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Korean air defends pilot who tried to drink alcohol during flight

Korean air defends pilot who tried to drink alcohol during flight

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Old Jul 9, 19, 12:37 pm
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Korean air defends pilot who tried to drink alcohol during flight

Looks like this is the nail in the coffin for me flying KAL. Between the lackluster lounges and this incident where I suspect "honor culture" and saving face playing a part in what could compromise safety, I think KAL is perma-banned for my travels.

Heck, I booked *A out of LAX (at a greater point cost) just to be able to access a better lounge. No way I will put my safety on. the line.
Korean Air has defended a pilot who attempted to drink alcohol during a flight, saying his actions “didn’t cause real trouble”, while demoting the member of cabin crew who reported him.

The captain tried to pick up a glass of champagne from the welcome drinks tray before take-off on a flight from South Korea to Amsterdam in December 2018, according to local media reports.

A member of cabin crew stopped him, saying “you can’t drink alcohol”.
Link:
https://www.independent.co.uk/travel...-a8996711.html
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Old Jul 9, 19, 1:11 pm
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Yikes! I think there was a crash (or two) on KE (my memory from Air Disasters may not be quite correct) where the same "culture" issue was either the root cause or major contributing factor (ie, co-pilot didn't want to second-guess the Captain or maybe he did and Captain ignore him or something along those lines).
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Old Jul 9, 19, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by luv2vacay View Post
Yikes! I think there was a crash (or two) on KE (my memory from Air Disasters may not be quite correct) where the same "culture" issue was either the root cause or major contributing factor (ie, co-pilot didn't want to second-guess the Captain or maybe he did and Captain ignore him or something along those lines).
Yup, this type of response by KAL will only serve to degrade safety culture and crew resource management resulting in the cabin crew and pilots not communicating to each other as effectively as they should. KAL as well as some other Asia carriers have had a issue of this for over 20 years yet this incident does not make it seem the have taken lessons to heart.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 6:42 pm
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I mean it's ridiculous, yes, and a very "Asian way of thinking," yes....but there's plenty of other F'd up pilots and things happen at all airlines around the world. Not strong enough for me to avoid Korean Air forever or live in fear when I fly.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 8:22 pm
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Originally Posted by mikesaidyes View Post
I mean it's ridiculous, yes, and a very "Asian way of thinking," yes....but there's plenty of other F'd up pilots and things happen at all airlines around the world. Not strong enough for me to avoid Korean Air forever or live in fear when I fly.
It's not that this can't happen at other airlines that has caused me to decide not to fly on Korean Air after this incident, but the attitude Korean Air has chosen to take. The proper response to insure safe operation would have been to fire the pilot and to commend the crew for not allowing him to drink on the flight. Instead they have chose to demote the flight crew, insuring that in the future the next crew will allow the pilot to drink on the job, and to not punish the inappropriate behavior of the pilot, which tells him he can get away with drinking on the job and tells their other pilots that they can also get away with it.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 9:34 pm
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Originally Posted by refox3488 View Post
It's not that this can't happen at other airlines that has caused me to decide not to fly on Korean Air after this incident, but the attitude Korean Air has chosen to take. The proper response to insure safe operation would have been to fire the pilot and to commend the crew for not allowing him to drink on the flight. Instead they have chose to demote the flight crew, insuring that in the future the next crew will allow the pilot to drink on the job, and to not punish the inappropriate behavior of the pilot, which tells him he can get away with drinking on the job and tells their other pilots that they can also get away with it.
No disagreement, but the crew manager should have handled this issue internally and in private. From the article, I gather the one who reported was disciplined for airing it on some kind anonymous message board. This doesn't mean the Pilot shouldn't be fired, only that I can appreciate the need to keeps things internal, especially something like this.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 9:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Visconti View Post
No disagreement, but the crew manager should have handled this issue internally and in private. From the article, I gather the one who reported was disciplined for airing it on some kind anonymous message board. This doesn't mean the Pilot shouldn't be fired, only that I can appreciate the need to keeps things internal, especially something like this.

I agree that keeping it internal would be best, but i have a feeling that the Manager felt the need to make it public since the company did not take the report seriously and did not take action to prevent it happening in the future. I for one am happy that it got out since it allows me to be an informed consumer.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by mikesaidyes View Post
I mean it's ridiculous, yes, and a very "Asian way of thinking,"
You would never get this garbage from CX, NH, JL, or SQ, all of which are among the safest airlines in the world.

OZ was already on my "no fly" list.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 10:05 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
You would never get this garbage from CX, NH, JL, or SQ, all of which are among the safest airlines in the world.

OZ was already on my "no fly" list.
Correct. This isn't an "Asian way of thinking." Its a "Korean way of thinking."
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Old Jul 11, 19, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by refox3488 View Post
I agree that keeping it internal would be best, but i have a feeling that the Manager felt the need to make it public since the company did not take the report seriously and did not take action to prevent it happening in the future. I for one am happy that it got out since it allows me to be an informed consumer.
Korean Air shrugs off pilot's attempt to drink alcohol during flight

"But the co-pilot told the captain before landing, resulting in an on-board altercation between the cabin crew chief and the co-pilot. After landing in Amsterdam, the cabin crew chief formally complained and wrote about the incident on the company's anonymous online message board.

Korean Air summoned the captain and the cabin crew chief. Then came a surprise ― the company closed the case with a verbal warning to the captain and demoting the cabin crew chief for being responsible for the in-flight conflict."

From the above (sorry, no idea how to snippet a section from an article), it appears the crew chief may have posted on the anonymous forum before KE brass had a chance to even review the case and his/her complaint. Assuming everything reported has been 100% accurate and in its proper context, several things can be true at the same time, in my view. Namely, the Pilot acted improperly (surely, no one would think drinking and flying is a good idea), the crew chief improperly revealed an internal issue, and KE not taking the alleged incident seriously enough.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 4:23 pm
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Never flying this airline, this is a massive safety issue where the company is protecting an alcholholic pilot and punishing the whistleblower for speaking out...Whole senior management should be sacked for maintaining such an horrible company culture of fear.
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Old Jul 12, 19, 8:57 am
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I wrote a complaint to Korean Air. They responded as follows:

Thank you for contacting Korean Air.

Regarding the case, we have found that there was a miscommunication between the captain and the cabin crew. Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Korea is currently under investigation on this, and we are fully cooperating with them.

We would like to ensure you that we will continue to put full effort to provide a safe and comfortable flight experience to our valued passengers.

Sincerely,

Customer Relations
Korean Air
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Old Jul 12, 19, 9:15 am
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Good idea to write a complaint, I just did that too.

If it's as the media reports it, it is obviously very bad indeed, although the Captain didn't drink in the end and it's reported he was joking.

However, as often with such stories in the media, we don't know the full extent of what happened, especially on how the Chief of Crew handled the situation and what happened between him and the co-pilot. I can't believe KAL management has ANY interest whatsoever in protecting such behavior by the Captain. (unless he is a relative to the management).
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Old Jul 17, 19, 7:03 am
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I don't understand why the Korea regulators have not stepped in. Surely they have rules banning alcohol 24-48 hours prior to flying?
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Old Jul 17, 19, 7:44 pm
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An update. Some words from the streets :-) I teach English (well, conversation class with advanced students) to various office workers and executives here in Seoul. The general responses:

It's not an issue in the media here at all. Korean Air has good PR people and the media values Korean Air's advertising dollars.

Korean Air has always been shady as hell. Horrible management and reputation for that culture. This is nothing surprising.

People don't care here because they will still continue to fly KE, they need the mileage. They all say "there's not much choice" which is funny because....there's a lot of choice.

All my students acknowledge it's a big deal and overseas would be a huge discussion, but here it's just not.
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