Recently a lot of India based airlines have been making the headlines for various reasons like debt, or technical failures etc. In a bizarre turn of events, an air hostesses working for carrier spice jet protested at Chennai airport in the early hours of 31st of March after they were allegedly strip searched by the airlines own security personnel. The air hostesses have alleged that they were strip searched in the last few days.
This was done after they deboarded from their flights and the security asked them to also remove their sanitary pads from their bags. In a statement an air hostess with 10 years of experience said “We air hostesses are stripped naked over the three days and women personnel touch us inappropriately. A colleague in her periods was asked to remove her sanitary napkin”. In some emails, disgusting allegations were found where a cabin crew member wrote “On informing the base official that I wasn’t comfortable and I’m on my menses she still checked my panty, they pressed my beasts, I lost my self-respect”, one air hostess said in an email.
The matter escalated at a level where the cabin crew reported to work after a high-level meeting among the SpiceJet management on Monday to discuss the matter. Two midnight flights left late by an hour from Chennai due to this matter. SpiceJet did confirm that the airlines security team did carry out searches at some of its stations on two days-28th and 29th of March following a tip off. In their defense the airline said “pat down” searches on employees was a global industry practice and were conducted in line with norms laid down by security agencies in closed rooms and by well-trained employees of same gender.
They stressed upon the fact that “the search essentially is the same as what any passenger goes through at any of the Indian airports while going through security checks”. The airline assuted the strict action will be taken if anybody is found guilty, if the allegations of the crew that the laid-down procedure of security check was deviated from.
Kamal Hingorani, SpiceJet’ senior vice president who heads in-flight services, in an email to the protesting cabin crew blamed the strict search on suspicion of dozens of cabin crew taking cash and company material from the flights and wanted to catch the black sheep from the organization.