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Mid-air Holi dance celebrations crash lands SpiceJet into trouble
SpiceJet, India's low cost domestic carrier has been issued a show-cause notice by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) after a video went viral, which shows the cabin crew dancing, celebrating the popular and colourful festival of India, Holi. Prabhat Kumar the director general of DGCA has asked the officials of SpiceJet to explain why the airlines had allowed cabin crew to perform a dance on a Bollywood number as a part of its Holi celebrations.

The SpiceJet's cabin crew danced to the tunes of the Bollywood chartbuster 'Balam Pichkari' on 17th March while the flight was 35,000 feet up in the air, while pilots took pictures on their mobile phones. And the video of SG 876 Goa-Bangalore flight got viral in YouTube, where the passengers were seen in the video, cheering and clapping all along.

Although the song 'Balam Pichkari' from the movie 'Yeh jawani Hai Diwani' has helped Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone to take-off at the box office but SpiceJet got into trouble, as DGCA is threatening to ground the airline.

The DCGA said that it might have harmed the passengers safety, as the center of gravity of the aircraft could have been impacted because of the dance. They also pointed out the usage of mobile inside the flight, which is a sheer violation of the rules.

Over the matter, got in touch with people related to the aviation industry, who has given their personal opinion below.

Experts View

Harsh Vardhan, Aviation expert 

''I do not find anything wrong in this act except the violation of technical rules, using mobile phones on board. Till the time passengers enjoy and don't object it is fair. Every international airlines have certain events on board, such as fashion shows, birthday parties etc. Coming to safety related issue, they have employed extra crew and as this was a planned event, they would have taken appropriate measures. And, the pilot coming out of the cockpit is not a big issue, if the co-pilot is in command of the flight.''

Captain Amit Tyagi, works with Indian Commercial Pilot's Association

''Involvement of cockpit crew is not safe, if there are two pilots in the plane, than there is a reason behind it. And pilot coming out of the cockpit to cheer up the air hostess' who are dancing, is going a little over board and is not advisable.''

Navdeep Gill, Trainer, Frankfinn Institute of Air Hostess Training

''It was a good gesture by the airlines. In hospitality industry, these things are common. The Air- hostess are asked to wish the passengers on New Year, Christmas and Halloween, then what's wrong in celebrating our festival. We should keep our customs and rituals alive by doing such things.''

Frequent and Occasional Flyers' View

Raman Kumar, Executive IT firm, Occasional Flyer

''I don’t think there was any need for making the air-hostess' dance on the aisle of an aeroplane. How many of them did it willingly and how many did to save their job in an already job-crunched airline industry is anybody’s guess. If it was ‘Balam Pichkaari’ on Holi, whats going to be on Valentines Day?''

Ankita Dubey, PR professional, Frequent Flyer

''I think it was cute and entertaining. If the customers enjoyed, its good business too. Unless we try out these new innovative ways of exciting the customers, how will the market grow and compete?''

Akshat Tripathi, Engineer, Occasional Flyer

''An utterly rubbish move from SpiceJet. Why does anybody fly on the day of Holi? Either they have an urgent meeting or an urgent situation in the family or something similar. Most flyers may not even be in a state of mind to enjoy the song, leave aside dancing. Pushing down things down your throat in name of ‘customer service’ should strongly be objected to. Had I been there, I would have asked them to stop immediately. I pay to fly and reach my destination. If you wish to ‘add value’ provide extra movies in the Entertainment television that is there at the back of the seat or give them an extra goodie or give them a tilak in holi spirit. Don’t dance on their face. The aisles are anyway narrow, the leg space is small and passengers feel cramped. Its just not the right environment.''

Shyamal Ghosh, Management Professional, Frequent Flyer

''Not sure how to react to this. On video it looks very stupid, especially since it is now played over and over again in all news channels. However, the passengers may have enjoyed in the spirit of the performance. Having said that, any celebration or service should be given as an optional thing. This is not a cruise. This is a plane. Tomorrow, you may want to remove the back seats and create a disco out there or a mini spa or a massage parlour – do that if you have permission. But you cannot force every passenger to take massage in name of customer service.''

Rupesh, Entrepreneur, Frequent Flyer

''It’s a gutsy move by SpiceJet. However the way this has raised controversy, I am sure nobody else will ever try it again.''

Bhavna Patel, Housewife, Occasional Flyer

''Not sure how I would have reacted, if I was there, travelling with my father or in-laws. Though the airlines mostly target urban audience, but they should not mix up urban living with open mindset. India, in general, has a conservative mindset even in a high class society. I am not sure, if all families travelling have enjoyed Balam Pichkaari openly.''

Shrabani Mukherjee, Journalist, occasional flyer

''People should take it easy in India. What is wrong in celebrating holi by dancing to a holi song? It was just harmless fun and not uncommon abroad. So are we saying that those airlines abroad are careless and do not care about their passenger's safety? I felt that, as usual things are being blown out of proportion and the pilots got the heat of the all these outrage.''

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