After flight attendant Steven Slater took his storied slide to freedom from a JetBlue aircraft at JFK International Airport August 9, the company won praise for its surprisingly understated response to the story. As a strategy to defuse an immediate crisis, JetBlue’s reaction belongs in a textbook—and in the contingency plan for any organization that might suddenly face a wave of embarrassing publicity. What’s less clear is whether JetBlue, or any other company in the same position, knows ...

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