A Boston-based insurance professional found himself at the receiving end of comedian Kunal Kamra’s flying ban across four airlines.

Air India almost stops the wrong Kunal Kamra from flyingKunal Kamra - Instagram
news Controversy Thursday, February 06, 2020 - 12:44

Comedian Kunal Kamra stirred quite the controversy recently when he confronted Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami on board an IndiGo flight, and was subsequently banned from flying on the airline for six months, as well as Air India, GoAir, and Spicejet. And irrespective of how the comedian is dealing with the ban, it appears that his namesakes will have a hard time too.

On Monday for instance, Air India thought that the comedian was trying to fly on the airline despite being blacklisted, and almost cancelled the ticket for his namesake.

A Boston-based insurance professional named Kunal Kamra was flying to Mumbai from Jaipur on an Air India flight on February 3, 2020. He reached the check-in counter when he was told his PNR had been cancelled. When he asked why, he was told his name has been blacklisted. He told India Today, that while he knew why the comedian had been blacklisted, he could not understand why he in particular could not fly on the airline.

Kunal was informed that his ticket was cancelled before the flight, and said that he received no explanation for the same. He added that cancelling one’s ticket just based on one’s name is problematic because many people might have the same name

While Air India eventually realised that he was not the comedian and issued him a boarding pass, the insurance professional said that it was an unpleasant experience. Kunal had to produce two ID cards to prove that he was not the comedian. “The airline took a copy of my Aadhaar card and it was enough for them, but the security wasn't convinced with all my Indian IDs so I had to show them my American ID, which finally worked. It was just a very unpleasant experience,” he told India Today.

An Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar told TOI that because of the name ‘Kunal Kamra’ being blacklisted in their system, the NRI namesake was automatically rejected for a boarding pass. However, the issue was resolved after the airline verified his identity.

After this experience, the insurance professional went to the IndiGo counter at Jaipur in advance as he had booked a Mumbai-Delhi flight on the airline for Wednesday. He informed them in advance so that the same experience does not happen with him.

The comedian Kunal Kamra also reacted to the incident on Wednesday with the comment, “collateral damage”.