Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Nuts! The Korean Row

The daughter of Korean Air's chairman has resigned from her posts at the airline after being heavily criticised over a first-class row - about nuts.
 
Cho Hyun-ah delayed a flight from New York to Incheon, South Korea, after forcing the captain to return to the gate so the most senior cabin crew member, the chief purser, could be removed from the plane. Ms Cho, who was vice president responsible for cabin service at the family-run airline, reportedly took exception to the arrival of some macadamia nuts served in a packet rather than a bowl. She called over the chief purser who, according to an earlier Korean Air statement, replied with "lies and excuses" when challenged over his crew's knowledge of inflight service procedures.

 
Ms Cho, who was sitting in first class, then decided the chief purser was "incapable" and the plane taxied back to the gate at New York's JFK Airport where he disembarked, causing a delay of around 10 minutes. Korean Air's CEO Cho Yang-ho Cho Yang-ho is the airline's chairman and chief executive Her behaviour on last Friday's flight caused an uproar in South Korea, where she was accused of being petty and arrogant. "This ugly behaviour by the Korean Air boss' daughter puts the entire nation to shame," Seoul's top business daily, the Maeil Business Newspaper, said in an editorial. "This is a global embarrassment for South Korea... Korean Air should punish Cho, and she should apologise to the public for disregarding passengers' safety," it said.
 
The Dong-A Ilbo newspaper said Ms Cho's action had exposed the "sense of entitlement and supercilious attitude" prevalent among the rich. "Apparently some members of owner families like Cho see their companies like their own kingdom," it added. After her resignation, the 40-year-old, who joined Korean Air in 1999, issued a statement through the airline. Korean Air's airplanes are seen at the Incheon International airport in Incheon Korean Air is South Korea's biggest airline "I feel so sorry for our customers and South Koreans for causing such trouble ... and seek forgiveness from the people who might have been hurt by me," Ms Cho said. "I will resign from all my posts at Korean Air to take responsibility for the incident," she was quoted as saying.
 
Her father, Korean Air tycoon Cho Yang-ho, accepted her resignation immediately. But a Korean Air spokesman later said Ms Cho would keep her title of vice president even though she no longer holds any official role. It is not clear whether she would hold any responsibilities in the future. South Korea's biggest airline earlier apologised for causing "inconvenience" for passengers but defended Ms Cho's actions as a "reasonable" move to improve inflight service. The government said it is investigating whether Ms Cho violated any aviation safety laws.
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