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Not So Happy Jetting

August 12, 2010

This week, JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater became a household name after he used the plane’s PA system to curse out a female passenger who hit him in the head with the overhead compartment door. After finishing his tirade, Slater grabbed a couple of beers from the drink cart, activated the aircraft’s emergency evacuation chute, slid down it and proceeded to walk out of Kennedy Airport. This real-life “take this job and shove it” moment seemed to resonate with a huge audience, partially because so many of us have fantasized about making a grand exit from a not-so-loved job.

While Slater is being called “the toast of the online community” and a “real modern-day folk hero,” this event has put the JetBlue brand into the national media spotlight. Will this be a public relations nightmare for the New York-based company, leaving them to sing the jet way blues, or will this be a case of “there’s no such thing as bad publicity?” JetBlue has been quiet in media stories with one or two “no comments” made on the subject, as well as one “neutral” blog post on the company blog. A little odd for one of the most customer-centric and social media-savvy companies out there.

What do you think? What overall effect will this have on the JetBlue brand?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Sheila Marshall permalink
    August 13, 2010 3:56 pm

    I just saw an interview on GMA with one of his co-workers. She had stated that Steven Slater is a very nice and level-headed person that she has had the pleasure of working with. When she was told that some of the other passengers had made statements that Steven was the one that was being abusive (verbally) first, her reply was that she did not believe that at all. She continued to defend her co-worker. With that being said and the “no comments” from Jet Blue, I believe that they are going to stay neutral and wait for whatever happens in his day at court. I get the impression that he will be able to retain a job with them if he escapes any felony’s. I think that the Company will benefit from all the media and hype, especially if Steven is cleared of felony’s and retains a job with them. Jet Blues best strategy right now is to keep on doing what they’re doing, staying neutral until the final outcome.

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