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Was the JetBlue slide incident caused by head injury?

Posted Aug 14 2010 12:00am

Ah – ha! Here’s the missing piece (I believe) that could help to explain Steven Slater’s meltdown Time Magazine’s blog has offered head injury as one possible explanation for the Jet Blue flight attendant’s behavior.

Many explanations have been offered for JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater’s meltdown and dramatic emergency slide exit on Mondayfrom “air rage” to suggestions of a relapse into alcoholism. But none of the media coverage has noted what could be the most obvious and chilling reason for his bizarre behavior: at the beginning of now notorious 46-min. Flight 1052 from Pittsburgh to New York City, Slater may have suffered a head injury.

The whole incident apparently started when he confronted a woman trying to place a large and presumably heavy bag into the overhead compartment before take-off. During the ensuing altercation, Slater was hit in the head at some point and was seen bleeding from a gash in his forehead.

That was the point at which everything changed.

Read more:

It’s no excuse, but it is a possible explanation.

Then again, it could be that 20 years of harassment and poor behavior by people who feel no compunction to be polite to flight attendants, just got to the guy. I can’t say I would have done differently.

Here’s an idea before people board a plan, have them sign something that says they will treat the staff on board the aircraft with the respect they or anyone deserve. And have a zero-tolerance policy for abusive passengers who assault the attendants.  From what I’ve heard, a lot of planes could use a seating area with straightjackets for people who get way out of hand.

Oh, and keep alcohol off flights. That could help, too. Not that anyone will go for it, but it would cut out one big source of problems.

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