A Korean Air pilot who attempted to drink alcohol while flying has been defended by his employer. The crew manager who repeatedly rebuffed his request for alcohol and informed crew members of the incident, however, has been demoted. The pilot involved in the incident was given only a verbal warning.
The incident took place on-board a service from South Korea to Amsterdam in December of 2018 when the flight’s captain attempted to take a glass of champagne from a welcome tray just prior to takeoff. He was apparently rebuffed by a member of cabin crew, who said, “you can’t drink alcohol.”
The captain then replied, “Then you can give it (to me) in a paper cup,” before taking a soft drink from the tray.
During the course of the flight, the captain asked for “a cup of wine” from a member of cabin crew, who refused this request before reporting the incident to the crew manager.
The outlet reports that the crew manager informed fellow crew members as well as the co-pilot about the incident, but asked that they not talk about what had happened until the flight landed in Amsterdam.
However, the outlet further reports that the co-pilot spoke to the captain about the incident before the plane landed, something that caused friction between the co-pilot and the crew manager. Upon landing, the crew manager made a formal complaint and posted her account of the incident on Korean’s online forum.
Both the captain and crew manager were reportedly summoned by the airline. The former was given a verbal warning while the latter was reportedly demoted.
A spokesperson for the carrier offered insight into the decision, saying, “It’s true the captain made a controversial action, but it didn’t cause a real trouble.” However, they added that, during the course of the incident, the crew manager had used, “insulting words during the altercation and revealing the internal issue.”
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