Korean Air To Be Sanctioned For 'Nut Rage' Nepotism Fiasco

Illustration for article titled Korean Air To Be Sanctioned For 'Nut Rage' Nepotism Fiasco

Former Korean Air VP Heather Cho got her daddy's airline in a whole bunch of trouble when she demanded a plane return to the gate just before takeoff, over the way a flight attendant served Macadamia nuts. Now, South Korea's Minister of Transportation say the airline will be penalized for Cho's behavior.


The airline will be sanctioned for Cho's actions which took place on December 5th, in spite of her resignation from the company and public apology. The Associated Press reports Korean Air pressured employees to lie about the incident while the probe was conducted. The senior flight attendant who was booted from the flight, Park Chang-jin was allegedly coerced by the airline, and told to downplay the event during his questioning with the transportation ministry.

A passenger sitting in first class said Cho yelled at flight attendants, pushed one of them, and also threw something against the cabin wall (presumedly the bag of macadamia nuts that caused her so much rage. The captain who took the plane back to the gate at JFK Airport won't face any penalties, because he was simply following orders.

Transport ministry director Lee Gwang-hee said Korean Air could face 21 days of flight suspensions or a $1.3 million fine for violating aviation law, because Cho and Park both lied during their interrogations after the incident. If I'm the airline, I'm hoping for the fine, but that decision will be left up to a separate committee.

Top image: Korean Air A380 by Angelo DeSantis (Flickr / CC Commercial License)

Paul Thompson is a aviation journalist with over 13 years of experience working in the airline industry, who maintains the website Flight Club for Jalopnik.com. You can contact Paul to submit story ideas, your own "Plane Porn" photos, and comments regarding this or any other aviation topic via email at Paul@Jalopnik.com


It's funny because I kinda remember vaguely people supporting the woman, applauding her for ensuring that her airline follows proper procedure. Maybe I'm mistaken.

But I'm pretty sure that's before people knew about the screaming, pushing, and throwing.