Korean Air VP kicks purser off plane over nuts
THE daughter of Korean Air Lines chairman Cho Yang Ho ordered a plane back to the gate so she could remove a crew member who gave an incorrect answer to a question on how to serve macadamia nuts, the airline said.
Heather Cho, 40, a vice-president of the airline, ordered the head of the service crew on Flight 86 from New York to Seoul to leave the plane after an attendant earlier served Ms Cho macadamia nuts without asking, the carrier said.
Ms Cho then summoned the purser to ask a question about the airline's policy on serving nuts. She ordered the person to leave the plane when they could not answer.
The aircraft had already left the gate at John F. Kennedy International Airport for take-off on Friday. It took no more than two minutes to return to the gate, according to the airline.
South Korea's Transport Ministry said yesterday that it was investigating reports by Yonhap News and YTN about a Korean Air vice-president ordering a crew member to leave, according to an e-mailed statement that did not mention either Ms Cho or the specific incident.
Action will be taken against the carrier if it flouted any regulations, the ministry said.
Two calls to Korean Air's main number in Seoul seeking comment from both the airline and Ms Cho went to an automated answering service.
Ms Cho, who went to Cornell University, joined South Korea's largest carrier in 1999, according to her biodata posted on the website of Singapore's Nanyang Business School. Ms Cho is a member of the school's advisory board. She manages Korean Air's catering and in-flight sales business, cabin service and hotel business divisions, it said.
Ms Cho's father is also chairman of the Hanjin Group of companies that includes Korean Air, Hanjin Shipping and Hanjin Transportation. He is also president of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics organising committee.