Passenger: Slater Gave Impression He Was Drinking

Many Now Pointing Out JetBlue Attendant's Odd Behavior

BELLE HARBOR, N.Y. (CBS 2) — On Thursday afternoon flight attendant Steven Slater came out of his house and thanked his supporters.

But, as CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman reports, where he has told “one” story, passengers are saying there was a whole other side of him that’s quite different from the folk hero and victim he’s been made out to be.

After some brief words from his attorney, Slater stepped up to the microphones and said: “Thank you all so much. It’s been amazing, the support, the love and everything that’s been brought to me and given to me by the community and my friends and the industry at large. It has been absolutely wonderful.”

Many, if not most, of the passengers who are now being interviewed by Port Authority detectives about what happened on Monday on that bizarre JetBlue flight with Slater seem to be giving a very different version of his behavior during the flight, than the picture most people have of him — who were not there.

Howard Deneroff, for example, is a producer for CBS Radio’s Westwood One. Slater, he said, got pretty aggressive about Deneroff not having his seat in the upright position.

“He did hit the back of my seat and said, ‘Pull your seat up. It can’t be reclined.’ It was not reclining and I indicating it to him and then he says, ‘Pull your seat up.’ I said I didn’t recline the seat and he leaned over, hit the button to try to pull it up himself. He hit the back of the seat, but it didn’t move,” Deneroff said.

It didn’t move because it was already up, Deneroff said. Then there’s passenger Kati Doebler. She said that Slater’s story about getting the cut on his head when a passenger dropped a piece of luggage on him from the overhead compartment at the end of the flight — the incident that triggered the cursing on the PA system, and the escape on the chute — may not be true.

In fact, Slater’s legal aide attorney, Howard Turman, told the media on Thursday Slater actually suffered the injury in Pittsburgh, before Flight 1052 even took off.

“They were shoving the bags around attempting to get it in. Steven came over to assist and either the bag or the overhang hit him on the head,” Turman said.

Doebler said passengers saw the bleeding cut as soon as they boarded, and she said Slater never pu on a bandage. And, she said, there was that drink he always seemed to be carrying.

“One of the times he passed by me he was carrying what could either have been a drink for himself, and that was a little bit of the impression I got, as he was kind of waving it about like it was his own cocktail,” Doebler said.

Investigators are looking into claims by several passengers that Slater seemed to be irritable and unsteady, as if drinking, even throwing the mask and life jacket to the ground, some said, during the demonstration.

Detectives are continuing to hear a lot about Slater’s behavior during the flight, the types of things that could continue to erode his stories, like the one CBS 2’s Guzman heard from passenger Lauren Wood.

“He came up and he had a bunch of sodas in his hand and he looked at me and was like, ‘Would you like a soda?’ And I was like, ‘Can I have a water?’ And he just glares at me and walks away. And I was kind of like oh my gosh I really upset this guy,” Wood said.

Wood also said the notion that Slater is some kind of saint is ridiculous.

“It makes me so mad, because he’s not a hero. He was rude,” Wood said.

Slater said he wants to get back to work in the airline industry. His mother, after all, was a flight attendant and his father was a pilot, but with the dramatic exit he made Monday — that’s going to be tough.

  • kit

    Not for nothing but why would this guy come out and thank anyone. Shouldn’t he apologize for his unprofessional and criminal behavior? I think he knows he has been caught in lies and deception and now playing the nice guy. Do you notice how no late night interviews by him? His lawyers told him to shut-up.

  • DrJon

    Slater’s behavior is so beyond the standard of acceptable behavior that no one with any degree of logic could begin to defend what he did.

    He appears to have a lack of impulse control, issues with his temper, and is unfit to be in a position to help others when under stress and duress.

    30 days in jail with a hefty fine to pay for the 25,000 dollar emergency chute release is about right for his behavior.

  • spooky2626

    After watching and reading reports about Slater’s story, I am beginning to think that he is a troublemaker and a creep.

  • Andy

    I guess I am a very lucky passenger. My trips always take me on Virgin America, and if they ever had a flight attendant with THAT type of attitude, he or she would be fired and told to go work elsewhere. You just don’t encounter this type of thing on Virgin America Airlines—-seriously. And no, I don’t work for them or anything like that. I just happen to LOVE that airline, because they are so different than anyone else out there.

  • SanFran

    I knew this guy’s story was shady. Of course no passenger hit him in the head or cursed him out. His outburst was entirely spontaneous and arose because he is a tightly wound and emotionally unstabl eindividual. There’s your hero, customer service employees of America! And BTW, customer service employees of America, dealing with “the public” (other people) is no picnic but you’re no prize either! Let’s all give eachother a break for a while.

  • Alan E. Bischof

    The unfortunate part is that All Flight Attendants are abused by the flying public at some point or points in their careers..

    Most Passengers are understanding of the stress they face every flight knowing that at some point there may be a real emergency to attend to.

    Not being a Flight Attendant,but a passenger for 50 years I have witnessed many situations where the Flight attendant should have Decked the Passenger and had them Hand cuffed for the remainder of the flight.

    BPF get a life.

  • BPF

    Fight attendants are pretty rude overall, I have never met one that was professional
    in demeanor nor tone, they patronize flyers, and are short fused with
    them, this guy has lots of attitude, customer service is a dying art form in America
    and the airline industry as a whole has been brutal to customers and engaged in
    price gouging for yrs among holding passengers like hostages on a plane, depriving
    them of food , lost luggage and the list goes on, most flight attendants hate servicing
    passengers, they took the job to travel or find a husband, boyfriend yada yada, I have
    observed 9 our of 10 flights where airline attendants are exchanging their phone numbers with passengers male and female alike, its disgusting, they are no longer professional in my eyes, and they gossip like crazy behind passengers back, I would fire all of them because they are not service oriented, the Seinfeld episode sums it up, besides they are all very promiscuous which is not a cliché but a fact, as for Steven, I have no doubt that this was not his first temper tantrum ever, he comes across like a loose cannon with no coping skills, your supposed to control your temper, he thinks the plane is his living
    room, and this ain’t gonna be his last outburst as he seems to have quite a testy temper and I am sure his flights become about HIM and not the needs of the passenger “THE STEVEN SHOW”, HE desperately needs and craves attention as he must

    • larryonLI

      to bad he didn’t confront a male passenger with his hissy fit ,he might have presented a different picture for the press.this dude needs mental help.

    • Jasper2

      Never met a flight attendant that was professional? How many flights? I’ve been flying for 50 years, and I’ve never had any issues with any of them.

      It’s probably a New York thing. I generally avoid flights that connect through any New York airport.

  • Frank

    “He turned and flashed that now-famous smirk of his before answering.”
    Pure bias in this “news” article.

  • l1ckm4hs4ck


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  • Joe Bob

    Why do you fools sympathize with this guy? Anyone that would leave a job in the manner he did has questionable character and therefore you shouldn’t be so quick to think he’s some kind of victim. Imagine if you were on the flight or were one of the people he treated poorly. People these days are way too short-sighted.

  • jim

    It’s clear this is due to racism. First, Rangel, then Waters, now this guy.

    • NancyD

      Good one, Jim

  • Tkay

    Starting to sound like this may have been staged for media attention. Hmmmmm…

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  • hans delbrucke

    Can anyone say “Hissy Fit”

  • *YIKES*

    @Jimmy13: Too Funny! Eye-rolling Smirking Drama Queen Acting Out? Definitely Bush’s fault!

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  • Censorwatcher


  • A J L

    Lets turn this story around. What would it be like if a passenger had reacted like he did. The story would be much, much different………….

  • roblaw

    Drama queen.

  • Markus

    He’s no hero, he’s a Selfish, Arrogant, Weasel !!!

    • NancyD

      Right you are, Markus. Seems like JetBlue just took out the trash with Steven Slater’s ridiculous exit. I hope he gets the book thrown at him.

      • Vince

        I wonder how he even got the job. Gays are a protected class of people and JetBlue probably wanted to avoid a discrimination lawsuit when they hired him.

  • John

    Noone is talking about the potential 100s of other passengers HE delayed while the Jet went through some extensive maintenance.

    Self absorbed, drama queen who probably set the whole thing up

  • fred17

    W/o defending Slater let me just feel bad for flight attendents who suffer so much abuse from rhe rude, incosideratev American public.Yeah, they’re not always perfect but they do work hard.

  • Anthony

    Just like the gay Pfc. who committed treason to Wikileaks. Drama queens who put others in danger when they “melt down” because of their instability.

    @John Demaso(12:13): I’d suggest you use spell check when you call others idiots. Just a thought.

  • richard 22

    Hero? The definition of the word has certainly changed in a year and a half since Chesley Sullenberger’s landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson!

    • Vince

      And Sullenberger was not a hero either. He was pilot who had no choice but to land his plane on the water as he was TRAINED TO DO. He saved his OWN life too, so that doesn’t qualify him as a hero. A hero, by definition, put himself in harms way to save the life of others.

  • Skip

    Was this all planned to get a reality show?

  • Jay

    How did a gay man ever lose his temper? According to all hollywood scripts, gays are the epitome of perfection.

    • Strong woman

      actually, they given women a bad name. They prance around pretending to be feminine and we are nothing like that. pansies.

  • Mark Christopher

    I smell a rat. This has given so much attention to Jet Blue, you can’t buy that kind of publicity. If they don’t fire him, and they haven’t, it makes them look good to the small worker. I’d keep an eye on his bank account to see if a “bonus” doesn’t show up!

  • AA Flight Attendent

    Sorry – but this guy is not a hero to me. I am a flight attendent and have been one for 20 years. A flight attendent should remain calm and in control at all times, otherwise they put their passengers lives in jeopardy. For someone to lose that much control over the situation makes me wonder what he would of done if the plane was in trouble

    • Brian

      @AA Flight Attendant, yours is the wisest of all comments, and your point is really the only point that matters here.

  • jack-ny

    He’s lucky he didn’t open his nasty mouth to some guy and get decked on the spot. But then sane enough to sue, I bet. Hope he does time.

  • Brian

    “Sources tells CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer that police have completed interviews with 70 percent of the passengers aboard Monday’s bizarre JetBlue flight at Kennedy Airport and all of them said they never saw flight attendant Steven Slater get hit in the head with a piece of luggage or argue with anyone.” The article then goes on to quote people he argued with, one of them saying he had a gash on his head. What a crappy piece of writing this story is!!!!! What’s the point, to call Slater a liar? Oh, he didn’t argue with passengers, and he didn’t get hit in the head with a piece of luggage? He gashed himself for the fun of it? You think the police are so stupid that they sorted through the passengers to make sure they first interviewed only the ones who DIDN’T see it? Just the other way around, I’m sure, so CBS’s sources are terrible; no wonder their newscasts are so bad.

    • Paul

      He got the gash leaving the plane.

  • kc

    hissyfit!!! i have seen his type all too often on these flights.

    what a drama queen.

  • will

    When “it’s all about me”, I knew he was gay. He even looks a little light in the loafers. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    Freaking Drama Queen…

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  • ted

    Drama queen with an insatiable appetite for affirmation?

  • Hank in the Hamptons

    What’s the big deal about ?

    Barry deplanes AF1 the same way when he travels abroad . and he’s got a cold can of Colt 45 in one hand and a blunt burning in his other hand.

  • frank sinatra

    No service no more.

  • Doc

    Just curious how contrived this event really is.

  • Obumbler the Fumbler

    Obama has spoken on the event. It is GW Bush’s fault.

  • Carmine

    stop coverig this guy. it was calculated/planned orchestrated, whatever word you want to use. the drama makes me sick. If he makes it to Oprah, then he’s suceeded at making air travel more of a hassle and he’s promoted himself into a media whore.
    makes me sick. send the jerk to jail. a little reality would be a nice move. That’s where you or I would be going if we pulled this stunt.

  • Tskm

    RobbieK earlier posted an endorsement of Fox News. I heartily agree with it.

    For those of you who to ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, or MSNBC for your news are you aware that on the day of Obama’s birthday the state of Missouri passed a state law opposing a mandatory requirement that individual’s buy health care. It passed 79% to 21%. This was a smashing rebuke of Obamacare!

    But I’ll bet if you don’t listen to Fox News you were unaware of it. Shouldn’t you be asking yourselves why something so news worthy as this is being kept from you? This is just ONE example of these other news sources using ideology to filter their news coverage.

    Wise up, and join the ever growing view audience–Give Fox News a chance!

  • Zohar Khan

    I can’t help thinking that this wacko clown would make a great companion for Al Franken and his fellow travelers in Congress. Hey Dems! Got any slots to fill in your next round of primaries?

    • Vince

      Too late. Barney Frank already reserved a seat next to him.

  • Taho

    So…I still don’t get these FAA rules.. he deployed a slide and left the plane…Now can someone tell me exactly how this endangered the other passengers lives. Just make him pay to re-pack the chute and send him on his way…

  • Desertrose

    Can’t wait for when this misogynist goes to prison. We are talking about the abuse of a different chute. What a loser. He HAS a job and throws it away.

  • Wayne

    Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Our future military in action.

  • John Demaso

    I’m laughing at all the homophobes, the idiot who said Mrs. O went to france and all the the brilliant derelics that watch FixNews. This more entertaiining than what Slater did!!!

    • Obvious

      John…are you a heterophobe? The guy’s attitude was horrible. He needs to learn some social manners.

    • Eddem

      So is reading your deplorable grammar.

    • Vince

      Hey John, you know what’s even funnier? Guys like you who defend Slater BECAUSE he’s gay. Now run along and watch some more MSLSD for all your “unbiased” news.

  • rick

    Too bad he didn’t take to the slide at 30k ft.

  • Richard

    We must hold the airline industry to a high standard. What if the pilot got a bad coffee and decided to land in Guatamala City rather than Boston for the sake of proving his point . Ken could have decided to rearrange his closets to vent his frustration rather than forcing everyone to participate in his drama. . While he may appear to gloat over his little drama the public had s right to ask just who is operating the slippy slide.

  • DoubleJ

    I congratulate the guy. Having done a lot of flying myself, I have seen first hand the sort of abuse these people receive from overweight passengers making ridiculous demands. Only a matter of time before somebody cracks. And really, aside from the cost to the airline for repacking that slide, whats the big deal?

    • Vince

      Hope you don’t have a job that serves the public. I feel sorry for the people you deal with if you do. Did you read the article? Slater was RUDE. He was hitting the back seat of a passenger whose seat was already in the upright position, and he did not even apologize about it. He also ignored and woman who politely asked for water instead of soda. In fact, he gave her an obnoxious look. Guess she deserved it, right?

  • CDS

    Both the NY Post and NY Daily News reported that Slater told the police he was HIV positive.

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