Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010

Steven Slater

The mad-as-hell flight attendant's spectacular meltdown made him a folk hero among frustrated workers across the country. On Aug. 9, after a JetBlue flight from Pittsburgh landed at New York's JFK International Airport, Steven Slater repeatedly told a passenger to stop trying to get her luggage out of an overhead compartment while the plane was still taxiing. When a bag hit him on the head, Slater lost it, using the intercom to unleash a profanity-laced tirade capped by, "I've been in the business for 28 years. I've had it. That's it." He popped the plane's emergency-exit chute, grabbed a beer from the beverage cart and slid to freedom. Fed-up workers applauded his dramatic departure. But popping the inflatable plastic chute could have killed or injured unsuspecting workers on the ground; Slater managed to avoid jail time by agreeing to undergo mental-health counseling and substance-abuse treatment. He also parted ways with JetBlue and has since taken full advantage of his working-class heroics, becoming a rapper-spokesman for Line2 in-flight texting.