Complaint letter regarding screening in India

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in Other Countries' started by Mybodyismyown, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. Mybodyismyown

    Mybodyismyown Original Member

    Dear Continental Airlines,

    I experienced a deeply offensive and indecent sexual invasion while
    boarding as a BusinessFirst passenger on Continental 83J
    departing Delhi (DEL) bound for Newark (EWR) at 10:45pm on May 29, 2011,
    at Gate 1A. After clearing security at Delhi, I found a second security
    checkpoint blocking the boarding gate. Without speaking a single word,
    without obtaining or even seeking my consent for sexual contact between
    us, a complete stranger placed the fronts of her open hands on my
    breasts and fondled me. She ran her fingers deliberately multiple times
    over my chest, rubbing my nipples through my clothing. My husband is a
    Star Alliance Gold flyer with your airline. This incident will reduce
    his flying and end mine, since I never intend to be vulnerable to
    such exploitation again.

    Immediately after the assault, I reported it to a United/Continental employee.
    Airline representatives at the gate heard my verbal summary of the matte
    r, and took my name, but because final boarding was about to expire I
    did not manage to file a written complaint. This is that written
    complaint. I will forward this complaint to my representatives at all
    levels of government, to the Indian government, and to Indian airline
    authorities. The representatives at the checkpoint told me the woman,
    Kajal, worked for Indian Airline Security, and said they would speak
    with Kajal's supervisor about my statement. This pointless violation of
    my body and my dignity had absolutely zero security value. I was not
    thoroughly checked. Only three areas of my body were touched: my
    nipples/breasts, my torso, and my buttocks.

    Your airline must protest these utterly worthless sexualized searches,
    because degrading your customers harms your business. Please do not
    send me a form letter stating that security is out of your hands:
    you are responsible for every rape victim re-traumatized, every little
    girl whose bathing suit areas are violated, every disabled person
    forced to crawl through a metal detector without his braces, every
    genital inspection, every bit of radiation damage, every naked image
    of a child transmitted to a secret viewing booth, as long as you stay
    silent about these injustices. This is not the first time I have been
    sexually abused by airline security; a few years ago a woman inserted
    a metal detecting wand in between my labia, pushing my underwear into
    my vagina. I have heard dozens of first-hand accounts from victims who
    have been degraded, humiliated, and traumatized by inhumane treatment
    at airports, and we demand action.

    I am sorely disappointed in United and Continental for
    cooperating with and making excuses for my abusers. Opposing the
    depraved molestation of your customers makes good business sense and is
    the only moral course of action. I entreat you to protect me by publicly
    opposing intentional genital, breast, buttock, perineal, and anal
    contact between screeners and passengers. Real security requires police
    work to identify dan gerous individuals. Universal sexualized searches
    do not make me safe. My body is my own! There is nothing even remotely
    *safe* about strangers shoving their hands down my pants, rubbing my
    nipples, or inspecting my genitalia.

  2. FriendlySkies

    FriendlySkies Member

    Very well written, and welcome to Travel Underground! If you have not already done so, I would recommend mailing a copy to UA/CO HQ in Chicago. I can provide you with the address, if that is a path you would like to take.
  3. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    I'll add my welcome, and kudos for a well-written and straightforward letter!
  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    +1 to this.

    Politicians mostly want the appearance of doing something. The only way we're going to get results is by making the airlines feel our displeasure in their corporate treasuries.
  5. Mybodyismyown

    Mybodyismyown Original Member

    I did send this letter to United, Continental, and the Delhi Airport. Here is a response from United:

    Dear mybodyismyown,

    Thank you for your patience with the delay of our response. I just
    received your email.

    I am sorry the security measures you experienced in Delhi upset you and
    created a negative impression for air travel. I understand you did not
    want to hear that United is not responsible for security screening at
    the different airports; however we must comply with all government
    direct security policies in every country we operate.

    Please allow me to suggest you forward your letter to the Transportation
    Security Administration. I have forwarded your disturbing experience to
    United management so they understand how this experience impacted your
    perception of air travel.

    At the conclusion of this email, please fill out the survey where you
    can rate your experience with the Customer Care department. We value
    your feedback and hope that you are satisfied with our service.


    United Airlines Customer Relations
  6. Mybodyismyown

    Mybodyismyown Original Member

    Another response, from the airport. I also received a phone call from Kiran, who expressed a great interest in using my complaint to change the way things operate there.

    Dear mybodyismyown,

    Greetings from IGI Airport!!

    I am writing on behalf of Delhi International Airport. We do acknowledge receipt of your complaint dated June 1st, 2011. The contents as described you are very disturbing and one that we do not take lightly. I understand that Kiran Jain, one of the senior members of our management team, has already reached out to you and spoken with you over the phone. As explained by her, the lady in question from the Security team, is under investigation by the airline. We at Delhi Airport do not, under any circumstance, condone this sort of behavior. In fact, upon review of your complaint, one of the measures that we have decided to take on is to train the security staff to identify themselves and let the passenger know that they are going to be searched.

    Please do not let this incident deter you from future trips to India. Delhi International Airport welcomes you.


    Customer Response Management
    Delhi International Airport Pvt. Ltd.
    IGI Airport, New Delhi
  7. FriendlySkies

    FriendlySkies Member

    The UA letter was the standard form letter, and obviously does not seem to understand that you were in India.
  8. honeytoes

    honeytoes Founding Member

    Is it just me or does that reply seem at least a little hopeful? I thought OP's original letter was fantastic and not over the top at all. I'd be interested to know whether this goes any further.
  9. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    Oh, the irony! According to my sources, it was most likely generated from India. LOL! :oops:
  10. stifle

    stifle Original Member

    The lady from the security team is under investigation by the airline?

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