Flight Attendant Deploys Emergency Slide For No Reason, Leaves Plane

Image courtesy of (Adam Fagen)

Just days after an airplane’s emergency slide came hurtling to the ground, landing in an Arizona yard, the emergency device is once again the center of an unusual story: a United Airlines’ flight attendant allegedly deployed a slide, rode it down, and walked away from her job after her plane landed in Houston on Monday.

ABC13 News reports that the ordeal began around noon when United flight 1246 arrived at Bush International Airport in Houston from Sacramento.

According to video footage of the incident, posted by Click2 Houston, the plane comes to a full stop once it reaches the gate. At that point, you can see the slide deploy, a woman throws her bag to the ground, and then slides down.

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Passengers on the flight say they were unaware of the flight attendant’s unusual exit strategy, as they were distracted by a medical emergency taking place in the back of the plane.

“When we landed we were told to stay in our seats as deplaning would take a bit longer,” one passenger tells Click2Houston. “Everything seemed to be pretty standard.”

Passengers were able to exit the plane normally and the aircraft was taken out of service to be inspected again to meet safety standards, ABC13 reports, noting that the plane has since been returned to service.

While a spokesperson for United Airlines says the carrier is investigating the incident, the company believes the flight attendant’s action was intentional.

“We hold all of our employees to the highest standard,” the airline said in a statement. “The unsafe behavior is unacceptable and does not represent the more than 20,000 flight attendants who ensure the safety of our customers. United is reviewing the matter and they have removed the employee from her flying duties.”

This incident is reminiscent of JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater. In Aug. 2010, Slater got fed up with a passenger, cursed him out, then deployed the emergency slide to make his infamous exit onto the tarmac.

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Flight Attendant Pulls Emergency Slide On Plane At IAH [ABC13 News]
United flight attendant deploys slide on plane at IAH [Click2Houston]