POSTED: 07:17 p.m. HST, Sep 04, 2010
NEW YORK — Sometimes there's no going back.
JetBlue Airways says that there will be no second exits for famed flight attendant Steven Slater — who captured the nation's imagination with his profanity-laced loudspeaker tirade and jump down a plane's emergency chute, beer in hand.
Spokeswoman Jenny Dervin said Saturday that Slater is no longer employed by the airline. She said the airline won't release further details out of respect for Slater's privacy.
Slater's lawyer had said he loved flying and wanted to return to work, and Slater's folk-hero status among tens of thousands of online fans had led some of them to urge the airline to keep him on.
The airline said at the time of the incident last month that Slater was suspended pending an investigation. It told employees in a memo that press coverage was not taking into account how much harm can be caused by emergency slides, which are deployed with a potentially deadly amount of force.
The former flight attendant still has to navigate the criminal justice system. He's been charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing; his lawyer has said a passenger's "lack of civility" prompted his behavior.
Despite Slater's online popularity, some passengers came forward to criticize him as brusque and cranky throughout the 90-minute trip from Pittsburgh to New York. One passenger portrayed Slater as the instigator, saying he cursed without provocation at a woman who had asked about her bag.
His employment status was first reported by the NBC New York website.