December 9, 2014
Airline Exec Turns Flight Around Over a Bag of Nuts
An airline exec stopped a Korean Air flight because the nuts weren't served correctly
A Korean Air executive believes so strongly in her company’s exacting standards that she actually forced a plane to turn around yesterday because her nuts were served wrong.
According to Channel News Asia, Korean Air vice president Cho Hyun-ah was leaving from New York’s JFK Airport yesterday on a Korean Air flight from New York to Seoul when a flight attendant gave her a packet of macadamia nuts. Cho was reportedly incensed because she had not specifically ordered the nuts, and also the nuts were served in a bag instead of in a little bowl.
Cho got into a loud fight with the flight attendant and the head flight attendant for not following protocol. The plane was already moving towards the runway when the incident occurred, but Cho insisted it stop immediately and return to the gate so she could force the head flight attendant to get off the plane. That caused the flight to be 11 minutes late for takeoff, and has reportedly embarrassed Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport, which has launched an investigation into the legality of her actions.
The New Politics Alliance for Democracy, Korea’s main opposition party, issued a statement condemning Cho’s outburst as embarrassing.
“Why did she have to make all that fuss over some stupid macadamia nuts?” the party said. “She soiled the reputation of our flag carrier.”
Cho, who is the daughter of Korean Air owner and chief executive Cho Yang-ho, maintains that her actions were justified. A Korean Air spokesperson said Cho acted out of concern for the 250 passengers on the plane, because if the head flight attendant couldn’t manage to have nuts served properly, Cho judged that she could not be responsible for the passengers’ safety.