20 May 2019
Heather Cho (R) with South Korean singer Rain. Photo: BBC
Heather Cho (R) with South Korean singer Rain. Photo: BBC

Passenger in nut rage delays Korean Air plane

Transport officials are investigating after a Korean Air plane was delayed because a high-flying passenger wasn’t happy with the way she was served nuts.

A junior flight attendant offered Heather Cho macadamia nuts in a bag instead of serving them on a plate, BBC News reported, citing local media. 

Cho, a senior vice-president of the airline and daughter of its chairman, Cho Yang-ho, then grilled the chief flight attendant about in-flight service standards.

Unsatisfied, she ordered him off the plane.

The Incheon-bound plane was forced to taxi back to the terminal in New York.

Korean Air said the flight arrived 11 minutes late. It said Heather Cho’s decision to expel the senior flight attendant had been made in consultation with the pilot.

The airline told the Korea Times that Cho is in charge of in-flight service for the carrier, so checking the quality of service is one of her jobs.

But transport authorities are investigating whether she infringed aviation law in the incident on Friday.

“Even though she is senior vice-president at the company, she was a passenger at that time, so she had to behave and be treated as a passenger,” a South Korean transport ministry official told reporters.

Commentators on online forums were unimpressed by Cho’s high-handedness, The Age newspaper in Australia reported.

“This lady is in the wrong Korea,” one wrote.

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