic controllers.

Cockpit: “So we just had a slide deployment on the 274. So, um, that’s in the book.”

Dispatcher: “Copy that, sir.”

Despite this, Slater’s intense exit drew no emergency vehicles – no firetrucks, no nothing.

“Deployment of the chute is like a big Fourth of July firecracker going off,” Daly said. “It’s saying, ‘look at this.’”

And that’s not the only security hole. Slater ran through what are supposed to be secure zones around airplanes – with two carry-on bags. In fact, the response took so long that Slater got all the way back to his Queens home without being stopped. It was there that police arrested him.

Chris Ward, the executive director of New York’s Port Authority, is pointing the finger at JetBlue.

“Any breach of security is a concern,” said Ward. “The public wants to know that airports are safe.”

Port Authority sources told CBS 2 that JetBlue didn’t follow proper protocols, and that there was a 25-minute delay before JetBlue alerted police.

“It’s like calling 911,” said the source. “The cops can’t get the bad guy unless 911 is alerted.”

A JetBlue spokesman claimed it was only five minutes before police were contacted, but admitted the timeline was one of the things under investigation.

“We are debriefing,” Ward said. “This is another example of being ever retentive, but who would have thought that this would be the type of security issue that you are facing?”

“Deployment of that chute, one person sliding down with a couple suitcases and what was suggested as a can of beer, would have certainly drawn some attention,” said Daly.

Admittedly, it is an odd security issue for JFK officials to deal with. Generally, they’re trying to keep unwanted people out of the airport, not going after people leaving.

Meanwhile, JetBlue is trying to maintain some sense of humor about the whole thing.

On a company blog titled “Sometimes The Weird News Is About Us…,” JetBlue writes:

“Perhaps you heard a little story about one of our flight attendants? While this episode may feed your inner ‘Office Space,’ we just want to take this space to recognize our 2,100 fantastic, awesome and professional in-flight crewmembers … You can’t make this schtick up.”

  • Jason

    Seems a big smile and limp wrist will garnish you sympathy from the media. Why is a foul mouth thief being hailed as a hero?

  • Rossi

    Who will in turn blame Bush.

  • macksfield

    Couple of things:

    1. In general, Why is this moron a hero? I mean really, is this what we have to look up to? Will he still be your hero in 6 months while on unemployment? He just threw away 20 years of work experience for what. There a dozen other more productive ways he could have responded to this unfortunate situation.

    2. To H.D. Schidt, when you have taken the time to research all of the good, benevolent deeds the US has accomplished over our history as a nation, then I may or may not consider what you have to say. Until then you are spitting in the wind. Speaking out of turn and attempting to think without full knowledge. This nation has out distanced every other country in the world in general giving and helping hands.

  • Jeff Roe

    It’s Bushes fault, somehow. Barry will figure it out.

  • Gerry

    Blame Obama

    • jimmy golden


      • Jason

        Wow Jimmy, its called a joke. But go right ahead and throw bombs at people you don’t even know.

      • carl

        actually Jimmy is racist, to automatically assume someone said something about someone else based on the color of their skin.

  • H. D. Schmidt

    So what else is new that does not work in America while it sticks is big and dirty nose into every corner in the world creating unsolvable problmes everywhere?

    • Jason

      You’re right! WWII was unsolvable, Haiti is unsolvable, the cold war was unsolvable. Lets take back the TRILLIONS in aid we given other countries and isolate ourselves.

  • skynyrt

    Over & over agin, security lapses at airports. Whe the h**l are they going to start doing their jobs?

    • emeryboard

      never. they’re government employees. they don’t have to.

  • truther

    What an immature child. His parents must be so proud. Get a life and grow up you little jerk.


      to the commentor who said “His Parents must be PROUD”:

  • Kate

    Chutes should NEVER be deployed unless there is a true emergency. Slater is dead wrong in what he did. Shame on him – hopefully this will not reflect on the thousands of flight attendants who take abuse from passengers and take it with a grain of salt.

  • TomB

    As a former flight attendant, I can say it is very expensive(six figures) for an airliner to replace an emergency slide. Flight attendants, especially new employees would accidently deploy these slides at times and at a great expense to the company. So, for an employee to deploy one of these on purpose has to be a crime and he should pay. That being said, airliner do a poor job in backing up their employees in situations such as these with unruly passengers. Passengers who interfere in any way with the safety of a flight should be banned from air travel for at least ten years.

  • Ebee

    He committed several crimes, as well as breaches of his duties, and endangered passenger safety. What if a child had seen him go down the chute, and thought there was an emergency and tried to follow? What if someone had been injured in the ensuing panic? Worst of all, what if other frustrated, annoyed cabin personnel should try similar things in the future? THAT’s why what he did was very wrong and, while you may sympathize with him, he shouldn’t be congratulated.

    • Jim

      What if?, What If? What If? …. typical Liberal slobbering …….

      • Zorb

        As an extreme conservative I would have thought you were the liberal for, from what I can see, defending his actions… anyone who is as disrespectful as this man is not normal. Guess what: If you have a bad day at work you respectfully quit or better yet GET OVER IT, not deploy an emergency slide and make a scene just for attention.

      • Tom

        Jim is mostly correct, though the problem is not confined to liberals. It is the statists, on both sides of the aisle, who look desperately for any opportunity to take more of our freedoms.

        All the “what if”s sicken me as well. How about this one: what if we all have a little sense, and weren’t treated like children, terrorists, and criminals all at the same time. Maybe we wouldn’t need all these mindless rules?

      • eileen

        Dear jim, shut up. Ebee never stated any affiliation with a political party. I’m so sick of people who go around labeling everyone who says something they don’t agree with a liberal. I’m a liberal, a Christian, and an actual patriot (this means recognizing that your government is your enemy, just like Thomas Jefferson did. This means knowing that the constitution is what you should be loyal to. ‘They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.’ –Ben Franklin. Someone should have read that to Bush.) Liberal’s not a four letter word. And I know it aggravates a lot of the stupid people that college graduates are overwhelmingly Democrats so they call us elitists, but intelligent isn’t a four letter word, either. And for the record, I don’t agree with anything ebee said. Slater created no risk unless a bunch of morons are on that plane. Who panics because a flight attendant quits in a hilarious manner? What irresponsible parent is letting their child follow him down the chute? Whatever happened to personal responsibility and not acting like a moron? And for that matter, whatever happened to not treating people like dirt when they’re just trying to do their stressful, annoying job?

  • carl

    grown ups usually get sarcasm though…

  • andy levinson

    TSA and Homeland security are subversive organization…they are there to destroy your freedoms…not protect you

    Janet Napolitano is a subversive, herself….the bankers are stealing trillions, she says nothing…illegals are over running the country and she goes after arizona’s sheriff’s

    • rockymtnwolf

      Thank God, another patriot gets it!

  • andy levinson

    so $100 billion later in taxpayer money and still insecure

    • Tom

      Keeping people out is different from keeping them in. Or do you want airports to look even MORE like prisons?

      Christ, after this they’ll probably start making us go through security on the way out.

  • paul


  • entertained

    You may be my favorite person

    • billsie

      So Carl,now I know how Obama got elected.

  • lester

    I heard that Slater went home and blew his top. But the top denied it.

    • Chicago Ray

      Good one!

      He sure iz a thwell fella huh? What a nimrod.

  • BRB San Diego

    Interesting that Slater lives in Queens – everything has a spot of humor and irony.

    • Armed Texan

      In them, on them, with them – you name it.

  • Cysm

    Come on, don’t make more of it than it really is.

  • Herkco

    For the most part, the air travelling public is spoiled, ill-mannared and very abused by the airlines and TSA. This guy had reached his limit with idiotic passengers. He reacted poorly, as can we all.

    • traveler

      I fly a lot, and it is ALWAYS stupid passengers who make the flight hell. Of course, the airlines could space the seats further apart so we’d have some leg room, and they should enforce rules they already have (like carry on size and quantity, boarding order, and following staff directives in flight – banning serious violators) as well as place new rules.. like, if you do not fit in one seat with the arms down, you must buy two seats, and children should have to have their own seats too, not a parent’s lap! But passengers also have a responsibility to behave like civil human beings, and follow safety rules!

  • Really?

    He stole bee from his employer. If he was drinking on the flight, I would think that should be illegal for a flight attendant to drink on the job. He is responsible for the safety of the passengers on the flight. I imagine that is why he was charged with reckless endangerment. Not smart to quit your job in an economy like this, but clearly he was not cut out to be a flight attendant or work with people. A little jail time, and no unemployment benefits would be fitting and he should be fined for the damages and banned from ever working as a flight attendant again. What airline would hire him.

  • Blubberbutt

    Thomas Cain must be a tiny man or old if he can comfortably ride in an airline seat. Today’s passengers hate riding in little child size seats with our knees up to our chins. We hate searches, delays on the tarmac, screaming children, additional fees. Flying is stressful. I have been flying worldwide for years and it is only getting worse. Check your bag and quit being so cheap.

  • Sailordude

    I was wondering how he got home too. Definitely not a safe environment! Kind of like that movie Heat where Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro are gunning it out on the tarmac and no one cares! Yeah it’s kind of like that except that was made BEFORE 9/11 and trillions of dollars spent beefing up security!

  • Ray

    Reinstate Slater.Fire the woman,simple.

  • Cool Calm and Collected

    Hope he goes to jail and they make him pay the damages. Very unprofessional.

  • carl

    I don’t see why what this guy did is illegal.

    • Doug

      Go back to your coloring book, Carl. That’s why grownups are in charge.

    • Kate

      How old are you? This is completely irresponsible behavior. Airline people that I know and work with are appalled that Slater took this action.

    • tim maguire

      I totally agree. He could do the same thing at any other job and be fired (or not since he apparently quit) and that’s it. Why was he arrested? Why are police involved at all? How is this a law enforcement issue?

      • Tom

        I see, so airports are the territory of North Korea, where any action outside of social norms is seen as a terrorist threat, and must be dealt with by violence, rather than simply banning him from setting foot back into an airport, suing him for the cost of his actions, or similar.

        Here’s a hint, guys. You’re NOT safe. EVER. All that sh*t they make everyone do to get on a plane is theater, and nothing more. Any determined terrorist could kill anyone on any plane he wanted by simply being smart. All they have to do is get a job as a baggage handler, or a TSA person, and they have the inside track. Who’s watching the watchers?

      • labos


    • labos

      That’s because you are an idiot Carl. It’s pretty simple. People can’t just pull the chute on an FAA regulated aircraft in an FAA regulated space because they got a little flustered.

    • Duude

      . That was what Bernie Madoff,said.

  • dave

    Actually it costs the airlines $80,000 each time an emergency slide is deployed (intentionally or accidently), inspected, repacked, and re-installed. It is not an inexpesnive or easy process. We do have backups available so the plane would not be out of commission for more than three days. Cost of the little stunt to Jet-Blue will be right at $200K for lost aircraft time, fees, fines, inspection certifications, etc.

    • Tom

      Sounds like a lawsuit, not exactly something that should be illegal. If Jetblue sued him rather than some Nazi law enforcement agency hunting him down in his home, I’d be fine with it.

      • UCL

        I’m all for finding that passenger and suing her and fining her and throwing her butt in jail for failure to obey a lawful order from a flight crew member as well as assault.

  • JustAGuy

    President Obama has issued a comment:

    Obama said it’s Bush’s fault.

    • barney


  • F. Thomas Cain

    Flying coach today is like riding on a Greyhound bus. The lowlifes with their flip flops, shorts and un showered fat bodies try to cram their hulks into seats made for “average” size human beings and then start complaining about why they cannot cram their oversized carry ons into the overheads. I would rather be water boarded than fly coach these days!

    • Reply

      Then drive your car.

    • barbie doll

      You must be a tiny or old man if you can ride comfortably in an airline seat. They designed these seats for WWII size people. Young generation of passengers are a lot bigger than that era. Who wants to ride in a child size seat with your knees up to your chin. Airlines cram seats to make more money. Flying is stressful. People dress like slobs and treat others rudely like road rage.

    • Leo


  • Former JB Flyer

    When I was on Jet Blue 2 years ago, at the beginning of the flight, the steward went through all the seemingly standard protocol. Then he said, in case of emergency, if you have 2 children, take the one with you that you love the most. I have never flown on JB since. Seems like a good decision in retrospect.

  • Chad

    Great that he left with style, but that will cost the airline big bucks to re-certify that slide for airworthiness. It has to be removed from the aircraft, effectively grounding that aircraft until a replacement is found. Then it has to be shipped to a repair shop (they are not small or light) which again will take time. The shop will have it for about a week where they will have to go over the entire slide and then repack it. We are talking thousands of dollars for the slide alone! If they can’t find another slide it can go up to six figures! He should be responsible for that part. The rest was just a good show!

    • JustMe

      Don’t forget – he stole a beer.

      • colleen

        Taking the beer was the best part! LOL LOL LOL

  • David

    The woman broke 3 Federal Laws. Where were the US Marchals who should have arested her? She stood up before the seat bely sign went off. She Assaulted an airline employee i\while he was doing his job and she cursed at him. Has she been arrested?

  • Dick

    What about the woman who was breaking Federal Law then assaulted him and cursed him for doing his job? Why is it that in America they always arrest the victim and the criminal goes on to commit more crimes. Where is she and why is she not in jail?

    • John Galt

      Nobody assaulted Slater or cursed him — he made it up.

  • John Gault

    The only insanity in this story are the people who are still flying on what should now be called PrisonAir – which is all airlines, not just JetBlue.

  • http://ponderingscripture.wordpress.com/ jhonse

    It is obvious the people on the plane knew he was ticked off and leaving, so I’m surprised they called the police at all. He didn’t commit a crime, he quit his job. I would see no reason to call the police as long as they could do what they needed to, to get the plane ready to fly again. If the pilot had quit mid-flight and jumped with a parachute, THAT would be different.

    • MyWords

      It cost the airline $27,000 to put the slide back in place. Do you consider that the cost of doing business? Or just maybe your hero might take responsibility?

  • george

    We are so concerned with this airport security………YET, the federal government will do very little with the security of our southern border.

    • Cathy

      Yeah, George, you got that right !!!

    • Red Zone

      Now come on George, if we close the border how do you expect us to import millions of new democrat voters.

  • matt

    So the so-called “story” here is that CBS 2 is trying to make a security concern out of an isolated act? What incredible chutzpah.

  • esSGee

    This is not a security issue, one off incidents like this just happen. Also, the TSA is the worst idea ever and should be disbanded. If anyone is still worried about our [false] airport security they need to be shot. When will the media stop exploiting the fears of middle class morons that fly less than once per year?

  • Mary A.

    Who was the woman who cursed and slammed the overhead bin door on Slater’s head? Why is her identity protected?

    • GDP

      There was no such woman. Slater made it up.

    • John Galt

      Because she doesn’t exist — Slater lied about the event.

  • Steven

    Jeesus cut the guy some slack…obviously things have been brewing for a while within him, job and a lot of personal-life pressure, and he left his job in dramatic fashion…BUT he didn’t kill anyone, didn’t “go postal,” didn’t hurt anyone, just told the passenger to f**k off, took a beer, slide down the chute and that’s that. Anyone who can’t see the coolness in that needs to get out more, or get a job dealing with the public as long as he has.

  • Frankie

    The initial story a few days ago stated the passenger struck Slater w/her Carry ON causing a head cut. Aren’t airline crew/staff protected by law for that type of behavior? Slater was indeed wrong. But why was the passenger not arrested?

  • robert

    The man’s childish outburst established that he does not belong near anything important-an ER, a paramedic crew, or a plane full of people. I hope he is never hired for a responsible position ever again. As for fault: its the fault of the so-called airport police and security. JetBlue did ts job.

  • Devilduck

    The TSA is only good at shaking down the passengers. Real security at airports is a joke.

  • http://www.talkdrudge.com/2010/08/12/jetfu-under-scrutiny-after-outburst/ JETFU Under Scrutiny After Outburst…

    […] Statistics Follow the original link Last Updated: August 12, 2010 0 Comments […]

  • wes

    hooray for Slater! Where is the woman who caused all this?????

  • Mark NYC

    He’s my hero. I have wanted to do that many times.

  • hillcoguy

    You can’t consistantly predict what we humans will do in a stress situation.
    But I will predict that if Slater is reinstated, some one will try to set him off again.

  • Kevin

    Man is sick in the head as are folks praising his dangerous and inappropriate actions. I for one won’t be taking my family on JetBlue again until then make some changes here.

    • Doug

      We really don’t want your kinds business anyway. Bye.

    • Mannie

      What could Jet Blue have done differently, other than not having hired the nutcase? How do you predict stuff like that?

      The actions after he bailed out were inadequate, but that’s a different issue.

    • no thanks

      the person in the wrong was the passenger who didn’t comply with a flight crew order. id like her arrested now please.

    • Tom

      What, you want the flight crews to be locked up in chains so they can’t open the emergency exits?

      This is obviously not a systemic problem. I don’t see why you wouldn’t fly Jetblue anymore.

  • Pliska

    Why hasn’t the passenger been arrested for failing to comply with the directive of a flight attendant?

    • Qunice

      Because there wasn’t a person who didn’t comply with a FA’s directives. In other words, Slater made that up. He had the cut on his head prior to coming to work, and he had been mistreating passengers from the get-go. He also hasn’t been employed as long at JetBlue as some accounts would have you believe. He worked there since 2008. Prior to that, he worked at Bloomingdale’s.

    • Bagheera

      Because it didn’t happen the way Slater said it did. I’ve been saying all along that the problem is with the AIRLINE INDUSTRY not with the customers. Slater needs to go to prison and JetBlue needs to be fined.

      The real story WILL come out. There’s no business on earth that treats its customers with more disrespect than the airline industry.

    • GriddleJim

      Get Two Beers and Jump!!!


    • Epstein's Mother

      Maybe because they don’t think it likely she did anything wrong?

    • Ropet

      The same question i am asking myself since the incident!

  • eric g

    This man is sick in the head.

    • Piper

      He may very well be sick in the head from the head injury he sustained. This is a common pattern when someone has a head injury. It can cause odd behaviour or peculiar symptons. He shoud go to a doctor immediately as he may have swelling or internal bleeding from head trauma. He may not even know it yet.

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