Oh, no – it’s Cho who goes in a world where the relationship between boss and staff has gone nuts

The sorry sight of a boss who is being harshly treated.

The sorry sight of a boss who is being harshly treated.

Alf is bound to say he has some sympathy for the Korean Air sheila who has been excoriated around the world simply for demanding better service than she was given.

Correction: he has heaps of sympathy for her.

The Daily Mail is among the newspapers rejoicing at pictures showing her bowing her head in shame after making a grovelling apology for exploding with rage after her snack was served in a bag.

Dammit, when she blew a fuse she wasn’t flying down the back of the airliner with hoi-polloi who would appreciate being tossed a bag of nuts.

Nah. She was flying in the first-class bit with the posh passengers.

She was the chairman’s daughter.

And she was in charge of in-flight service.

She was entitled to be offered caviar, champagne and lots of respect, not a bloody bag of nuts.

If someone was determined to thrust nuts upon her, the nuts should have been served in something more elegant than a bag.

Alf is prepared to accept the remedial action she took raises some questions about her judgement.

Screaming Cho Hyun-ah, a senior vice-president at the airline, angrily demanded the removal of a crew member from a flight for failing to serve nuts in a bowl.

She then forced the Incheon-bound flight to taxi back to the terminal at New York’s JFK Airport to kick the junior flight attendant off the plane.

Alf had not taken a great deal of interest in the story of Korean Air Flight 86 until now.

He can now tell you the plane was already on the runway for its departure.

An unidentified member of the cabin crew broke the airline’s protocol by putting the bag of macadamia nuts placed in front of Cho without asking.

She demanded that the attendant bring out the company’s in-flight service manual so he could read the proper nut-handling guidelines. He failed to find it.

It so happens she is was Korean Air’s head of cabin service.

This means – dammit – it was her job to ensure the protocols were observed and the proper service provided.

But here’s where her Cho’s judgement faltered. She decided the miscreant worker should be kicked off.


Without giving the 250 passengers on board a warning, the pilots decided to give in to her demands and return to the airport to drop off the attendant, delaying the flight by around 20 minutes.

By ordering the plane back to the terminal, she inconvenienced all the other passengers, many of whom would have been delighted to have been offered the macadamia nuts without being asked.

She should have been patient, let the captain take off, and waited until the plane was high up in the clouds before having the errant flight attendant kicked off.

Except for this lapse in judgement, Alf agreed with the airline’s initial handling of the matter:

But the incident was widely reported and attracted an excessive hostile reaction from people over-dosed with political correctness and unwilling to recognise the entitlements and privileges an airline executive should be able to claim, especially when she is the chairman’s daughter

The airline has responded badly to the criticism – much the same as Phil Twyford did recently – and she has been obliged to apologise.

Clad in a long black coat, with her head bowed in shame Cho told reporters in an almost inaudible, trembling voice that she was ‘sorry’ about the December 5 incident.

‘I sincerely apologize.’ she said, gloomy-faced, adding that she will ‘apologize sincerely’ at a meeting with the victimized crew member.

It looks like things aren’t too flash on the family front either:

Adding to her humiliation, her father and airline chairman Cho Yang-ho called her behaviour ‘foolish’ and said that he regretted that he didn’t raise her better.

He added that his eldest would resign from her executive roles at all affiliates of Hanjin, the group that controls Korean Air.

Alf is apt to blame the media for the uproar caused in her home country and abroad.

South Korean media called the 40-year-old a princess and while others branded her an embarrassment to her country.

Bloody do-gooder civil libertarians have been much typically intolerant too.

In a separate probe, prosecutors searched the headquarters of Korean Air Lines on Thursday after a civil society group laid a complaint about Cho’s behavior on the plane.

We can all be grateful we don’t live in such a punitive country.

If a little lapse in judgement was to earn you the sack and oblige you to make an embarrassing apology, where would we be?

Poor old Iain Rennie would be out of work for starters.

And let’s face it…we could  all draw up lists of people  who would face the chop simply for reprimanding service workers whose performance falls below customers’ expectations and the boss’s requirements.

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