A flight attendant who was kicked off an airplane in December for serving a Korean Air heiress macadamia nuts in a bag is suing the airline.
The flight attendant, Kim Do Hee, is seeking compensation through a trial in New York City after Cho Hyun-ah reportedly verbally and physically attacked her, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
A Korean Air flight was delayed late last year when Hyun-ah, daughter of the airline’s chairman and vice president of cabin service at the time, created a heated and physical confrontation with members of the crew in first class. She ordered Do Hee, 27, the chief flight attendant, off the plane for serving bagged macadamia nuts to her and other passengers on the Dec. 5 flight. The flight left New York and was headed to Incheon, South Korea.
Hyun-ah, 40, is the eldest child of tycoon Cho Yang-ho, and reportedly one of the richest women in South Korea. Her behavior, internationally deemed “nut rage,” caused an uproar in South Korea, where the economy is dominated by family-run conglomerates.
The airline later excused Hyun-ah’s behavior and apologized to the passengers for the inconvenience of returning to the gate at John F. Kennedy International Airport. But Hyun-ah resigned amid public criticism.
A court last month sentenced Hyun-ah to a year in prison for violating aviation safety laws and using violence against a flight attendant. She had pleaded not guilty and prosecutors had asked for three years in prison. Hyun-ah has appealed the ruling from prison, the AP reported.