Recently, after the ‘heckling video‘ featuring comedian Kunal Kamra and journalist Arnab Goswami went viral, IndiGo and subsequently Air India and SpiceJet banned the comedian from flying.


However, this isn’t the first time someone has been banned from a flight. Previously, Ravindra Gaikwad, from the Shiv Sena party was banned by Air India after he got violent with an employee. 


Kunal Kamra however, isn’t yet on the National No-Fly List. This is an Indian government initiative “to ensure safety and check unruly and disruptive behaviour on aircraft.” India is the first country to have a no-fly list on the basis of safety and not just security. This no-fly list is implied on domestic and international scheduled and non-scheduled, and even chartered flights for Indian passengers flying in India and internationally.

According to this, there are three levels to the ban, each resulting in a lengthier time on the list.

Matedor Network

Level 1 – Inappropriate physical gestures, verbal harassment, drunken abusive behaviour and unruly inebriation, resulting in a 3-month ban. 


Level 2 – Physically abusive behaviour, including inappropriate touching resulting in a 6-month ban from flying. 

Business Standard

Level 3 – An action that threatens the life of a passenger or attempts to damage to aircraft systems resulting in ban of minimum 2 years and up to a lifetime. 


Apart from the government’s no-fly list, the airlines also have their specific no-fly lists which they hold to discretion

While IndiGo has banned Kunal Kamra from flying with them for 6 months, even though his comes under the Level 1 offence, SpiceJet and Air India have tweeted that the comedian will be banned under further notice. And Vistara has said that it will review the case. 

How does a flight go about banning a person?

The pilot that is in charge of the flight can complain and ask for an investigation by an internal committee which is headed by a retired judge, a representative of another airline and a member of a passenger association. They will, within 30 days, decide how long, if any, the tenure of the ban should be. During this period, while the committee is deciding, the airline may impose a ban of 30 days on the passenger.

India TV

Can the person banned by one airline travel with the others?

During the initial 30 days ban while the committee is deciding, the passenger may travel with other airlines. However, other airlines may also ban the same passenger and adhere to the no-fly list of a specific airline, depending on the misconduct of the passenger. 

After the decision has been made, it’s sent to the Aviation Regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to be added to the official no-fly list. 


A passenger who has been put on the list of a specific flight, in this case Kunal Kamra, can approach an appellate committee constituted by the minister but only within 60 days after the complaint.