Korean Air executive who turned plane around at JFK sentenced to one year in prison

February 13, 2015 9:16 am

For those who have never heard this
story, let me give you a summary. On Dec 5th. 2014, 40yr old Korean Air
executive, Cho Hyun-ah, who is the oldest daughter of the chairman and
CEO of Korean Air, Cho Yang-ho, ordered a Korean Air plane that was
already taxiing to return to the gate to force a flight attendant, Park Chang-jin, off the plane because he’d served her nuts in a bag instead of a plate.

According to reports, when served the nut, a furious
Cho said the flight attendant had not followed protocol for serving in first class and screamed at him to
bring out the company’s in-flight service manual so he could read the
proper nut-handling guidelines. When Parf failed to find it, Cho lost her cool and ordered him off the flight. 

The
flight attendant was forced to kneel in front of the screaming woman and
beg for forgiveness. But Cho was having none of it and fired the man
immediately. She then demanded the pilot turn the plane around and
remove the man from it, creating a 20 minutes delay for the 250 people on-board.

When the incident was made public, people were outraged and demanded for
Cho’s arrest. Korean Air responded to the backlash by forcing Cho to
resign her job as vice-president.

Cho and her dad (pictured left- the
flight attendant Park is pictured right) later held a press conference
where they issued a public apology for the incident.
She bowed her head in shame and admitted in a trembling voice that she
was ‘sorry’. and her father later called her behaviour foolish and said
he was sorry he hadn’t raised her well.

Criminal charges were later brought against
her. She was arrested on Dec. 30th 2014 and charged for disrupting the flight
schedule, assaulting two flight attendants, coercing them and disturbing
their work. She’s been in custody since then.

She faced a judge yesterday and was sentenced to one year in prison after the district court in Seoul ruled that she
had illegally altered the course of the plane, judging that an aircraft
was ‘in flight’ from the moment it begins to move.

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