Contrite Steven Slater Says He's Ready To Go Back To Work

NEW YORK (CBS 2/WCBS 880) — Even after his spectacular meltdown, Steven Slater says he shouldn’t be fired, and he picked up the backing of a powerful airline employees union on Friday.

Love him or hate him – is he really fit to fly? That’s the question many were asking on Friday, the same same day video surfaced of his bizarre escape from JetBlue Flight 1052 on Monday.

In the most turbulent week of Steven Slater’s high-flying career, he’s gone from cocky to contrite. Now, despite the take-your-job-and-shove-it stunt, Slater says he hopes to keep his job as a JetBlue flight attendant, reports CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown.

After four days of fanfare, which he admitted was “a bit much,” Slater’s attorney said the disgruntled employee wishes he could go back to work.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports

“JetBlue is a wonderful airline that he has loved working for – that he wants to continue working for,” said Howard Turman, Slater’s attorney. Slater’s theatrical exit made him a hit with hard workers around the world, and he may now have a much more powerful ally.

The Association of Flight Attendants, the world’s largest flight attendant union, says it’s prepared to step in with an armload of resources to help Slater defend himself – and possibly return to the skies – despite the fact that Slater isn’t a union member.

“We protect flight attendants, period,” said a union rep who also said Slater has not yet contacted them.

Currently, Slater’s status is “suspended,” but an internal memo from JetBlue’s Chief Operating Officer to the airline staff and board of directors indicates the company might give Slater a much more permanent label, calling his actions “unacceptable.”

The memo offers the first timeline of events for the Monday meltdown, as Slater allegedly uttered the expletives over the public address system, deployed the emergency chute and slid down to the tarmac with two beers in hand. But the memo also shows that top JetBlue officials aren’t sure what exactly transpired to cause the tarmac tantrum.

CBS 2 has obtained video of Slater’s slide to unemployment.

“There’s much more to this story that we don’t know, including was there an altercation on the flight that precipitated or motivated Mr. Slater’s action? It’s unclear,” the memo reads. “No one has stepped forward to tell their side of the story, and multiple customers from different areas of the cabin have given interviews that tell a different story.”

According to the memo, JetBlue is working with police and also conducting its own investigation to find who the memo calls “the alleged passenger who sparked Slater’s outburst.”

In the meantime, passengers have their own opinions on whether Slater should be allowed to return to the skies.

“He did hit the back of my seat,” said passenger Howard Deneroff. “But it didn’t move…It was already up…It was probably broken. He seemed testy.”

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

Jet Blue flight attendants, like others in the industry, are paid on a block schedule, which doesn’t include the time it takes to board and deplane. When Slater had his now-infamous meltdown, he was officially on-duty, but he was technically off-the-clock.

The AFA says that distinction could help Slater when it comes to his legal defense – but it may not help him keep his job.

Slater’s father was a pilot and his mother was a flight attendant, and his attorney argues that flying the skies is in Slater’s blood.

Comments (17)
  1. roger goss says:

    give him his job back or buy out his benefits after all he is a union member and that must be worth something i seam to remember some hi paid golden parachute deals back in the fall for Alot worse THINGS .did by so called bankers.

  2. David says:

    yeah but these claims about him having a cut prior is pretty ridiculous. I mean if he had a cut or gash or whatever it was prior to the flight would not his own co-workers be able to back up these claims yet it is only coming from a few passengers.

    If there is any truth to these claims you should really confirm this with his fellow flight crew and confirm this rather then just report news from one thing cause if the crew says he was cut then he’s lying but if no one on the crew confirms this then it is most likely the passengers who are just fed up with the airlines and trying to make Slater look like the cause rather then the victim of this supposed bashing by luggage!!!

  3. Donna says:

    We all have those days and situations in our life that has the potential to cause us to flip out. But the main thing is “control”. He needed to stay in control and maintain the professionalism that the airline paid him to do. Once he exited the aircraft and was no longer on duty, he could have expressed himself then. What if I, as a nurse, got to the stress point with my patients – do I just walk out? What if teachers get to the breaking point with their class one day – can they just leave? Not very professional. So to make Slater a hero implies that all the rest of us can just flip out on our jobs with no repercussions and expect to keep that job. Not hardly. I do agree that passengers are very annoying, but that’s what you must deal with when you have that type of job.

  4. Just Me says:

    Jet Blue is a wonderful Airline, I have never had a reason to not fly with them but I now I’m having second thoughts. I feel I would have to avoid a flight with Steven Slater working on it for my own peace of mind to feel safe.

  5. KRISSY says:

    there are hundreds of people who can fill his job, a black would have been FIRED already!!! that’s his job..if u don’t like it then quit, I work with rude people everyday in my line of work…but if i want to pay my mortgage, gas, phone etc, I always think AT LEAST I HAVE A JOB IN THIS ECONOMY AND IT COULD BE WORSE!!!

  6. Greg says:

    I wouldn’t feel good about him being in a position of authority, if I was on the plane. Way too much drama. He had legal recourse if a passenger was uncooperative. He is supposed to protect the passengers from disruptive people, not be a menace himself. Any passenger who behaved as he did would have been arrested on the plane and would still be in custody.

  7. JetBlue Employee says:

    I work for JetBlue. The company is going to eventually terminate him. They don’t tolerate employees who are rude to customers or who jeopardize the safety of anyone. Also, since he quit without giving notice, he can’t be rehired by the company.

  8. Pete Bucky says:

    I’d like to know where the story about sltaer cutting his head came from. From him? if so, this was lousy reporting by the media. They took an unsubstantiated lie and ran with it, making Slater a “hero”. This happens all too much now with all the internet blogs, Twiiter and the like. No one checks sources anymore. The news industry sucks right now.

  9. s says:

    What needs to be modified???

  10. Shelly says:

    I believe that someone is not telling the whole truth, someone or something very bad ticked him off. Maybe he did not have time to think it through, but I am sure he would not have taken the risk in getting hurt and losing his job. People can be so rude and sometimes enough is enough, especially when they think they are better than YOU! Besides we are in a recession and no one needs to lose their job if he was a good employee up to this incident without any reprimands in his file then give him his reprimand and give him his job back!

  11. Satinee says:

    No one is saying that you can not lose your temper on the job or that you have to be perfect. However, that being said, we have all had the days when people got on our last nerve, but we handle it. We don’t go off on a tirade and flip people off. He did a very childish and stupid thing which I never thought made him a hero. I thought he had money, I am not saying money makes it right, but at least he would not have to come begging for his job back afterwards. And last but certainly not least, DEALING WITH RUDE CUSTOMERS COMES WITH THE TERRITORY WHEN YOU TAKE A CUSTOMER SERVICE JOB!!! We don’t even know if his story is true. What a Jerk!!! I wouldn’t want to ride with or work with him.

    1. 2 just me says:

      ya, whats that about/

  12. Ravan says:

    We’ve all lived such perfect lives. Those that never drove a Limo to make ends meet, know little about how cruel and ballistic frequent travelers can be. How dare Slater divert from the aberration to provide service. Feel free to toss the first stone if you’ve never (ever) lost your cool. If you have kids and a stay-at-home husband, we know the answer already, so skip to the next blog.

  13. On Second Thought says:

    Now he wants his job back?!?! REALLY. You should have thought about that before telling everyone on the plane to go f off and quit. 60 days to 6 months will be the jail sentence at Rikers, so he might as well wait for to find a new job after that. Mark my words. Plus a nice civil suit from Jet Blue. He needs to hope that he lands a reality show to pay for everyhing.

  14. Sissy Fit says:

    He’s become the Richard Hatch of air stewards.

  15. William says:

    This Slator person appears to have been drunk. If he was not drunk then his behavior was even more inexcusable. He is a danger in the air. If he is rehired and some one get hurt because of him the airline he works for at the time will be open to a lawsuit.

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