Connection 3. JetBlue in the Court of Public Opinion

25 Oct

Ex-JetBlue Flight Attendant Sentenced

10/20/2010

Steven Slater receives One Year of Mandatory Counseling

Jennifer Cleary

JetBlue’s former flight attendant, Steven Slater, pled guilty to two charges of attempted criminal mischief. One count was a misdemeanor, the other a felony.

He agreed to a plea deal that requires him to attend counseling for at least a year. He must also undergo substance abuse treatment. If Slater completes his sentence satisfactorily to the judge, the felony charge will be dropped.

The former JetBlue employee must pay the airline $10,000 to cover the cost of repairing the emergency chute, as well as helping to cover some of the $100 credits it handed out to delayed passengers.

Slater made headlines when he vented his frustrations over the airline’s intercom during a flight. After cursing out the passengers, Slater infamously slid down the emergency chute.

After the sentencing, Slater spoke about the incident, saying, “At the end of the day, I’m a grown-up, and I must take responsibility for my actions.”

As you can see, JetBlue had to make decisions in the “court of public opinion”.

Steven Slater was seen as a hero to many people because he stood up for himself, but as an employee of a good quality airline, whom he represented, he acted poorly and unprofessional. Some people even said he acted in an unsafe manner by using the sliding chute to escape from the plane early.

JetBlue acted in the right way legally and in the face of public opinion. They had to think about the customers who would be traveling with them again. Many people would have thought, “Why would they hire someone like that”, or “I don’t trust JetBlue. You never know when someone might freak out”.

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