SEOUL KOREA - Korean Air Line executive VP Cho Hyun-ah forced an Incheon-bound flight to return to its gate(i.e. Ramp back)
just minutes before take-off and ordered the cabin manager off the plane, thereby causing a delay in takeoff.
Korean Airline executive vice president Cho Hyun-ah, the eldest daughter of Cho Yand-ho (the chairman of the Hanjin Group - one of the world’s largest transportation conglomerates), has come under fire for her excessive exercise of disciplinary power over employees. Disgruntled by a flight attendant’s in-flight service in the first-class cabin, she raged and ordered the chief flight attendant to leave the plane that was already taxiing towards the runway at JFK International Airport.
The Incheon-bound flight that Cho was aboard ended up returning to the ramp without informing 250 other passengers on board of what caused a delay in take-off.
According to Korean Airline, one of South Korea’s largest family-run conglomerates, flight KE086 was taxing towards the runway at JFK International Airport on December 5 at 12:50 a.m. when Cho ordered the chief flight attendant, or purser, to leave the plane. Normally, planes that are about to take off inevitably return to the ramp because of concern for passenger safety. When an additional mechanical inspection is needed or stray bags are loaded, planes return to the gate.
When the flight attendant served first-class passenger Cho a small snack-sized bag of nuts, Cho reportedly screamed at the attendant, saying “How can you cater to a first-class passenger in this manner First-class passengers should be served nuts on a plate, not in a packet, only when she or he asks for them. But the flight attendant gave Cho a bag of macadamia nuts that Cho had not asked for. It was against Korean Air’s policy on first-class in-flight services, according to Korean Airline.
Cho called out the purser right away and asked the purser to check company policy on serving nuts in the first-class cabin. When the purser failed to pull up the relevant information right away on a tablet computer, she ordered the purser to get off the plane.
“Bewildered, the purser, in charge of in-flight services, failed to retrieve the exact clause in the flight service manual on how to serve first-class customers nuts. Thus, Cho ordered the purser to leave the plane and the deputy purser to fill in for the purser. The macadamia nuts incident delayed flight KE086’s arrival at Incheon International Airport by 11 minutes. Since it took only several minutes to get the purser off the plane, no in-flight announcement was made to notify the passengers of the incident, Korean Airline said.
On the other hand, this is not the first time for Cho to become a lightning rod for controversy in the nation: her trip to the US to give birth to her twins also made people in S. Korea frown last year.
By Lee Jae-seung