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Boston man named 'Kunal Kamra' stopped from boarding AI flight
New Delhi, February 5, 2020
A namesake of comedian Kunal Kamra, based in Boston, United States was stopped from boarding an Air India flight earlier this week, days after the stand-up comic was banned by four airlines, including Air India, for heckling a television journalist.
Boston resident Kamra, who was visiting his family in India, was reportedly stuck at the Jaipur airport as the airline confused him with the controversial comedian.
"Comedian Kunal Kamra is banned from boarding Air India. It's mentioned in our system that's why his name was automatically rejected. But after verification of all the credentials of the pax, we allowed him to board the flight," an Air Indian spokesperson said.
Comedian Kunal Kamra later took to Twitter and called the incident "collateral damage." Kamra, who gained popularity for his political jokes often aimed at the ruling party leadership, was banned by IndiGo, SpiceJet, Air India and GoAir following the incident with the television journalist.
The bans were announced in quick succession, overlooking official procedures. As per the guidelines, when an airline receives complaints of unruly behaviour from the pilot-in-command, the incident is referred to an internal committee which decides on the matter within 30 days.
Moreover, the captain operating IndiGo's Mumbai-Lucknow flight in which the incident took place, later said that it did not qualify for a six-month ban. Captain Rohit Mateti reportedly said that Indigo didn't consult him before announcing the ban on the comedian.