Budget airline SpiceJet on 18th April played the national anthem on one of its flights right before landing even as passengers were strapped into their seats and therefore, could not stand up. According to a report by the Times of India, the incident took place on SpiceJet flight SG1044 that was travelling from Tirupati to Hyderabad. The passengers were left with an unusual choice between respecting the national anthem by standing up or following the aviation rules by staying put in their seats.
Reacting to the incident, a passenger has filed a complaint against the airline. “The passengers and cabin crew were not in a position to stand up and accord it due respect. We were surprised when the national anthem was played and the passengers were forced to abide by the pilot’s directions to keep the seat belt on,” said Puneet Tiwari to Times of India, the passenger who has filed the complaint.
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He also alleged that the crew then turned off the anthem right in the middle but was later forced to play it again. However, the cabin crew said they were in no position to do anything about the incident as the national anthem was already uploaded in the system.
“On this flight, inadvertently, our crew selected the wrong number on the playlist and the national anthem started playing. Immediately, the same was stopped. We regret any inconvenience caused to our esteemed customers,” a SpiceJet spokesperson was quoted as saying in the ToI report. “We have pre-recorded national anthem on our aircraft playlist to be used appropriately,” he added.