Continental Airlines Manages To Piss Off India

Continental Airlines is having a tough stretch -- its CEO quit, its recently announced earnings are dismaying Wall Street (What do those two things have in common? Hmmm....), its laying off a bunch of workers, and now it's got the parliament of India all in an uproar.

Indian politicians are shocked, dismayed, disheartened and pissed off about the airline subjecting a former Indian president to a security search that included a frisking.

The Associated Press quotes Indian civil aviation minister Praful Patel as saying "This act of frisking the former president ... is absolutely unpardonable and beyond the scope of the laws of our country."

The AP also says the incident caused an uproar in the legislature with lawmakers condemning the search as "outrageous."

The country gives the airline a list of VIPs who should be allowed to bypass normal security procedures, Indian officials say, but a Continental spokeswoman disputed that.

"There is no special rule for VIPs ... This is the process the airline adheres to," the spokeswoman identified only as Aparna was quoted as saying.

Memo to Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and both Bushes: Don't fly Continental to India if you can avoid it.

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