Irate flight attendant makes emergency exit

Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater became enraged after passengers failed to obey his instructions following a flight from Pittsburgh to New York. Photo / Thinkstock
Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater became enraged after passengers failed to obey his instructions following a flight from Pittsburgh to New York. Photo / Thinkstock

NEW YORK - A flight attendant furious with passengers who refused to follow his instructions told them off over the loudspeaker before pulling the chute to make his own dramatic personal emergency exit, police said.

The attendant, identified in the US media as Steven Slater, 39, was working a Jet Blue flight from Pittsburgh to New York that had just landed, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said.

Slater told passengers to remain seated upon landing. But when a passenger started collecting his belongings from the overhead bin, disregarding the instructions, Slater tried to stop him but was hit in the head by the baggage and became irate.

When Slater "asked for an apology," the passenger "instead cursed at him," The New York Times reported.

Slater "got on the plane's public address system and cursed at all aboard.

Then he activated the inflatable evacuation slide at service exit R1, launched himself off the plane, an Embraer 190, ran to the employee parking lot and left the airport in a car he had parked there".

The attendant snatched a beer from the galley before jumping on the slide, ABC News reported.

His silver-screen-worthy escape was short-lived.

Police arrested Slater shortly after at his home nearby in Queens.

The airline said in a statement that there were no injuries and all other passengers disembarked safely.

"At this time, we are working with the FAA and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to investigate the incident. At no time was the security or safety of our customers or crew members at risk."

According to ABC, Slater was charged with criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.

- AFP

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