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Can All Airlines Really Ban Kunal Kamra? Know The Laws

| Published on January 31, 2020

Recently, IndiGo had announced that it was suspending stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra from flying with IndiGo for six months, as his conduct onboard was unacceptable. Following this, Air India also announced it would suspend him from flying on any of its flights until further notice.

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The bans have been imposed on Kamra when earlier he tweeted a video where he is seen trying to initiate a conversation with the Republic TV anchor Mr. Arnab Goswami onboard an Indigo flight.

As seen in the video clip, Mr. Goswami does not respond to Mr. Kamra during the entire clip. An air hostess is even heard asking the standup comedian to stop taking the video.

Kamra even gave an official statement in an effort to explain his actions.

The video soon went viral and divided the internet over their opinion on Mr. Kamra‘s approach. Many said that his behavior was rude and unruly and even went on to justify the ban. While some said that even though Kamra’s approach was not right, it was, however, not ban-worthy.

Irrespective of what the different opinions are, let us know if the airlines can actually ban someone this way.

No-Fly List

The no-fly list is meant “to ensure safety and check unruly and disruptive behavior on aircraft”. It is compiled by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on the basis of inputs provided by airlines.

According to the rules, any airline can report unruly behavior onboard the aircraft. However, the complaint has to be filed by the pilot of the plane. an internal committee has to then be set up for each case by the airline which can in turn probe the incident and allegations. The committee has to furnish its report within 30 days.

While the ban is initiated by the airline that raised the complaint, other airlines can also choose to follow suit. However, they are not compelled to do so. Here are the tweets from Airline tweets on this incident:




Air India



In case of a ban, a passenger can contest it and make an appeal but only after 60 days of the committee’s decision.

Blacklist Protocol

There are three wide categories of “unruly behavior” that can get one on the no-fly list. These include verbal unruliness, misbehavior or harassment that is punishable by a three-month ban (Level 1), physical unruliness punishable by a six-month ban (Level 2) and life-endangering unruliness or behavior which is punishable by a two-year flying ban (Level 3).

In a statement given to HuffPost India, Arun Kumar, director-general of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), said that as per DGCA rules, in case of any unruly behavior, restricted to verbal confrontation, the airlines should first impose a temporary ban of 30 days on the passenger and conduct an internal inquiry headed by a retired judge into the incident.

With respect to the bans imposed by Indigo & Air India on Kamra, DGCA Cheif said, “The airline should have waited for the internal inquiry to be completed before putting the passenger on the no-flyers list for six months.”

Later, other airlines including SpiceJet, Air India, and GoAir also put him on the no-fly list after Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardip Singh Puri tweeted an ‘advisory’ to other airlines to impose similar restrictions on Kamra.

In the end, whether the steps taken by the airlines were right & just can only be determined once a detailed inquiry & investigation is done regarding the whole situation.

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