Former President Bharat Ratna APJ Abdul Kalam, who is exempt from security checks was frisked by the ground staff of American airliner Continental Airlines at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) on April 24, 2009 at the insistence of the company's American boss. Kalam was asked to surrender before the security officials for a complete body check and remove his footwear as well.
If it had happened in a foreign country or if it was a case of mistaken identity the act was pardonable but the staff was fully aware of Kalams identity and in fact Kalam was reportedly forced to wait on the aerobridge even as the airlines security personnel debated whether to put him under the security scanner or not.
As if to rub salt into the wound, Continental Airlines was unapologetic of their act and Airlines in a statement said
"The procedure is followed by all carriers flying to the US from most of the countries in the world and there is no exemption to this rule. Security and customer service are key components for us at Continental Airlines. We believe that Dr.Kalam was not offended and we would like to thank him again for flying with us. it was honoured and proud to have had such a distinguished customer and hoped he has been ‘pleased by our services”
How can a foreign entity operate in India if they refuse to accept rules and regulations of host country. Act of continental airlines is gross violation of a BCAS circular which exempts specified VVIPs/VIPs from security checks. Foreign Entities who donot respect rules and regulations of this country has no space here and should be thrown out from here.
I personally have decided to stop flying continental airlines until they apologize for their act.