An extremely embarrassing incident happened to former Arjun Awardees and former world no 1 Indian shooters Heena Sidhu and Anjali Bhagwat and all because of an airliner.
The duo was forced to spend a night outside the Bangkok airport because Jet Airways prevented them from boarding the flight they had booked alleging that they were not carrying “proper documents”.
Henna and Anjali were returning from International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Rifle and Pistol World Cup in South Korea and were supposed to take a connecting flight to Mumbai from Bangkok.
They were put to all this misery and allegedly harassment because our dear Jet Airways did not allow them to carry their sport equipment (guns), citing incomplete documents.
“It was harassment. We were not only forced to arrange for tickets, but also had to spend the night outside Bangkok airport. It all happened because of the ignorance of the Jet Airways staff about sports weapons and the documents we were carrying,” Heena was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
Interestingly, only Jet Airways has had this issue of ‘proper documents’. They were, without any hassle, allowed to travel by Korean Airline and Air India, with whom they booked their new tickets.
Heena Sidhu recounts the entire episode in her Facebook post:
For the enlightenment of Jet Airways, Heena Sidhu is the first Indian pistol shooter to have won a Gold medal in the 2013 ISSF World Cup final. Anjali Bhagwat became the only Indian to win the ISSF Champions’ Trophy in Air Rifle Men & Women mixed event at Munich in 2002.