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Nut job aboard the Cho Cho plane : Korean Air Line VP goes ballistic after mis-serving of Macademia nuts

Don’t mess with my nuts

Dahlings, How I laughed when I heard about the case of Heather Cho, the Executive Vice President of Korean Air, who had nut rage after she was served macadamia nuts by a junior attendant, without asking.

The faux pas was that per KAL’s rules, passengers must be asked first before serving. Some papers are even saying she was served with the nuts still in a bag ! Gosh.

Heather apparently, was not impressed since she was first class and vented very loudly at the head flight attendant to demonstrate his knowledge of company policy. When he could not do this, she ordered the plane to return to the gate and unceremoniously booted him off.

Except there were a few reasons that this was not such a good idea afterall. The first is that Heather somewhat exceed her authority to order the plane to to return to the gate. Only the Captain could do this and then for emergency reasons. It was also at the busiest airports in the world, JFK returning to the gate potentially inconvenienced the passengers by delaying the flight. Finally, her temper tantrum was heard by other passengers.

Well after that, the press got wind of this. When the story broke, Korean Air’s statement to press where highly apologetic and sympathetic to the unlucky purser. Like hell they did:

The purser didn’t know the company’s procedures and “kept on making up lies and excuses,” Korean Air said in a separate statement late yesterday.

The aircraft had already left the gate at John F. Kennedy International Airport for takeoff on Dec. 5. It took no more than 2 minutes to return to the gate to deplane the crew member, according to the airline. The flight was 11 minutes late when it arrived in Seoul on Dec. 6.

The internet lit up with virtual outrage about the bullying from top management. Even the Korean politicians chimed in, saying that the event on Nation’s flag carrier airline was a major embarrassment to the country. Chairman Cho Yang Ho, Chairman Hanjin Group of companies that includes Korean Air, Hanjin Shipping Co. and Hanjin Transportation Co, apologized for the incident.

And they lived happily every after.

Oh, it almost slipped my mind that Heather is related to Cho Yang Ho. In fact, she is his daughter. That’s right, Heather either rose through the dizzying heights of the ranks in a  male dominated Korean company to become Senior VP on her own merits or benefited from nepotism to land a cushy little number, I am not sure which it could be.

But what did I see today reading the headlines over my frosties? The news that Verucca Salt Ms Cho has resigned.

Cho, 40, had been the vice president for cabin service and catering at the Seoul-based airline. Her father presided over the meeting of directors that accepted her resignation, the carrier said yesterday.

“I apologize to the customers and the public for causing social issues and to those who have been hurt by my actions,” Heather Cho said in the statement. “I will take full responsibility and resign from all my positions.”

Still it could have been worse and modern management is somewhat compassionate. At least she didn’t wait to deplane him the FA 30,000 ft in the air. That would be something Caligula – who you are yet to meet on Roads-2-Roam – would do.

Congratulations Heather, your name will go down in internet travel infamy: I salute The Nut bag lady.

Ciao  for now, Cleo.

Cleopatra
 

Previously Queen of Egypt and being romantically linked to both Julius Caesar and later Mark Antony, Cleo is master of social politics.. No stranger to courting scandal, Cleo is Roam’s commentator on society and travel. Her Unique 'BC' viewpoint and friends of everybody, Cleo brings a fresh 'AD' way of looking at travel that stodgy old travel media cannot bring.

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