Han Tae-keun, CEO of Air Busan, has been entangled in a controversy over allegedly reprimanding a flight attendant who refused to provide preferential treatment to his acquaintance on board.
According to Air Busan on Jan. 2, a crew member on Air Busan BX374 departing from Sanya, China and headed for Busan on Dec. 17 found a passenger sitting in an upgraded seat of the plane without paying for it and asked him to return to his original seat.
Then, the passenger, who claimed to be CEO Han's friend, got angry at the flight attendant, saying, " I told a branch manager that I was transferring seats, but why didn't you change them?"
In response, the crew and the manager refused the request, saying, "The guests who sit down after paying the extra fee may be uncomfortable."
Afterwards, CEO Han called in the team leader who was in charge of the crew and asked if the situation was appropriate. He also asked the flight attendants and the manager in charge to submit a report.
This information was also posted on "Blind," which is an anonymous application for employees. A netizen who was certified as an Air Busan employee asserted that the CEO's acquaintance said, "I'm a friend of the president. Don't sit down? It's a mess."
Han called in the team leader the next day, and the leader wrote the report even though he did as the manual went. The leader who wrote the report was alledgedly excluded from promotion this year.
"CEO Han has never met the passenger in person, but only knows his name," said an Air Busan official. The personnel reshuffle was conducted at the end of December, but the evaluation was completed before Dec. 17, when the incident occurred," he said, stressing that it was not related to the case.