Nutgate: Korean Air Exec Resigns After Temper Tantrum On Plane
A Korean Air executive, who is also the daughter of the carrier’s chairman, resigned Tuesday after an outburst reportedly caused by a flight attendant who served an unopened package of nuts to her without first asking and failed to serve it on a plate.
Cho Hyun-ah, a vice president whose responsibilities include in-flight service at the airline, was on an Incheon-bound flight from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport when a junior crew member brought the offending package of nuts to her.
The executive reportedly summoned the chief flight attendant and questioned him on the airline’s protocol for serving pre-departure nuts. According to Korean Air officials, the crew member fumbled and Cho wanted him off the plane at that point.
The plane then returned to the gate and the flight eventually departed from JFK, arriving 11 minutes late at its destination.
The episode has been widely derided in social media, especially in Korea, where some have called for a boycott of the airline, calling it “Air Nuts.” One Facebook user called her a “national embarrassment.”
Officials in Korea are concerned that Cho might have violated aviation law by her actions. “Even though she is senior vice-president at the company, she was a passenger at that time, so she had to behave and be treated as a passenger,” a South Korea transport ministry official told reporters.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)