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Civility flies ...

   The clear-seeing thinkers in The Buffalo News Opinion corner have one eye on the sky and the other on the Gulf of Mexico. [We're professionals. Don't try this at home, kids.]

- Civility takes flight - Buffalo News Editorial
  Despite the obvious danger in deploying an exit chute on a just-landed plane -- an act that could have killed or seriously injured any airport worker who happened to be nearby on the ground -- JetBlue flight Stevenslater attendant Steven Slater attained star status after his notorious read-out of a passenger and precipitous descent from employment. [Flight attendant arrested after JFK ruckus - AP 8/9/10] 
   The action was wrong, but the frustration is perhaps understandable. And, as discussion over the ensuing days has noted, it cuts both ways. The skies no longer are particularly friendly, and civility all too often has been left at the gate -- literally, in an age when travel frustrations often peak at aggravating, terrorist-imposed personal inspections. [Buffalo airport using body scanner - Buffalo News 8/18/10] 
   Slater's initial surge of hero status among flight attendants and passengers -- even in cyberspace, with tens of thousands of Facebook fans within seconds of the news -- has been eroded somewhat by conflicting stories of just how he got a luggage-related forehead bruise and verbal disagreements during the flight, but his expletive-laced "take this job" PA announcement, made just before grabbing a beer, activating the chute and expertly sliding down, is now legend.
   Airlines should take careful note of this incident, however. The frustration at its roots, whether of flight attendants or passengers, goes beyond mere "incident" status. It's a change in the way flying is perceived and experienced, and it's part of a trend that could harm the industry.

   Related:
- Flight-attendant meltdown was hardly a surprise - Mitch Albom/Detroit Free Press/Buffalo News
   In the case of the flight attendant who went ballistic recently, had a “take this job and shove it” moment, then grabbed a beer, pulled the chute and went slip-sliding away, the only question I have is this:
   Why didn’t the passengers follow him?
- The real JetBlue heroes - Froma Harrop/Creators Syndicate/Buffalo News
- The quaint relic called civility - Leonard Pitts/Miami Herald/Buffalo News
- How did the friendly skies get so unfriendly? - Jocelyn Noveck/AP/Buffalo News

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Behind the News | Current Affairs | Editorials
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