Continental Airlines Apologizes for Security

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Thursday, 23 July 2009

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 21-April-2009."

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was asked to remove his shoes and agree to being frisked before boarding a flight to the U.S..

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 absolute minimum.

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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