The former Korean Air vice-president made worldwide headlines early in December after throwing a furious tantrum when a steward attempted to serve her macadamia nuts in an incorrect manner shortly before take-off from New York’s JFK airport to Incheon.
After yelling at the steward she became embroiled in a further altercation with the chief flight attendant, whom she jabbed with a service manual before ordering the pilot to taxi the aircraft back to the terminal so that he could be ejected.
Cho was arrested on December 30, and was subsequently jailed for a year in February after she was convicted of violating aviation safety laws by diverting the plane back to the gate. However, an appeal court has now ruled that she did not cause a change in the flight path. It handed Cho a reduced sentence of 10 months and suspended the prison sentence for two years.
Cho – whose father is the chairman of Korean Air – remains guilty of using violence against flight attendants.
The bizarre pre-flight incident blew up when the steward committed an appalling double-breach of airline protocol – offering Cho macadamia nuts without first asking whether she wanted them, and then presenting them in a bag rather than on a plate.