United Flight Attendant Popped Emergency Slide, Slid Down, and Walked Off Her 737 Today

A flight attendant onboard this morning’s United flight 1246, a Boeing 737 from Sacramento to Houston, deployed the plane’s emergency slide on arrival, slid down, and walked off.

Via Houston’s @KPRC2:

The aircraft had arrived at gate C43 and there was a medical emergency in the back of the aircraft distracting the attention of several passengers while this happened.

A man was having trouble breathing and needed to be escorted off the flight in a wheelchair.

“When we landed we were notified to, we were told to stay in our seats as de-planing would take a bit longer,” said passenger Jonah Vella.

The flight attendant who exited the aircraft via slide has been removed from duty, though I think the United crewmember was the horse and United needs to be introduced to the barn door. Popping the slide would seem to be the crewmember’s declaration that they’re no longer working flights.

United Airlines issued the following statement: “We hold all of our employees to the highest standard. The unsafe behavior is unacceptable and does not represent the more than 20,000 flight attendants who ensure the safety of our customers. United is reviewing the matter and they have removed the employee from her flying duties.”

When a passenger pops the slide looking for the lavatory you can chalk that up as a mistake. And indeed slides appear to deploy by mistake frequently with United. But flight attendants usually don’t slide down them, exiting the aircraft.

Not that flight attendants are perfect. They get drunk. Get into fights. They set the lavatory on fire.

But when a flight attendant pops the slide and leaves, that has a very specific meaning, drawing on Steven Slater, the JetBlue flight attendant who cursed a passenger, grabbed a beer from the galley, and deployed the emergency slide as his most dramatic exit from an aviation job in 2010.

This United flight attendant’s only mistake in making her dramatic exit is her failure to grab a beer from the galley on the way out.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Reminds of the Eastern pilot, who walked off the plane. Literally taking the aircraft back to gate, and saying he was done. But, he exited from a door, onto a jetway. Since she will probably be terminated, she should have taken that beer, maybe even a 6 pack?

  2. While some airline execs depart with golden parachutes, this flight attendant only had an inflatable slide.

  3. “Removed from duty” instead.of fired? What a joke.

    Remember that these people like to tell us they’re there “primarily for our safety”.

  4. Hopefully some charges get filed here. This type of behavior is dangerous and inconveniences many. Losing the job is not enough for these people since they clearly intend to quit anyway.

  5. Really think we should focus on how skilled this flight attendant is to use emergency equipment properly. Noted extreme way of “quitting”. I probably would want to fly with someone like her. Want to know the reason for quitting that is of key importance and totally glossed over by United and Media. People should want to know what was going on, on that plane. Every detail.

  6. It’s a bit scary that people who have so little impulse control are placed in charge of the safety of the flying public.

  7. She was clearly in the wrong here, but I love all of these comments about flight attendants as a whole group…

    If you’re going to do that then level that same accusation at the general public that flies, and lump yourself in the same category as the people who have to be restrained on aircraft for getting drunk and out of control etc.

    What’s really “scary” are the nut jobs on flights every day, in a seat 2 rows up from you.

  8. First of all, to Bill:
    You have not idea what type of hell to put us through at United. I was an International Purser for the damn airline for over 27 years and I was fired near my retirement.
    My manager hated me, first of all because I was gay (he was a born again christian- an ex Eastern Flight Attendant himself who had gotten into a Fist Flight himself many years ago) He was after me, because I was from a IRAN and he hated moslems and he even said it to my face and told me that He was going to get me fired.
    I was harassed by rest of the Gay Flight attendants, at United they call themselves the Gay Mafia at LAX (los Angeles). I was harassed and bullied for many years. The dafamed my character by spreading horrible rumors about me and when I had cancer and down to 80 lbs from 190 lbs and about to die my supervisor harassed me for saying that I was wearing makeup.
    All the shit they put me through was a reason that I should have popped all the slides on a 747. However I walked away with dignity although I was fired for allegedly damaging a hotel room because I simply dyed my gray hair with a just for men product. The Westin hotel in Frankfurt charged my credit card $480 dollars for alleged damages. I had taken pictures before I checked out and the bathtub was completely white but they said there was a shade of pink. I have tried to find lawyers on line to file a suit against United but no luck. United Airlines is a shameless airline. I put many years of hard work, getting up middle of the night on Reserve in Chicago in the cold and running to the airport in a one hour notice. I sacrificed holidays, New years, precious time with friends over thanksgiving and worked very hard thinking that I was going to move up on the latter to management but I had no idea that United management and most of the back stabbing Flight attendants and the discriminatory management had no heart and soul.
    I even worked in HR as a Flight Attendant Recruiter at some point and know for fact that United Airlines discriminated against gays, dark skinned black people and latinos. United Called it, the boy next door and the girl next door. If you did not fit into their model before 1996 you had no chance of getting hired. In my first interview (the interviewer who is still there in Chicago) she asked me if I had a boyfriend or a girlfriend. She asked me about my religious practices….
    Although this was in late 80’s and early 90’s United got away with this for so man years. The reason most United Flight Attendants are angry because the middle management at United are very aggressive, they treat employees as Children, they are mean, meet you after a long flight coming back from Sydney and call you to the office over stupid things, such as (a passenger dropped their camera in first Class, write a report to cover their own ass)…
    United’s management style is very threatening and the woman in san Francisco and the gay San Francisco base manager (he is known for his sado masachistic activities) with younger Flight Attendants and the assistant base manger’s name is all over the internet for discrimination against gays and lesbians and ethnic people special Arabs and Moslems in general…
    I was fired finally by these two… and although I was under emotional stress and under care of a doctor She was calling me and harassing me.
    Now, you understand that why this brave woman blew the slide and walked away. I applaud her courageous behavior. I wish there more people like her.
    United Airlines even has denied my unemployment. So, now, I live in a disgusting poor area, I can not get any social help and I have drained all my Retirement to live and my credit cards are all full and I am not able to even get a job at Macy;s or Target. Nobody believes me that why I left the airline after 27 years…
    Any lawyer who is willing to take my case? If I win, you can have %50 of my lawsuit..
    Please write me..
    MascJock90212@aol.com or leave a comment here please..

  9. You got to admire the supreme hypocrisy of these “born again Christians”…

    They committed every single sin in the book and then “repent”, and think of themselves as entitled to judge others.

    Same behavior commonly seen among trump deplorables and ignorant republican hillbillies in general.

    As the the rich, smart, well educated (but unethical) republicans, they just keep throwing fuel in the fire while doing whatever they want, since it is so easy to manipulate stupid people.

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