The daughter of Korean Air’s CEO, Cho Yang-Ho, has been forced to apologise and resign from all her posts at her family-run airline after she forced one of their planes to return to terminal so she can kick off a cabin crew who served her nuts wrongly.
Mr. Cho’s daughter was on a Korean Air flight that had just left the gate at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport bound for the South Korea on Dec. 5 when an attendant served her macadamia nuts still in the package rather than on a plate without asking.
Sitting in first class, Ms. Cho summoned the attendant to ask a question about the airline’s policy on serving nuts. Under the carrier’s rules, passengers must be asked first before serving. But when the
man couldn’t answer, furiously, Ms. Cho ordered her jet back to the gate so that she could fire and remove from the aircraft the server.
According to eye witnesses, Cho forced the cabin manager Park Chang-Jin and attendant to kneel in front of her, calling Park names, pushing him into the cockpit door and jabbing him with a service manual.
Cho’s behaviour sparked fierce criticism in South Korea, where she has been accused of being petty and arrogant. The transport ministry and Seoul prosecutors even launched investigations into whether she breached aviation safety laws and caused disruption to business.
Her father, Korean Air CEO Cho Yang-Ho had to give a televised press conference last Friday to apologise for his daughter’s “foolish act”. Following a Korean tradition of showing public contrition when one’s children misbehave, he said in front of a bank of cameras, at one point bowing deeply:
“Please blame me; it’s my fault. I failed to raise her properly.”
Cho Hyun-Ah today visited the homes of the cabin crew members she threw out to apologise.