A South Korean court on Tuesday ordered that a former Korean Air Lines executive be detained for delaying a flight following an outburst over the way she was served nuts, in a case that prompted both outrage and ridicule.
Heather Cho, the daughter of the airline's chairman and head of in-flight service before she resigned after the incident, had demanded the chief steward be removed from the flight at John F. Kennedy airport in New York on Dec. 5 for serving macadamia nuts in a bag, not a dish.
The court's decision late on Tuesday comes after local prosecutors last week sought a detention warrant for Cho, 40, who faces charges of violating the aviation safety law.
"The necessity for detention is recognized as the case is grave and there has been an attempt to systematically cover up charges from the beginning," Lee Kwang-woo, a judge at the Seoul Western District Court who handles media affairs, said in a text message.
In what media have dubbed the "nut rage" incident, the Airbus A380 jet, which had pushed back from its gate, returned for the chief attendant to disembark. The flight arrived in Incheon, near Seoul, 11 minutes late.