Boycott Continental Airlines sign now

Boycott Continental Airlines for disrespecting Dr. Abdul Kalam, former president of India, at Indira Gandhi Airport, Year 2009

Please read the below news item from 7/21/2009 Times of India:

"In what is seen as a clear violation of protocol, former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who is exempt from security checks, was treated like
an ordinary passenger and frisked by the ground staff of American airliner Continental Airlines at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) on April 24, 2009 at the insistence of the company's American boss. The former President was on his way to Newark on Continental Airlines Flight CO 083. ( Watch )

Kalam was reportedly forced to wait on the aerobridge even as the airlines security personnel debated whether to put him under the security scanner or not. Kalam was asked to surrender before the security officials for a complete body check and remove his footwear as well.

However, the Continental Airlines defended the same saying that it was a regular security check as the policy of the company is to frisk everyone. They also went on to add that there is no special rule for VIP or VVIPs.

"He had to go through the entire security check because it is our policy to frisk everyone. This is the policy Continental Airlines follows over the world. There is no special rule for VIP or VVIP.

In fact, Kalam was very cooperative and underwent the entire process which happened over a month ago," said the public relations officer of Continental Airlines.

The civil aviation ministry has ordered a probe into the incident. Minister Praful Patel said that corrective measures will be taken if anyone is found wrong. He added, "We will ask for correction action from the airline and in case they are proven wrong, we will ask them to tender and apology."

Any airline operating in India is given a set of guidelines, which includes the point that our presidents and former presidents are on the VIP list and are exempted from security checks-let alone frisking.

This kind of an incident is not one of a kind. There have been instances where Indian VIPs have been treated shabbily at foreign airports. Earlier, Pranab Mukherjee was forced to undergo security checks at the ceremonial lounge in the Moscow airport in 2008, while he was on his way back to India."

As Indian citizen I feel outraged by the callous and senseless statement issued by Continental that mounts to huge disrespect to the former president of India. I'd want to ask if they'd have the same frisking to Obama if he traveled from the same airport! It's time to teach a fitting lesson. All Indians and Asians - I urge you to boycott Continental airlines from now on. Let's show to US and to the rest of the world we respect our leaders and take it seriously if someone offends us.

Thank you.

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Fannie CarneyBy:
Politics and GovernmentIn:
Petition target:
Indian and Asian customers of Continental airlines

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