9 December 2014
Last updated at 10:46
Heather Cho is the daughter of the airline’s boss
A Korean Air executive who delayed a plane because she was angry with the way she had been served nuts by an air steward has resigned, the airline says.
Heather Cho, a vice-president of the airline and daughter of its chairman, had demanded the crew member be removed from a flight last Friday for failing to serve the nuts on a plate.
The Incheon-bound flight had to taxi back to the terminal in New York.
The airline has apologised, but said she had had the support of the pilot.
The flight eventually arrived in South Korea 11 minutes behind schedule.
Local media reports said that a junior attendant had offered Ms Cho macadamia nuts in a bag, instead of serving the nuts on a plate.
Ms Cho then questioned the chief flight attendant over in-flight service standards and ordered him off the plane.
The airline told Korea Times that checking quality of service was one of Ms Cho’s jobs, as she was responsible for in-flight service for the carrier.
It also said the crew member had replied with “lies and excuses” when challenged over the correct nut-serving procedure.
But transport authorities are investigating whether Ms Cho’s actions infringed aviation law.
“Even though she is senior vice-president at the company, she was a passenger at that time, so she had to behave and be treated as a passenger,” a South Korea transport ministry official told reporters.