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Author Topic: Korean Airlines flight delayed by executive's first-class spat over nuts  (Read 1991 times)

Offline winner

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Nut rage~ :rofl:
Sorry. I can't stop laughing. XD

SEOUL, South Korea -- Forget dust-ups over reclining seats in economy class. There's a new and exclusive twist on inflight anger: Nut rage in first class.

A recent Korean Air flight was delayed when its chairman's daughter, who was also vice-president responsible for cabin service at the airline, ordered a senior crew member off the plane. The crime? Allowing her and other passengers in the pointy end of the aircraft to be served bagged macadamia nuts instead of nuts on a plate.

The executive, Cho Hyun-ah, resigned Tuesday amid a storm of public criticism in South Korea. The airline had earlier excused her behaviour even as it apologized for inconveniencing passengers.

South Korean media reported this week that the flight from New York to Incheon, South Korea, returned to the gate after Cho told the head of the cabin crew to leave the plane. The reports said Cho quarreled with crew in the first-class cabin and the flight departed 20 minutes late.

Cho, 40, is the oldest child of Korean Air's chairman, tycoon Cho Yang-ho. Her two siblings are also executives at South Korea's largest airline.

The incident caused an uproar in South Korea where it was seen as an example of over-mighty behaviour by the offspring of the moneyed elite.

The South Korean economy is dominated by family-controlled conglomerates known as chaebol. Family members often wield greater influence over major companies than shareholders and executives with no blood ties to the founding family. The Cho family owns about 10 per cent of Korean Air Lines Co., part of a business empire than spans the travel, logistics, hotel and leisure industries.

Korean Air confirmed that Flight 86 was delayed at John F. Kennedy airport on Dec. 5 due to the nut incident. But the company said the decision to disembark the crew member was made by the flight's captain.

South Korea's government said it is investigating whether Cho violated aviation safety law. Cho could face legal action if the probe shows that she interrupted the flight or endangered safety by using threats, her status or violence.

Korean Air said Tuesday before Cho's resignation that it was "natural" for her to fault the crew's ignorance of procedures.

The airline's cabin crew is required to ask first-class passengers whether they want nuts, partly to avoid serving them to people with allergies. The nuts also should have been served on a plate.

The airline said it will step up training to improve customer service and safety.

Cho was not available for comment.

People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, a civic group, said it would file a complaint against Cho with prosecutors.

"The anger and the concern from the public were so big because safety and procedures related to important services were simply ignored" due to Cho's status, the group said.

Offline JFC

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Re: Korean Airlines flight delayed by executive's first-class spat over nuts
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2015, 05:14:29 PM »
Follow-up...*insert your own "nuts" joke here*  :P2

S Korea 'nut rage' executive jailed
- Ms Cho could be jailed up to 10 years if found guilty of diverting aircraft without a good reason NEWS

A former executive of South Korea's national airline has been jailed for one year for obstructing aviation safety during a row over nuts.

Heather Cho forced a plane to return to the gate in New York last December and offload a steward because she did not like the way she had been served nuts.

Judge Oh Sung-woo said it was a case where "human dignity" had been "trampled upon".

Ms Cho has apologised and quit Korean Air, which is run by her father.

Her plane was taxiing at New York's JFK Airport on 5 December when witnesses say she became angry after being served macadamia nuts she did not ask for, and which were still in a bag and not in a bowl.

Cho's father, Korean Air boss Cho Yang-ho, scolded her over the incident.

She ordered the plane to return to the gate and offload the chief steward.

Judge Oh said Cho had treated the flight "as if it was her own private plane".

"It is doubtful that the way the nuts were served was so wrong," he said.

The judge said Cho, who is also known as Cho Hyun-ah, had failed to show enough remorse even after she submitted letters to the court apologising for the incident.

The case has resonated within South Korea because of a continuing debate over the way the family-owned and run conglomerates - chaebol - operate.

Some critics say that the way family members are favoured is unfair and mitigates against good business. They say the nut rage case epitomises that.

In court, Cho wept as she read a letter of contrition, a contrition the judge said he didn't accept was genuine.

Apart from the serious debate, it is fair to say that many people may relish the way someone with privilege behaved so badly - and was then penalised for it.

The humiliation may be as heavy a penalty for Cho as the prison sentence.

Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of three years in prison on charges of breaking aviation law, assault and interfering in an investigation.

Witnesses testified during the trial that Cho struck a crew member with the service manual.

Chaebol domination
Her defence team argued that aviation safety had not been violated as the plane was still being pushed away from the gate.

However, the judge rejected that argument saying the plane was classed as "in flight" and she interfered.

Cho, who is the daughter of the chairman of Korean Air, publicly apologised for the incident and resigned from all her posts at the airline in December.

The trial has opened a national debate about the Korean business system, which is dominated by family firms known as chaebols.

Some of the families running these businesses have been accused of high-handedness and acting with impunity.

JPH!P :heart:'s Fushigidane, ChrNo, Jab & marimari. Always.

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