Continental Airlines has apologized for
something which many air travellers would regard as, and expect to
be, mandatory for any person
travelling on an airplane - security.
The airline apologized to the former President
of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, for "any misunderstanding and
/or inconvenience related to the security screening on
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was asked to remove his
shoes and agree to being frisked before boarding a flight to the
Under Indian law, former presidents and
numerous other officials are exempt from such security checks. Under
American law however, all passengers travelling to the U.S. must
pass through security before boarding the plane - something most,
if not all the other passengers on the plane would expect as an
In a statement issued by Continental
regarding the screening, the airline stated, "Our intention was
never to offend Dr. Kalam or the sentiments of the people of
India. Continental Airlines takes great pride and is honoured to
have flown a respectable leader such as Dr. Kalam."
"We have tendered a formal apology to Dr. Kalam
and we sincerely hope he will fly with us again."
Continental reiterated its commitment to comply
with regulations mandated by local authorities (Bureau of Civil
Aviation Security - BCAS) as well as US authorities
(Transportation Security Administration - TSA). It said, "While
ensuring compliance with TSA and BCAS requirements imposed upon
us, we sometimes encounter circumstances wherein the TSA and BCAS
regulations are not compatible. We hope the respective government
authorities resolve these differences at the earliest in order to
avoid any recurrence of this situation in the future."
While to some, screening every passenger
boarding a plane - no matter where it is flying - may not be
appropriate at times, the majority of air travellers would more
likely be shocked to learn that some on their flight are exempt
from some security checks. Regardless of the right and wrong of
this matter, Continental Airlines obviously takes its security
very seriously, and that, can only be a good thing.
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