Air hostesses employed by airline carrier SpiceJet alleged that they were strip-searched by the airline’s security personnel and staged protests at the Chennai airport. The air hostesses have claimed that they were strip-searched multiple times over the last few days and were even asked to remove sanitary napkins from their personal luggage. Spicejet on Sunday put out a statement that “random pat-downs” are routinely conducted on various employees for security reasons and that the alleged deviations from the practice will be investigated.“Based on a specific security tip-off following certain recent instances in other airlines, SpiceJet’s Security team undertook searches at few of our stations on the night of 28/29 March.
“Two male ground staff escorted us and took us to a room where 4-5 female ground staff were waiting for us. They said they need to check our bags and checked everything from our clothes to mandatory items and all personal and private belongings even though they were new and sealed. They made us open our shoes and checked the heels,” the email states.“After the bag check was over we were treated in an inhuman way. The staff forced us to take off our undergarments and we were frisked maliciously and in an inappropriate manner which I am ashamed to mention here. They unzipped out uniforms, put their hands inside it and frisked out private body parts violating our fundamental right to privacy to the core,” the air hostess has said in her email, adding that they were later frisked a second time and that it was “worse and beyond imagination.”
A few cases of pilferage were detected and appropriate disciplinary action has been initiated. Allegations regarding deviation from these SOPs are being investigated and strict action will be taken if anybody is found guilty,” the statement said, adding that if the allegations are found to be untrue or false, then the media reports are “defamatory in nature.”The statement comes in response to an email sent by an air hostess detailing the strip search conducted by female ground staff. Times Now accessed the email where the air hostess has stated that she and some of her colleagues were “treated as prisoners or criminals from the moment we stepped down from the aircraft. “