Cho Hyun-ah (Heather Cho), the former Korean Air Head of Cabin Service, who demanded staff kneel before her to ask for forgiveness over how they served macadamia nuts in first class, has been sentenced to one year in jail. I must admit, I am surprised that it got this far!
On 5th December, 2014 Cho, the daughter of Korean Air’s Chair, ordered flight 86 back to the gate at New York’s JFK airport and had the chief steward removed from the plane.
A South Korean court yesterday found her guilty of:
- violating aviation law
- changing flight path and
- interference of operations.
One of the judges said that Cho was a passenger on the Korean Air flight and could not override crew members and give orders during a flight. He stated that “her actions threatened the development of the aviation industry and inconvenienced passengers”.
Heather Cho resigned from her post as a vice president at the airline last December and made a public apology with her head bowed, saying she accepted “full responsibility.”
I am kind of flabbergasted at the decision to jail. After all, she has publicly shamed, has lost her job and apologised multiple times. Interestingly, the Prosecutors wanted three years not the one year that she got. From the very beginning of the story of this incident, up to ten years in jail had been threatened so one year may be light.
What do you think? Excessive or Fair Punishment and deterrence?