BUSINESS

Korean Air chairman accused of ‘excessive’ disciplinary action

By Catherine Chung
  • Published : Apr 24, 2018 - 18:14
  • Updated : Apr 25, 2018 - 14:27
Embattled Korean Air Lines Chairman Cho Yang-ho is now under fire for ordering what some have viewed as “excessive” disciplinary action against cabin crew over a customer’s complaint.

The complaint involving a chicken curry dish served during a flight follows Chairman Cho’s public apology for the latest “water rage” scandal involving one of his daughters Sunday, as he fired his two daughters Cho Hyun-ah and Cho Hyun-min from their senior executive posts for causing public uproar. Cho Hyun-ah was previously involved in a “nut rage” scandal in 2014.


Pictured is the food tray with the missing chicken curry main dish, posted online anonymously by the passenger who issued a complaint. (YouTube)

The “curry” scandal came to light as the passenger involved shared the incident on Blind, a site to post anonymously. The post started circulating online Thursday. The unidentified person criticized the flight attendant for “handing out a food tray with only rice and not the main dish (chicken curry).”

The passenger claimed to have waited for the flight attendant to bring the chicken curry, but was never given the main dish. The chief flight purser apologized for the mistake on behalf of the flight attendant, requesting the passenger “try to understand.”

Despite the apology, the passenger posted to the flag carrier’s customer service site at an unspecified date. Unlike other customers’ complaints on “Voice of Customer,” the latest post caught the attention of Korean Air Chairman Cho, who left a comment in the related post and ordered disciplinary action for the two employees after the post had gone viral.


Korean Air Lines flight attendants (Yonhap)

As a result, the purser was demoted to a flight attendant, while the flight attendant who made the initial mistake also faced a penalty.

News of the demotion and penalty spread rapidly across online communities, fueling reactions from customers and cabin crew members alike. Some online users said the passenger could have asked earlier for the main dish without creating such trouble. Others said that Korean Air’s disciplinary action was “excessive.”

By Catherine Chung (cec82@heraldcorp.com)