The ‘Nut Rage’ Korean Airlines exec is out of jail

May 22, 2015, 9:48 AM UTC
Former Korean Air (KAL) executive Cho Hyun-Ah (C) is surrounded by journalists after she received a suspended jail sentence and was freed by a Seoul appeals court in Seoul on May 22, 2015, after she had been jailed for a year in February for disrupting a flight in a rage over macadamia nuts. The High Court in Seoul ruled that the behaviour of Cho Hyun-Ah, the eldest daughter of the airline's chairman, had not resulted in a change of flight path -- the most serious charge against her -- and handed down a reduced suspended sentence. AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
Photograph by Jung Yeon-Je — AFP/Getty Images

The former Korean Airlines executive who was jailed for her tantrum over being served nuts in an inappropriate manner walked free Friday, after an appeal court suspended her sentence.

Cho Hyun-ah, also known as Heather, was five months through a 12-month sentence for violating South Korea’s aviation law, handed down after she forced a plane to return to its gate at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport in order to have the plane’s purser thrown off.

The case caused uproar in Korea, where Ms. Cho’s behavior had been seen of typical of the high-handed attitude of the ruling class towards ordinary people. Ms. Cho is the eldest daughter of KAL’s chairman Cho Yang-Ho.

Reuters reported judge Kim Sang-Hwan as saying that: “The defendant would have had a chance to reflect sincerely on the mental anguish she caused in the victims during the five months she spent in the darkest place in society while in detention and away from family.”

Ms. Cho resigned all her posts in the wake of the outcry and issued a public apology in an attempt to forestall being put behind bars.