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The Jet Blue Steven Slater incident resonates hugely with the public on several counts:
- We all get frustrated on flights as passengers, recently more so as airlines now charge for check in baggage so you'd rather carry more cabin baggage. Surprisingly Jet Blue does'nt seem to charge for the first check in bag and the cabin bag requirements are reasonable.
- We have all either been rude to flight attendants or have seen others being rude, somewhat unnecessarily
- Above all doing a "Slater" style exit from abusive employment situations is a dream for just too many American workers, more so in the current economy.In fact, one web comment from a Slater fan is that the bar for a stylish exit from dealing with impossible customers has been raised too high by Slater. Not many professions have the grand opportunity of grabbing beers and sliding down the plane's emergency chute!
After some pretty typical last century ( ie 1990's) responses, like criminal charges etc. there seems to be realization by prosecutors, according to Dan Abrams , that there is no way that a jury will convict Slater if the case did go to trial. Accordingly, Jet Blue is now trying to convert the Slater incident into a public relations plus.
Yes flying has become more stressful in the past decade with delays in security checks etc. but before the Internet Steven Slater would be in real serious trouble with the law,his company etc.
The Internet age is again really exponentially magnifying an incident and the public is directly weighing in. Let us hope that the airlines will try to resolve stress points upstream in the service chain like dealing with baggage which caused the altercation with Slater and the passenger in the first place. Also customers will be kinder to front line service employees who just happen to be the customer facing part of organizations.