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A national scandal erupted in South Korea after Heather Cho, a vice president at Korean Air and former head of in-flight service, pitched a fit over nuts.
Cho was seated in first class on a flight preparing to depart New York's JFK International for South Korea. When a flight attendant served her macadamia nuts in a bag, as opposed to on a dish, she reprimanded the employee and asked to speak to the cabin crew chief. She asked the chief to produce the in-flight service manual so she could highlight the proper way to serve nuts. To Cho's dismay, the cabin crew chief couldn't locate the manual. Cho demanded the plane return to the gate so she could boot the cabin crew chief off the plane. That's exactly what happened (seriously), making the flight 11 minutes late into Incheon, South Korea.
When news of the incident went viral, it became a laughing matter in the U.S. travel industry. But in South Korea, the public was horrified at Cho's behavior and demanded action. Korean Air released Cho, who is the daughter of the airline's chairman, from her job as head of in-flight service but kept her on in a reduced capacity.
The South Korean transport ministry is now investigating the incident and Cho has begged for forgiveness. "I am sorry to our customers and the Korean people that I unintentionally caused social uproar and I ask forgiveness from anyone who has been hurt by me," Heather Cho said in a statement given to Reuters.