Disgraced: Hyun-Ah Cho, now 43, famously threw a violent tantrum over macadamia nuts on a Korean Air flight in 2014
The Korean Air heiress whose onboard ‘nut rage’ tantrum delayed a flight in 2014 has been spotted running along the Olympic torch in South Korea.
Cho Hyun Ah, 43, was photographed as her father, the chairman of Korean Air, ran with the torch as it passed through Seoul.
Korean Air is one of the official partners of the Winter Olympics 2018, which opens in Pyeongchang, South Korea, tomorrow.
Ms Cho achieved global notoriety in 2014, when she threw a tantrum onboard a Korean Air flight from New York to Seoul when her macadamia nuts were served in a bag and not in a bowl.
What Ms Cho did not know, was that regulations had been updated, stating that nuts had to be presented to passengers in enclosed packages for allergy safety reasons.
Ms Cho, who was then a senior executive of Korean Air, screamed and hurled abuse at a flight attendant and the chief purser, Park Chang-Jin, forcing them to kneel before her and apologise.
Ms Cho then ordered the plane, which had started taxing, back to the gate at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport and had Mr Park and the other flight attendant ejected.
When the story came to light, Cho was charged with violating security law and using violence against flight attendants, and sentenced to one year in prison.
She was released later after a high court shortened the prison term to 10 months and suspended that sentence for two years, confirming some charges but acquitting her of the charge of violating the aviation security law.
Shamed: Ms Cho, seen speaking to press with a head bowed in shame after a court appearance, forced flight staff to apologise on their knees after which she made the pilot return to the gate and ordered them off the plane
For victim Mr Park, 47, the ‘nut rage’ incident has had even more devastating consequences.
Mr Park, who has worked for Korean Air for 21 years, says the time after the incident saw him bullied at work, and he ended up having to taking 18 months sick leave to treat depression.
Upon his return, he was assigned to work in economy class, and claims he is often forced to do menial duties such as clean the airplane toilets.
‘I have suffered physically and psychologically,’ Mr Park told Straits Times, revealing that he is on anti-depressants, often experiences agoraphobia and has difficulty breathing.
Park is now suing Ms Cho and Korean air claiming ‘they have demoted him illegally and have led to his being ostracised at work’.
‘I want to fight for my rights, even though I am just a little guy up against a huge company,’ he told the newspaper.
‘I want our people to think about what’s wrong and what’s right.’