Korean Air 'nut rage' flight attendant awarded $18,000

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Korean Air planes at Incheon International Airport, Seoul, South KoreaImage source, Getty Images
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The Korean Air "nut rage" incident sparked a national debate about the Korean business system

Korean Air has been ordered to pay nearly $18,000 (€16,000; £14,000) to a flight attendant who was subjected to abuse in a "nut rage" incident.

Park Chang-jin was forced to apologise on his knees after he served nuts to the daughter of the airline's chairman in a bag rather than a bowl in 2014.

He was then ejected from the plane, which was about to take off.

Mr Park, who was also demoted over the incident, had sued Korean Air for "physical and psychological suffering".

He also claimed that his demotion to an ordinary cabin crew position was unfair punishment for speaking out about the incident to the media.

On Wednesday, he was awarded compensation by a court in Seoul for his treatment on the day of the delayed flight in December four years ago.

However, the figure was less than Mr Park had demanded, and the court also backed Korean Air's decision to demote him.

The "nut rage" incident involving Cho Hyun-ah, the eldest daughter of the airline's chairman Cho Yang-ho, made headlines around the world.

Ms Cho, known as Heather in English, flew into a rage when the macadamia nuts arrived in a packet and not on a plate on board a Seoul-bound flight from New York.

The case attracted intense attention in South Korea, reopening a national debate about the Korean business system, which is dominated by family firms known as chaebols.

The incident was eventually brought to trial, and Cho Hyun-ah was convicted of violating aviation safety, coercion and abuse of power in 2015.

She served five months in prison over the incident.

In a separate incident in April this year, Mr Cho's youngest daughter, Cho Hyun-min, was forced to apologise after she allegedly splashed water in a colleague's face during a company meeting.

She said she had been "foolish and reckless".

Both daughters left their positions at the company following the incidents.

Their brother, Cho Won-tae, remains president and chief operating officer of Korean Air.