Seinfeld’s head just exploded; in the realm of airline comedy bits nothing can compare to the insanity of the Korean Air Nut Incident. Last week a Korean Air flight from New York’s JFK to South Korea was delayed when the daughter of the airline’s CEO, herself an executive with the company in charge of inflight service, Heather Cho made a plane she was flying on, return to the gate. The reason Ms. Cho made the plane turn around? Turns out it was terror attack.. on hospitality.
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Cho became enraged when she was served a macadamia nuts in a bag and not on a PLATE in first class. Once they were at the gate Chow had the offending flight attendant removed from the plane. While nuts were not served on the plate, a nut was definitely on the plane.
So much shame; someone get her a plate of nuts to cheer her up.
Now Heather Chow could face fines and possibly even 10 years in prison for her nutty behavior. Where did she go to business school, Harvard? While she didn’t get her nuts the way she likes them, it appears she handled the junior flight attendant’s nuts with a firm grip. She screamed at the young man, making him get and read the inflight service manual so he knew proper nut serving etiquette. Apparently this reprimand wasn’t good enough as she demanded his removal and forced the pilots to turn the plane around. As you can imagine this caused a lot of confusion at JFK. This whole thing makes me wish I had a nut allergy.
OK, this is pretty F’ing classy. Turn that plane around!
In her apology Friday Cho, who has been removed from all of her duties with the airline, spoke before reporters and said; “I sincerely apologize for causing trouble for everyone. I’m sorry.”
In addition her father, the CEO Cho Yang-ho said;
“I apologize to the people of this country as chairman of Korean Air and as a father for the trouble caused by my daughter’s foolish conduct.”
Isn’t it easier to eat nuts in a bag on an airplane anyway?
Here’s the thing; normally when your boss throws a total shit fit it doesn’t cause the delay of air traffic for countless airlines at one of the busiest international airports in the world. There are laws and rules that for some reason prevent you from purposely diverting a flight’s schedule for no good reason. Although she was an executive at the airline and her family owns the company, this wasn’t her personal flight. She can yell at her employees all she wants but you can’t just turn around a jumbo jet over a bag of nuts.
What’s great here is that “putting your nuts on a plate” couldn’t be a better metaphor for what happened in this story. Although no nuts were literally plated, Cho really put that flight attendant’s nuts “on a plate!” In fact I am going to start using that every time I get bitched out by someone or see someone get their ass handed to them. Now you can say; “Wow my nuts really got put on a plate on that one!” – In fact I think we could start a new expression here that should be used often, and decades from now when someone asks “Where did the expression ‘put your nuts on the plate come from?’ – We can tell them the story about the nutty Korean Air executive, Heather Cho.
Follow Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney