Feds Looking for Steven Slater's Least Favorite Passenger

angry passenger could face up to $25,000 in fines

Thursday, Aug 12, 2010  |  Updated 11:01 AM EDT
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Feds Looking for Steven Slater's Least Favorite Passenger

NY Daily News via Getty Images

Steven Slater, a Jetblue flight attendant, is buckled up by Port Authority Police after arrest for pulling the emergency exit and exiting an airplane. (Photo by Andrew Theodorakis/NY Daily News via Getty Images)

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is looking for the passenger who allegedly triggered flight attendant Steven Slater's infamous escape from the plane via emergency slide.

The passenger is accused of several airline infractions. Before the plane took off from Pittsburgh, one of her two large suitcases allegedly fell from the overhead bin she was trying to cram it in and struck Slater on the head; Slater's lawyer says his client was trying to get her to check the larger of the two bags, reports the New York Post.

The mystery woman could be charged with breaking federal regulations, which state: "No person may assault, threaten, intimidate or interfere with a crew member in the performance of a crew member's duties aboard an aircraft."

Upon landing at JFK, the passenger got up while the plane was still taxiing and went to get her smaller bag from the overhead compartment.  Slater told her to return to her seat, as the pilot had not yet given permission for people to unbuckle their seatbelts, and the woman allegedly told Slater to "f--- off."

And the rest is history.

Unbuckling her seat belt and walking while the plane is taxiing constitute two separate fines of $1,100, FAA spokesman Jim Peters told the Post.

FAA investigators have flown Slater's fellow flight attendants back to New York for questioning and are also tracking down passengers in rows 6 through 9 on the plane in an attempt to locate the passenger in question.

JetBlue's blog, known for its occasional snarky humor, commented: "While we can't discuss the details of what is an ongoing investigation, plenty of others have already formed opinions on the matter.  Like, the entire Internet."

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