“I’ve Had Enough of Carry-on Luggage!”
In case you are one of the 10 people in America that hasn’t heard of the Flight Attendant who just “Had Enough”, let me update…
Steven Slater, a 38 year old Jet Blue flight attendant, decided “enough is enough” after his flight landed at JFK Airport on Monday. Slater cursed the passenger (dropping the “F bomb” 3 times) over the intercom, grabbed beers from the galley, deployed the emergency slide and walked away from the plane!
Although stories about exactly what happened change by the minute ( 2 women fought over storage bins space resulting in Slater getting hit on the head & a woman passenger who was forced to check her bag was enraged upon landing that her bag was not immediately available and proceeded to curse him)… I can just imagine what happened, because I have seen it hundreds of times! It all comes down to CARRY-ON LUGGAGE!
Air travel has changed. Years ago everyone checked their bags and overhead space was used for blankets and pillows (luxuries long forgotten on planes) and the occasional SMALL carry-on bag used by the consummate business traveler. I believe that passengers began carrying on ALL of their luggage in an effort to shorten travel experience (not having to wait for the baggage handlers to deliver the baggage in typical union style “snail delivery”).
The amount of luggage brought aboard planes has created many issues, along with a lot of stress. Ridiculously long boarding times add to the frustration. (I would rather wait at the baggage terminal then have to board a plane and sit for an extra 45 minutes!)
I have sat on planes as many flights board and watched how passengers behave as they heave luggage and squeeze the bags into the overhead bins. One thing I have noticed is that passengers in the rear often store their luggage in the bins in the front of the plane (for ease when they exit). Common sense will tell you that this will inevitably cause an issue when the passengers who are sitting in the front actually board last and there is no room for their carry-on and they are forced to check their bag.
I have often mentioned it to the flight attendants, who could easily solve the issue by making sure that everyone stores bags above their own seat. But I have never had a flight attendant actually make that effort. So, I watch and wait for the inevitable angry passenger.
Let’s face it, we are not all friends on that plane. Each passenger is only interested in making their own life easier. Like a bunch of children in a classroom. But kids have rules in class. They cannot just drop their backpacks anywhere, they cannot just skip the line, they cannot speak rudely to the teacher and they have to be respectful of each other. Like teachers, flight attendants should be there to make sure that the rules are followed that best benefit the whole group. I know it is more work for them, but in the end would make everything much more pleasant if we KNEW the rules and HAD to follow them.
I understand Slaters frustration. I have met those obnoxious, angry passengers. I have often wanted to stand up and drop the “F bomb” at them and I would have loved to actually hear a flight attendant do it over the intercom! (I actually applaud Slater for not opening the emergency slide and pushing the woman down it!)
But in the end, the Carry-on Luggage is the culprit, the stressor. If the attendants don’t make the rules and enforce them rigidly, there will always be stressful situations. I say, either enforce the rules or ban carry-on luggage. It is that simple.
Oh…and by the way, next time passengers are held captive on the tarmac for hours & are enduring extreme frustration…maybe WE should grab a beer and slide off the plane!