Korean Air and Macademia Nuts

The incident of a flight attendant being forced out of a Korean Air flight from New York to Seoul has gotten the attention of many – from media to the people of Korea to the world. korean air

Why is this?

Korean Air’s EVP Cho Hyun-ah, who is also the daughter of the CEO, didn’t like how her macademia nuts were served. It was in a packet rather than in a bowl.

So, Cho asked the purser to leave the plane as the serving crew failed to follow the airline service manual correctly – which was under the purser’s responsibility.

Well, clearly, this is nothing but pride.

Okay, let’s say the airline service policy states that nuts be served in a bowl. But is that reason enough to kick out your purser when the plane is already moving towards the runway? Can’t you just wait for the plane to reach its destination before reprimanding?

getAssetYes, it may be your airline as it’s a family-run flag carrier – but were the nuts dirty? See, we’re still looking at this microscopically. Just between the flight attendant and Cho. Obviously, we still haven’t looked at the even bigger picture.

Again, so, were the nuts dirty (considering that it’s even in a packet)? Were the nuts handed to Cho in a disrespectful manner? Probably not. Okay, again, it should have been in a bowl but since it’s even your plane – shouldn’t you be empathetic enough to consider human lapses? It’s just nuts after all.

The bigger issues should be safety – passenger, airline and airport. Airline schedule. Passenger satisfaction. These are the major considerations of a passenger, your lifeblood.

Now, because of this brouhaha, the airline was delayed on its arrival by 11 minutes. Hey, in the first place, the plane which was already moving towards the runway had to return because of the nuts incident. Isn’t that just giving discomfort to your passengers? And demoralizing to the rest of your crew?

Korean Air EVP Cho Hyun-ah

Korean Air EVP Cho Hyun-ah

Remember that when a situation is not to your liking, you got to weigh the pros and cons before deciding. Leaders should think about the greater good, and not of himself.

Anyway, despite the incident, Korean Air is still a good airline. Pride only smeared Cho Hyun-ah’s feathers, her ability to lead; but not really the airline’s reputation which should come as a relief to everyone who depends on the airline for a living..

Besides, Cho has already resigned because of this.

What’s your take?