A senior Korean Air executive is facing years behind bars after demanding the removal of a flight attendant for daring to serve her macadamia nuts in a bag. The nut rage exec, Heather Cho, forced the plane to return to the gate at JFK and had the offender removed from the flight.
Cho, who is the daughter of Korean Air’s Chairman, Cho Hang Yo, was forced to resign on Tuesday as Koreans reacted furiously to the incident. The furious nut rage exec was sitting in first class and went completely nutty after being presented with macadamias that had not been served on a plate. Although serving nuts on a plate is indeed Korean Air protocol, nobody could have predicted what would come next.
I’m a little sad that no one thought to record that Korean Air heiress’s onboard nutty freakout and post it to social media.
— Hannah Bae (@hanbae) December 9, 2014
Cho screamed at the hapless attendant, demanding that he find the in-flight training manual and read aloud the correct nut-handling procedure. When he failed to locate the manual, the nut rage exec ordered the pilot to return the airplane to the gate in order to remove the flight attendant.
“The chief flight attendant failed to get the manual, and this led Cho to believe he was not qualified for that job.”
According to law, the executive did not have the authority to remove the flight attendant because the pilot is in charge of the management of flight attendants during a flight. The law also says that passengers should not cause disturbances, including yelling or using violent language. The incident happened when the plane was already 40 meters down the runway carrying 250 passengers en-route to Incheon airport.
Although checking the quality of in-flight service was one of Cho’s jobs, perhaps some extra post-flight nut handling training would have been enough to ensure that such a heinous crime would never again be committed on her watch? Or maybe the nut rage exec could have simply presented the offender with a bag of particularly stubborn walnuts to crack and shell as a more suitable punishment?
— david pilling (@davidpilling) December 9, 2014
The incident caused uproar in South Korea, where it has been interpreted as arrogant behavior by the privileged, moneyed elite.
After mounting pressure, the nut rage exec has resigned from her job with Korean Air and South Korea’s transport ministry said it will investigate the airline for possible breaches of aviation safety regulations.
[Image: The Korea Herald/Asia News Network]