Korean Air says 'miscommunication' between pilot, crew, after reports claim crew member who reported pilot for trying to drink demoted

Korean Air defended a pilot who allegedly tried to drink alcohol aboard a flight and demoted the flight crew member who reported him, according to reports.

A male pilot, during a flight from South Korea to Amsterdam in December 2018, allegedly tried to grab a glass of champagne before takeoff. A cabin crew member blocked him from taking a glass. "You can't drink alcohol," the crew member reportedly told him.

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Hours later, during the middle of the flight, the captain allegedly asked the crew to bring him "a cup of wine," The Korea Times reported on Wednesday.

A crew member refused to bring him alcohol and reportedly told the cabin crew manager of what happened — information the manager is said to have relayed to the crew and co-pilot.

A Korean Air pilot who allegedly tried to drink alcohol on a flight last year "made a controversial action, but it didn’t cause real trouble," according to a statement from the airline.

A Korean Air pilot who allegedly tried to drink alcohol on a flight last year "made a controversial action, but it didn’t cause real trouble," according to a statement from the airline. (iStock)

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But the crew was allegedly instructed not to mention anything to the captain until after the plane had landed over concerns about his mental state. Despite this, the co-pilot reportedly told the captain about it, which resulted in an "altercation" between the manager and co-pilot, according to reports.

The manager filed a claim about the incident, and Korean Air reportedly investigated the situation. While the captain is said to have received a verbal warning, the manager was allegedly demoted for "causing conflict" during the flight.

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“It’s true the captain made a controversial action, but it didn’t cause real trouble,” a spokesperson for Korean Air reportedly said in a statement to the news outlet, claiming that the manager used “insulting words during the altercation and revealing the internal issue”.

Korean Air later told Fox News on Wednesday that there was a "miscommunication between the captain and the cabin crew," and that they're cooperating with authorities investigating the incident.