08/12/10 — Hero or heel? Flight attendant wrong, but there is a message.

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Hero or heel? Flight attendant wrong, but there is a message.

You cannot say that what Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater did was right. There are better ways to handle a disagreement or a perceived slight.

But as some of the details of the incident emerge, one can almost see why there might have been a reason to be testy -- a bit.

Slater had a gash on his head that came from someone who was trying to stuff luggage into an overhead bin.

Haven't we all been there? The passenger who is trying to beat the airline luggage fees and is swinging around a suitcase that has no business being in an overhead bin. And haven't we witnessed people who were simply downright rude to service personnel in general -- from a flight attendant to a store clerk.

Slater is not a hero. He is someone who could have been the bigger person and had a chance to act with class, and made the other choice.

But perhaps there is also something that has resonated for those who are tired of being treated rudely by the public they serve.

It might be worth thinking about the next time you witness a passenger or customer's rude behavior.

Maybe we should speak up once in a while.

Published in Editorials on August 12, 2010 10:47 AM