Korean Air has announced the resignation of a senior executive who had been criticized for heavy-handed and imperious behavior. The manager had caused a flight delay after a run-in with the chief flight attendant.
Korean Air said its Executive Vice President Cho Hyun-Ah had resigned after forcing a New York-Seoul flight to return to its gate at John F. Kennedy International Airport to remove the senior purser.
The carrier apologized for the incident in which Cho, a daughter of the airline's CEO, took issue with a crew member for what she called "substandard service."
Cho took issue with being served macadamia nuts she had not asked for in their original plastic packaging rather than on a plate. She summoned the chief flight attendant over it, eventually finding that he was "incapable" and forcing the plane toto the gate where he was forced to disembark.
Cho joined the Korean flag-carrier in 1999 and was promoted to vice president only earlier this year.
While stating it was reasonable for her to have raised a problem with the in-flight service, the airline said forcing the plane to return to its gate had caused an unnecessary delay for passengers as there was no emergency situation at all.
"Korean Air apologizes to its passengers for the inconvenience caused by the excessive behavior of returning the aircraft and ejecting the flight attendant," the carrier said in a statement.
The Dong-A Ilbo newspaper quipped Cho's action "had exposed the sense of entitlement and supercilious attitude" prevalent among the rich in the country.
hg/cjc (AP, Reuters)