Steven Slater behaved badly. But that Jet Blue flight was a collage of incivility. And in my expert opinion, the bigger civility blunder was committed by the insult-hurling passenger who willingly endangered herself and the other passengers by standing up and opening the bin before the plane came to a full stop.
(Clearly everyone who has ever flown knows that is a no no). And why would she think swearing at, or harming, someone is ever okay? I’ll tell you why —it’s because all the co-passengers who sat there and said, and did, nothing while that woman berated and injured the flight attendant, pretty much said it was okay. The reality is, poor manners come with the price of a plane ticket these days and everyone who has ever flown is partly to blame. Think about it, who out there has never put all his over-weight carry-on baggage in the overhead bin and left no room for anyone else? Have you ever been the parent who did nothing when your toddler was clearly kicking the seat in front repeatedly. Have you ever ploughed your way through the other passengers waiting to de-plane or maybe deliberately left your cell phone on at take-off cause you’re too important to follow the rules?
Shame on YOU for judging others when you’re behaving as badly or worse, and shame on you, and me too- for occasionally being the silent co-passenger who gives you permission to be rude and lets myself or others be bullied by disrespectful, socially incompetent people on the plane and other public places. Sometimes choosing civility means giving rudeness a kick in the you know what, so I am officially deploying my imaginary emergency slide and not-so-politely throwing all of you rude sorts off the plane!