Court Sentences Former Korean Air Executive To One Year In Prison For “Nut Rage” Incident

Showing that the country does not take it lightly when the upper-class behaves badly, a South Korean court just handed down a prison sentence of one year for the former Korean Air executive who went into an infamous “nut rage” over improperly served macadamias on a flight in December last year.

The former vice president at Korean Air, Cho Hyun-ah (who is also the daughter of the airline’s chairman) was convicted today of violating aviation safety law and received a one-year prison sentence, reports the New York Times.

During the December incident, she ordered a Korean Air plane taxiing at Kennedy International Airport in New York to go back to the gate to deplane the chief steward. This, after she was apparently so angry that a first-class flight attendant had served macadamia nuts in a bag and not in a plate, after failing to ask Hyun-ah for permission to serve them first.

The Seoul district court ruled that her actions had illegally forced the flight to change its route by going back to the gate, and that her conduct could’ve exposed passengers to potential danger.

“She forced the plane to turn around as if it were her own private plane,” Judge Oh Seong-u said in announcing the sentence.

Hyun-ah wrote a letter of repentance that was read to the court, where she apologized and described her adjustment to prison life.

“I know my faults and I’m very sorry,” she wrote.

The judge also noted that her tantrum damaged the “national image” of the country, after it was reported widely in media outlets around the world.

“It is doubtful that the way the nuts were served was so wrong,” he said, adding that berating and physically assaulting the crew members had violated their “human dignity.”

Former Korean Air Executive Gets One-Year Sentence in ‘Nut Rage’ Episode [New York Times]