This case describes a) the organizational factors which shaped Singapore Airlines' multi-year record of success, and b) the new challenges it faces to continue to maintain the world-class best service. In its 1993 ambition to improve its service, SIA must face ever-demanding customers. One of those customers is featured in the case in terms of some special requests. One of SIA's ground agents accommodated, while another did not.
This case helps students to see the challenges in continuing improvement efforts: there are competing philosophies proposed at the end of the case - one that advocates greater discretion and empowerment for employees, while the other advocates tighter organizational systems. Continuous improvement initiatives need to manage this tension carefully.