The airline industry has always been portrayed negatively when it comes to crew safety. A shocking incident happened with Spicejet, where the cabin crews were told to strip their clothes. Protesting at the Chennai airport, Spicejet cabin crew members said that they had been asked to remove their sanitary pads from their hand luggage for security reasons.
A video also went viral which showed an angry bunch of SpiceJet air hostesses accusing the airline of strip-searching them at Chennai airport. The crew alleged that they were searched after de-boarding on the suspicion that they were swindling cash collected from the sale of food and other items onboard. However, SpiceJet confirmed that their security teams undertook random pat-down searches at few of the stations as part of security and safety standard operating procedures (SOP), the airline rejected the allegation that the crew was strip-searched.
One of the cabin crew spoke to NDTV and said, “We air hostesses are stripped naked over the last three days and women personnel touch us inappropriately. A colleague in her period was asked to remove her sanitary napkin.”
The protest caused the delay of two SpiceJet flights, one to Colombo and one to Pune. The carrier said the charges regarding deviation from SOPs were being investigated and strict action would be taken if anybody was found guilty.
The statement reads, “One of the objectives of this search is to ensure that there is no pilferage of company money/goods, smuggling or any illegal activity that an employee may be lured into. This also ensures security and safety of our passengers, our employees, and our assets. This search essentially is the same as what any passenger goes through at any of the Indian airports while going through security check.”
SpiceJet also responded to allegations of strip searching saying that these checks take place in closed rooms, adding that “only women security staff search women employees.”