NY flight attendant’s curses drew laughs
By DEEPTI HAJELA (AP) – 4 hours ago
NEW YORK — Passengers on a plane on which a flight attendant infamously had a meltdown gasped and then giggled after he dropped the F-bomb repeatedly over the loudspeakers, a traveler aboard the flight says.
The seatbelt light had gone off for the JetBlue flight from Pittsburgh to New York, and most passengers were scrambling for their carry-on bags when the announcement came over the intercom. Using three obscenities, the flight attendant, who had walked the aisles with a bloody gash over his eye, told a passenger who he said had cursed him out exactly where she could go, Kati Doebler said.
“Everyone kind of gasped,” Doebler told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “The passengers all started to giggle a little bit.”
Doebler, a Pittsburgh website developer, didn’t see who was speaking on the intercom at the end of JetBlue Flight 1052 on Monday. She and most others now know it was Steven Slater, a 38-year-old airline veteran who prosecutors say followed up his comments with a quick exit down the plane’s emergency slide.
Slater’s, uh, unusual departure from his job has made him a cult hero to some, for leaving in a way that many only dream of. It also brought him legal trouble, as he was charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing.
A defense attorney says Slater didn’t put anyone in danger.
Slater was freed on bail Tuesday night. He left a Manhattan apartment building Wednesday in a Jeep with his boyfriend and said little to throngs of reporters as he arrived at his home a block from Rockaway Beach in Queens.
Doebler said when she first saw Slater while boarding the flight, he had a facial cut showing fresh blood.
“He said, ‘Oh, they’re always trying to kill me around here,'” in response to a passenger’s question, she said.
Authorities have said Slater hit his head after being drawn into a fight over luggage space in the overhead bins as the flight was awaiting takeoff.
Doebler said she noticed that Slater never put a bandage on his forehead throughout the 90-minute flight.
“I thought, ‘You are handing people glasses. You are handing people ice. You should cover up the bloody wound,'” she said.
Doebler said she never witnessed the fight between Slater and the female passenger at John F. Kennedy International Airport that authorities said sparked Slater’s meltdown. But she heard Slater rail at the passenger who had offended him on the public address system.
“To the m