JetBlue Flight Attendant Gets Bail Following Flip-Out

Unless you’ve been living under a rock — or been stranded on a tarmac — you’ve heard about the JetBlue flight attendant who flipped out, popped open the emergency door, grabbed some beer from the galley and escaped via the plane’s emergency slide. Well, the attendant finally came before a judge for arraignment this morning.

The judge set bail for the attendant — who faces charges of criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing — at $2,500.

The attendant’s attorney said that his client has been stressed because his mother is ill with lung cancer.

He also stated that the argument that sparked the incident began before the flight from Pittsburgh to NYC even took off. According to the lawyer, everything started when two female passengers got into a dispute over the overhead bins. It was at this point, says the lawyer, that the attendant was hit in the head with the bag.

When the plane landed at JFK, tempers flared up again when the one woman whose bag had to be gate-checked became upset that she wouldn’t be getting her bag back immediately.

“The woman was outraged and cursed him out a great deal,” said the attorney for the attendant. “At some point, I think he just wanted to avoid conflict with her.”

Meanwhile, the Smoking Gun has a copy of the criminal complaint filed against the attendant. In the document, it claims that the unapproved use of the emergency slide “did cause a dangerous condition to the ground crew working below.” Additionally, the complaint states that the cost to JetBlue of replacing the emergency slide is at least $25,000.

NY judge grants bail for angry flight attendant [Seattle PI]
Heroic JetBlue Flight Attendant Charged [Smoking Gun]

Thanks to SteveDave for the Smoking Gun tip!

Comments

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  1. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    Great photoshop work there.

  2. chaesar says:

    “…the unapproved use of the emergency slide “did cause a dangerous condition to the ground crew working below”

    Really?!?!! The ground crew has to work around a constant array of life-threatening hazards but a gay man riding an elevated slip ‘n slide is a “dangerous condition?”

    • Aphex242 says:

      The article I read was that when they deploy they deploy quite forcefully and are a lot heavier than you’d expect. Supposedly if one of the crew were standing in the wrong spot it could have killed them.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I read that in the NYT today. There was also absolutely no reason for the slide to deploy while the plane was safely on the tarmac, so there wouldn’t have been any reason for crew members to avoid the slide area.

        • Conformist138 says:

          And yet, despite being told how unlikely an event is, most employers would still tell you not to loiter in front of that spot. Seems like an easy place to avoid just because a human inside CAN deploy it and humans are sometimes little more than monkeys when we see levers and knobs. That it is technically possible for a passenger to deploy the chute should make ground crews cautious, like the feeling you get when you’re in someone’s blind spot on the freeway. Just not a good place to be.

    • emax4 says:

      I also believe that from the ground’s crew perspective, if they see a chute like that hanging off of the side (with or without notification from the pilot or air traffic control), they may spring into action thinking that there’s a problem. I could be wrong, but that’s just my two cents.

    • Link_Shinigami says:

      Don’t forget the two beers he had with him.

      Either way, $2500 is not a lot considering what they could hit him for, he should pay it and move on

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      The poof on the slide isn’t the risk.

      It’s the explosive force with which said slide launches itself away from the plane. If you were on the ground in the wrong spot, I could easily see serious injury…or death.

  3. smo0 says:

    “Additionally, the complaint states that the cost to JetBlue of replacing the emergency slide is at least $25,000.”

    Which they will bill the passengers over time with fees, etc.

    This guy is still my hero – sad to hear about his mom… heart goes out to him.

    • BDSanta2001 says:

      I don’t understand why it would cost $25,000 to replace a slide.

      • notovny says:

        Judging by the comments in this forum from four years ago, $30K seems about the right ballpark.

        http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/2579418/

        I imagine they’re fairly expensive because you generally use them once, they have to deploy extremely quickly, and be rigid enough to support a person jumping out of a plane, as well as being fire- and puncture-resistant

      • Firethorn says:

        Well, first it’s aviation safety equipment – add a 10X multiplier. It’s inflated with a compressed air cylinder. The fabric itself is heavy duty, possibly a kevlar. Most slides double as rafts.

        http://www.airspacemag.com/flight-today/HTW-evacuation.html

        Highlights: Deploy within 6 seconds between -65 and 160F, and winds up to 28.7mph. Light and compact enough to fit in or under the door/exit.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          And they are built like you wouldn’t believe. I know a guy at the flea market who used to work for an airline as a maintenance worker, and has some repair parts for planes that they no longer needed(I guess, otherwise, why would he have them.). He had a pressure cylinder that he showed me that was an emergency opening assist for a door on a jet. It was made in 1960 or something around there, and was pressurized to the number written on the part, and still had all of it’s seals on it from when it was pressurized. So 50 years later it was still holding it’s charge, waiting to be used.

      • satoru says:

        Not really much different than changing the airbag on your car. If replacing an airbag on a car costs $2000 and up, you figure doing the same on a jet airliner would cost a lot more. Not to mention the market for ‘replacement emergency slides’ isn’t that huge. That’s a good thing, because it means that aviation is, in general, a very safe way to travel.

    • xspook says:

      “This guy is still my hero”

      The guy is a whiny fucking moron.

      • smo0 says:

        Oh, thank god… I was beginning to worry that there was no one left who had a pristine job in Utopialand where no rude customers or red tape on the job existed….

        I FOUND HOPE

        IN YOU

        SIR

        …. tbh, I’d bank that you were unemployed.

  4. c!tizen says:

    $25,000 to replace the slide? Really? Did the price of rubber go up? I get that there is more to it than a slide and some air, but come on… I can buy like 3 new Kia’s for $25,000.00.

    • DrGirlfriend says:

      Also, 3 new Kias falling from the plane would have posed a much greater safety hazard than a rubber slide.

    • SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

      you could stack the kia’s to allow safe departure from the plane.

    • CookiePuss says:

      I heard its about 3k to replace a cars airbag. I’m sure the price varies but it had to do with having to replace the computer and sensors as well. This was a few years ago so the procedure might be easier now, but yeah–I always heard the price to replace a deployed airbag was sky high. So I can imagine the jumbo flight attendant slide to happy land would cost quite a bit more.

    • jnads says:

      Everything in Aviation is cost * 10.

      That’s $2500 to replace the slide, and $22,500 to guarantee it actually deploys when you need it.

    • Guppy06 says:

      One should not opt for the cheapest materials and technologies possible when one is buying lifesaving equipment. It has to work the first time, immediately, and under conditions so far from optimal that people will risk broken bones to get away from those conditions alive.

      You should compare it to the price of the Kia’s airbag.

    • Santas Little Helper says:

      I work as an airline mechanic and I have access the prices of parts when I install them. You would not believe the cost of things. Tires for airplanes can range from $9000 for a 737, to $60,000 for a 777, per tire!!!!!! And we burn through one of those at least every two weeks per aircraft. You don’t even want to know what avionics computers costs. A stupid computer, that is the equivalent of a 386, that only does 1 thing, can cost upwards of $250,000, easy.

  5. BDSanta2001 says:

    Why isn’t the unruly passenger in jail too?

    • PanCake BuTT says:

      That’s what I’m talkin’ about !

    • Conformist138 says:

      If a passenger can be removed for questioning a pilot or crew member, surely they can have the cuffs slapped on for being out of control enough to let their bags smack people around. Just the screaming alone should have had them removed, considering the level of panic that can set in when people are trapped in a small space during a tense situation.

    • Verdant Pine Trees says:

      I also want to know why she hasn’t been named publicly after assaulting a FA and threatening another passenger.

  6. photoguy622 says:

    Sorry, but I think the guy was just moronic. Granted, I’ve worked in retail for years and have imagined many great ways to get back at pain the rear customers, but it was just that. He was immature, and should have been the adult in the situation instead of stooping to the level of his childish passengers. Hero he is not.

    With that said, I wish his mother well, and they shouldn’t be too hard on him.

    • emax4 says:

      …but it’s okay for the unruly passenger, who didn’t listen to the rules, to cause harm to the flight attendant and not apologize for the passenger’s own impatient actions, which eventually caused the flight attendant to lose it? Let’s not blame the victim here…

      • photoguy622 says:

        No, it wasn’t OK for the passenger to do that. I never said it was, but the flight attendant was a over the top in his reaction as well.

        Seriously, he’s a flight attendant, I’m sure he knew how expensive an emergency slide is to deploy. There were much better, albeit less dramatic, ways to deal with the situation.

        • erratapage says:

          Ever have a panic attack? I doubt this guy was thinking clearly. “Hmmm… should I wait to deplane and give my two week notice, or should I flip the bird (metaphorically speaking, of course) to the man, deploy the egress chute, and grab a couple of malt beverages for the ride down?” The thing that makes this so human is that we’ve all been there–in that space where we KNOW we’ll do something completely unreasonable and goofy!

          • Voxxen says:

            I’ve been to that place so many times but, fortunately, right at the moment where I’m about to lose it and do something incredibly violent or foolish, everything just stops and gets really peaceful.

            Sometimes you just wish that someone would give you that last push so you could justify doing what you really want to do though, amirite?

            • HogwartsProfessor says:

              Yes, I know exactly what you mean. I probably wouldn’t do it, but I know how it feels!

              And I love your avatar. :)

  7. Cyniconvention says:

    I wonder if there’s going to be a giant pool of donations to pay for his bail.
    Working Class have to support one of our own!

    • Conformist138 says:

      A friend and I were just talking about this guy and totally agreed we’d be willing to toss a few bucks to a defense fund. My enjoyment of the story is worth it and I support valuable sources of entertainment. I won’t pay for nearly any current music or movies, but I will pay for the smile this wonderful man brought to my face.

      (ps- Slytherin, only and ONLY because Snape is the coolest ever)

    • Johnny Rotten says:

      I’m no expert here, but don’t you generally only have to post 10% of the bond to a bailbondsman, who then covers the rest?

      Perhaps one of our scofflaws could educate me on this… :)

  8. David_NY_NY says:

    It is not right for any airline passenger to verbally abuse a flight attendant, but the flight attendant’s opening of the emergency slide is not justified. The emergency slide is for emergencies only.

    There is no mention of wheter the flight attendant was fired or not by JetBlue.
    Does JetBlue want to keep as an employee someone who would do such a thing?

    • CFinWV says:

      I thought he quit, that would kind of make the firing thing a moot point, no?

    • David_NY_NY says:

      Since his arrest, I don’t think that he had the time to officially notify JetBlue’s management of his decision. Although the flight attendant announced to the plane’s passenger that he’s “… had it …”

      I have also read in other new stories that the airline has suspended him from duties pending further investigation.

  9. jpdanzig says:

    This flight attendant hasn’t become the hero of just the nation’s flight attendants… I think he has become the hero of everyone who has to endure the miseries of an intolerable job — or the indignities of commercial flight travel these days. How many of us wouldn’t like to say to our oppressors, “fuck you”, pop a beer, and evacuate the scene via a handy emergency chute? You go, dude!

    • brinks says:

      This guy’s got a Facebook fan page 20,000 strong and counting. He’s my hero for sure, and plenty of other people’s as well.

  10. INsano says:

    Like no one else has ever had a bad day at work…

    Frankly I don’t know if any human is actually built to withstand the rudeness, idiocy and selfishness of Americans in the long term. As just a passenger I’ve seen that you pretty much have to have the disposition of a self-flagellating saint to withstand the constant abuse.

    Jet Blue should offer the passengers a free flight and their HR should offer their employees an extra “personal” day in light of this.

    To the woman who decided to curse out the employee and refuse to apologize after bashing him in the head…you are slime and your childishness instigated all of this. Grow the f**k up.

    • emax4 says:

      Amen brother!

    • Chaosium says:

      “Frankly I don’t know if any human is actually built to withstand the rudeness, idiocy and selfishness of Americans in the long term.”

      We’re “the worst” by nature of being put in the spotlight. I generally agree with that statement, but it shouldn’t be an excuse to pat yourself on the back.

    • smo0 says:

      Exactly… is it me.. or do people think they have some carte blanche to cross the line….
      First, the lack of manners – above all – is something to be disgusted by… it’s rampant.

      3 things are our current contributors to do the downward spiral.

      Lack of manners (being rude)
      Lack of common sense
      No Accountability

  11. brinks says:

    I always burn a few bridges when I leave a job, but I’ve never been able to accomplish anything nearly this cool. This man is an inspiration to countless others that have to endure self-entitled assholes day after day after day. If only we could all quit in such a fabulous manner.

    I hope JetBlue forgives him for the slide. If he’s fined, I’d chip in to help.

  12. aintgotone says:

    That’s a badass flight attendant.

    • xspook says:

      Yes, that’s exactly the kind of flight attended we all need. Ooooh, pressure! I can’t handle it!

  13. EyeintheLAsky says:

    Can SOMEone explain (or does anyone even SEE), the gaping hole in this entire story?

    How can a person (repeatedly said by the media to be 38 years old), that claims to have worked for a company 28 years ( “…I’ve been in the business 28 years. I’ve had it. That’s it.” )

    …get hired at 10years of age?

    What kind of airline HIRES a 10year-old to be a Flight Attendant?

    Something is definitely WRONG with all of this…yet the media hasn’t seemed to catch on.

    • outlulz says:

      Who cares? Does it matter? He misspoke, big deal.

    • leeloo says:

      Psst .. you know sometimes people lie about their ages – for some reason I cannot understand.

      Also the media has to go with what info they have – which is basically MySpace and what-not, since I doubt they’ve gone and checked his actual birth date on his birth certificate.

      • macnbc says:

        Oh no, do NOT go there, or else there will be a whole group of Jetters asking to see his birth certificate, even after Jetblue posts a copy on their website.

    • BuyerOfGoods3 says:

      If you’ve ever held a job with those conditions…it can feel as such time has passed, due to the sucking of the life out of you; by said job.

      Just sayin; time warp style.

    • Verdant Pine Trees says:

      His lawyer has said in the press something to the effect of, he’s been working since he was 20. So it’s either a misunderstood word or mispoke. Maybe he had a third beer before he pulled the chute.

    • omg says:

      My older brother was dating a flight attendant when I was five, and got me a tour of the plane, and I was fascinated. So I wasn’t even ten when I got my start in the industry. (heh)

  14. TuxedoCartman says:

    I hope the judge lets him off with a warning, or two weeks of “anger management” or something. As for the cost of the slide, I’d chip in a few dollars if it’d help the guy out.

  15. Dr.Wang says:

    no surprise that it happened in NY, where rude was invented.

  16. zekebullseye says:

    His lawyer isn’t so smart. He could have said that he flight attendant was suffering from a mild concussion from getting hit in the head and it made him lose control. Way better defense than the Mom with cancer excuse.

  17. YdoUthinkURright says:

    Way to go to all the sheep that make heros of everyone that does some idiotic thing.

    That chute could have really hurt someone with amount of pressure it uses to deploy and the reaction was way over the top. A gay guy wanting to be overly dramatic!? Tell me it aint so.

    • YdoUthinkURright says:

      Yes, I forgot “the” in the above. You’re still sheep. Sorry…you’re still THE sheep.

  18. pot_roast says:

    I hope someone outs the woman that started the whole problem and makes her look like a jackass in front of the entire country.