JetBlue Finally Comments on Flight Attendant's Dramatic Exit


The Story

If you watched any news this week, you heard about Steven Slater, the JetBlue flight attendant who, after cursing passengers over the intercom, grabbed two beers, inflated the emergency chute, and slid off the plane.  He was arrested but has since been released from jail.  JetBlue, normally a chatty social media participant, has been suspiciously quiet during the past few days (possibly on advice from the legal department).  But on Wednesday, they finally addressed the situation, with a light-hearted blog post that included a link to the movie trailer for Office Space. 


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Discussion Starters

  • Reading about the situation, do you empathize with Slater?  Some call him a "folk hero," while others refer to him as the "Bag Nazi."  Which camp are you in?
  • What other avenues could Slater have taken?  Surely he had other choices.
  • How do you interpret JetBlue's initial silence and then the company's blog post?  Was this a good approach?

Assignment Ideas

  • Imagine that you're Steven Slater, working for the airlines for 20 years. After reading the story (and perhaps from your own air travel experience), write an email from Slater to the management team at JetBlue.  Of course, you can be honest, but try to control your comments and tone better than Slater did on the plane.  From Slater's perspective, what recommendations would you make for the industry to change its practices?  Write a persuasive email.
  • Write an email to JetBlue's legal department, trying to persuade them to allow you to blog more (and earlier) about the incident.  Explain the importance of online relationships and why being silent isn't a good approach.  You might want to acknowledge the obvious objections, too.