Steven Slater, the JetBlue flight attendant who famously told off a plane full of passengers, grabbed a beer, and escaped via the emergency chute, pleaded guilty today in a New York City court.
Slater pleaded guilty to two charges of criminal mischief, one a felony and one a misdemeanor, according to the New York Times. He must attend regular counseling sessions for at least a year, but otherwise is a free man.
So far, no repercussions have been reported for the passenger Slater says verbally abused him, which was the catalyst for Slater’s dramatic outburst and exit. The passenger’s name has not been released.
If there’s anything to learn from the Slater incident, it’s that flight attendants are only as human as we are, and deserve to be treated with respect. Everyone on the plane is under a certain amount of stress, whether it’s a pilot or flight attendant on a long shift, or a passenger catching the umpteenth connection of the day. But just because passengers are paying customers doesn’t mean they can’t follow a simple code of conduct, and treat others with a little dignity.
Readers, do you think Slater’s punishment fits the crime? Do you think the passengers need to shape up their own behavior?