The Slatest

Korean Air Exec Forces Flight to Return to Terminal After Attendant Served Nuts Incorrectly

Korean Air takes its nut service policy pretty seriously.

Photo by ALEXANDER KLEIN/AFP/GettyImages

Here is what we now know about Korean Air: The national airline takes the manner in which it serves nuts to passengers very, very seriously. Here is how we know this. On Friday, Cho Hyun-ah was sitting in first class as her flight taxied from the terminal at JFK airport in New York. The flight was headed to South Korea, but before Cho could pop an Ambien and suck down a glass of champagne, one of the flight attendants served her a bag of macadamia nuts. That’s when things began to unravel.

Cho went bananas, and ordered the plane with 250 passengers onboard to return to the terminal—which she was (apparently) empowered to do because she also happens to be the VP in charge of cabin service for Korean Air, and the eldest daughter of the head of the airline. But what’s wrong with macadamia nuts, you ask?

“Local media said Ms Cho screamed at a crew member on the South Korea-bound flight for serving the nuts in the first-class cabin without asking if she wanted them,” the Financial Times reports. Cho was also pretty peeved that the attendant served the nuts in the bag, rather than on a plate.  “She then questioned the chief flight attendant about service standards and, unsatisfied with his response, ordered him off the aircraft,” according to the FT.

The plane had only made it 35 feet from the gate when the nuts were served, but delayed takeoff by 20 minutes. “The incident caused an uproar in South Korea where it was seen as an example of over-mighty behavior by the offspring of the moneyed elite,” the Associated Press reports.  On Tuesday, Cho resigned her post.