Plastic containers of Macadamia nuts for sale are displayed at a store in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. Sales of the nuts have boomed since the incident on Korean Air Lines.
South Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport will penalize Korean Air Lines with up to 21 days of flight suspensions, or a $1.3 million fine, after it was reported the airline pressured crew to lie to the government about an incident on a flight earlier this month.
Cho Hyun-ah, the daughter of the airline's chairman and a former vice president, ordered a flight attendant on a Dec. 5 flight off the plane because of what she deemed unacceptable service of macadamia nuts in first class.
A junior flight attendant served the nuts in a bag, instead of on a plate. Cho asked for the head flight attendant, and according to witnesses became enraged when he did not produce the correct service manual.
Cho reportedly forced the crew to kneel, yelled at them, and caused the flight to depart 20 minutes late.
The head flight attendant told investigators that after the incident, airline officials had told him to lie about what happened.
The proposed sanctions against the airline are for violating aviation law. The ministry said the airline will also be punished because Cho lied during the probe and because the captain was negligent in his duties.
It said Cho used abusive language to flight attendants, but could not ascertain if she used violence.
Cho publicly apologized, along with her father, on Dec. 12. She said that she would apologize in person to the flight attendants she berated.
In the wake of the "nut rage" incident, as it is becoming known, sales of macadamia nuts in South Korea are booming.
Tags: KOREAN AIR LINES, NUT RAGE, TRAVEL & LEISURE, US & World, WORLD