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Thursday 11 July 2019

Airline defends pilot who wanted to drink alcohol; demotes whistleblower

I have never flown with Korean Air - and after reports this week I am unlikely to rush to sample their particular brand of hospitality.

The South Korean national airline has defended a pilot who demanded alcoholic drinks while on duty and demoted the whistleblower who reported him, Travel Weekly reported.

The airline said in a statement that the unnamed pilot's actions "didn't cause real trouble".

Korean media reports said the captain tried to pick up a glass of Champagne from the welcome drinks tray before take-off on a flight from Incheon to Amsterdam in December 2018.

A member of the cabin crew reportedly stopped him, saying “you can’t drink alcohol”.

Midway through the flight, the pilot reportedly requested a “glass of wine” from a member of cabin crew. He was refused and the flight attendant reported the incident to the cabin crew manager.

The cabin crew manager later let other crew and the co-pilot know what had happened, but instructed them not to mention anything to the captain until after the plane had landed.

Korean Air reportedly investigated the claims after the cabin crew manager filed a formal complaint regarding the incident.

There was an "altercation" between the cabin manager and the co-pilot.

It has been reported the captain received a verbal warning, while the manager was demoted for “causing conflict” on board the flight.

“It’s true the captain made a controversial action, but it didn’t cause real trouble,” a Korean Air spokesperson said in a statement to the Korea Times, adding that the cabin crew manager was responsible for using “insulting words during the altercation and revealing the internal issue”.

Full marks to Korean Air for dickheadedness.

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