Transportation

Passengers: JetBlue's Slater Rude During Flight

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Two women, who were passengers on the JetBlue flight that culminated with flight attendant Steven Slater's infamous slide down an emergency chute, are telling a different story about Slater's behavior. They say he was rude throughout the flight, and instigated a verbal altercation with a woman.

Marjorie Briskin told The Wall Street Journal it was Slater who first cursed at the still-unknown woman, not the other way around. Briskin said after the flight landed in New York, the woman asked Slater which overhead bin her bag was in, and Slater cursed at her. Only then did the argument get out of hand.

"I didn't think she was rude in the least," Briskin said. "It really blew my mind. It was so inappropriate."

Slater, though, claims the woman cursed at him before the flight even took off. So far, no passengers have come forward to confirm that part of the story.

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Briskin said Slater began flinging open the overhead bins and slamming them shut after the flight landed. "He looked disturbed at that point," Briskin said.

Another passenger noted Slater spent much of the 90-minute flight slamming overhead bins and refrigerator doors in the galley.

Briskin said Slater had a "nice gash" on his head throughout the flight. It's unclear exactly how he sustained that injury, though he had it as passengers boarded in Pittsburgh and joked that "they're always trying to kill me around here," passenger Kati Doebler told the Associated Press.

Slater's lawyer said he suffered the injury when the woman slammed the overhead bin down on his head before the flight.

Another woman told The Journal that Slater was immediately rude to her after she boarded in Pittsburgh. Lauren Dominijanni said she asked Slater for a napkin to clean up coffee someone spilled on her seat. Dominijanni said that Slater "rolled his eyes at me and said, 'What?' in a real rude manner."

When she showed him the coffee spill, she says Slater pointed to the gash on his head and said, "No! Maybe when we get in the air! I need to take care of myself first, honey!"

Slater is 

charged with criminal mischief and reckless endangerment for his actions. Some are hailing him as a hero for his "take this job and shove it" attitude.

Dominijanni, though, questioned that response.

"Why are they applauding what he did? I don't understand," she said. "There are people out there who are dying for a job. I'm glad he's gone because someone can step in and do a much better job."