Airline Defending Decision to Strip Search Flight Attendants

A year and a half ago a Qantas flight attendant won A$33,000 when the government ruled firing a flight attendant for stealing onboard liquor was ‘harsh’.

Crew had been searched after a Perth – Sydney flight, and the sacked flight attendant claimed the vodka in his pants and the gin in his bag got there ‘by mistake’. But he wasn’t actually strip searched.

Now Indian airline Spicejet is defending its decision to strip search flight attendants whom they believed were stealing money from inflight sales. SpiceJet doesn’t operate a cashless cabin, flight attendants collect cash, and the airline was trying to crack down on money disappearing.

Flight attendants were forced to get naked and no – no money was found.

“We air hostesses are stripped naked over the last three days and women personnel touch us inappropriately. A colleague in her period was asked to remove her sanitary napkin,” an air hostess with 10 years of experience, who asked not to be named, told NDTV.

…”On informing the base official that I wasn’t comfortable and I’m on my menses she still checked my panty; they pressed my breasts. I’ve lost my self-respect..

The airline claims these strip searches are “This search essentially is the same as what any passenger goes through at any of the Indian airports while going through security check.” Which is sort of true if you count the nude-o-scopes that are used, though the images displayed to security employees aren’t of the actual naked passenger.

Passengers have been arrested for photographing female flight attendants clothed in India, “outraging the modesty of women” so I’m not sure how this is ok. The airline says only women strip searched women, and they did so in private rooms.

(HT: Live and Let’s Fly)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. The airlines has clarified the searches were the same as the secondary searches done by TSA where the back of the hand is used and no clothing is actually removed.

  2. Karma. In a land of bureaucratic corruption is it any surprise that those in charge think no one is to be trusted . . . and neither are they.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *