The New York-Seoul flight had just left its gate at New York’s JFK airport when Cho, sitting in first class, took exception to being served macadamia nuts she had not asked for, in a packet instead of a bowl. The chief purser was challenged over his crew’s knowledge of in-flight service procedures, after which he was asked to leave the plane, causing an 11-minute delay in arrival of the flight as a result of the unscheduled disembarkation.
Korean Air — South Korea’s flag carrier — initially apologized for causing “inconvenience” for passengers but defended Cho’s action as a “reasonable” move to improve in-flight service. The Korean newspaper Dong-A Ilbo said Cho’s action had exposed the “sense of entitlement and supercilious attitude” prevalent among the rich.
In 2003, the passengers of Singapore Airlines flight SQ321 were inconvenienced when it was commandeered and outfitted into a private hospital ship, complete with two neurosurgeons, two intensive care nurses, oxygen equipment and a drip, to fly someone's wife back from London. The news team of tabloid ‘TODAY’ was trashed for the report they made of a speech about the event, which was based on factual material quoted from an official press release. Apparently the offending point had to do with a phone call made by Singapore High Commissioner Michael Teo to No. 10 Downing Street, hoping for some intervention to jump the NHS queue for a brain scan, and inconveniencing the British prime minister.
That's the difference between Korea and Singapore.