JetBlue, which has suspended Slater, once had a scrappy underdog image. The nation’s No. 7 carrier is now a corporate drone.
That transformation took place in the aftermath of JetBlue's 2007 Valentine's Day ice storm disaster (the tale of JetBlue passengers trapped on the runway for hours is a Harvard Business School case study) and the 2008 move into a palace-like $750M terminal at JFK Airport.
Earlier this year, JetBlue threatened to relocate headquarters from NYC to Orlando. How's that for loyalty to the city that made it a success story!
CEO Dave Barger nixed the move after deciding the $75M moving cost was too expensive, according to Bloomberg. NYC's generous contribution of $3M to expand JetBlue’s terminal probably helped.
There is still a shot of PR redemption. JetBlue is a non-union shop so Slater is pretty much on his own when it comes to legal bills.