In a comedy of errors on February 3, a U.S.-based passenger also going by the name of Kunal Kamra, the stand-up comedian who has been barred from flying four top Indian carriers, had his what’s-in-a-name? moment after initially being denied entry into an Air India flight from Jaipur to Mumbai.
Mr. Kamra, visiting India for a family function, was in for a shock when told at the airport that his ticket stood cancelled and that he was no longer “valid to fly”. Airline officials said that the system showed the PNR as being cancelled, since his name was Kunal Kamra and matched every letter in the name of stand-up comedian, who was the actually barred passenger.
The Boston resident was made to produce multiple ID proofs before being allowed to fly by Air India. Though grateful for prompt assistance from airline staff and being allowed to board after a quick re-issue of his ticket at the airport itself, Mr. Kamra was concerned that the onus of proving that he was not actually the barred passenger fell entirely on him, just because they shared the same name.
Having learnt from this experience, Mr. Kamra, who was to later fly Indigo from Mumbai to Delhi reached out proactively to the airline and ensured that his ticket was not auto-cancelled by the system based on the name in the PNR.
Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar said, “Stand up comedian Kunal Kamra is banned from boarding Air India. This is mentioned in our system, which is why his name was automatically rejected. But after verification of all the credentials of the passenger, we allowed him to board the flight.”
Source : The Hindu0