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Feline fakery? Cat owner who duped Aeroflot over pet’s weight booted from bonus program

The airline stressed that when checking in for flight SU1702, the passenger deliberately violated the rules

MOSCOW, November 12. /TASS/. Russia’s flagship carrier Aeroflot has expelled a passenger from the airline’s loyalty bonus program, because he doctored information about his cat’s weight in an attempt to take the pet onboard with him, the airline said in a statement.

"Aeroflot has conducted an official investigation into the incident covered throughout social media networks," the airline said.

"Upon revealing several facts indicating a deliberate violation of the terms of the air carriage agreement, Aeroflot decided to purge this passenger from its loyalty bonus program. All the miles that he accumulated for the entire duration of the program will be canceled and his membership account will be closed," the company stated.

Under Aeroflot’s rules, if a pet together with the bag weighs more than 8 kg, it must be placed in the plane’s luggage department.

The airline stressed that when checking in for flight SU1702, the passenger deliberately violated the rules.

"Judging from his message on social networks, during the flight’s check-in, he replaced the cat weighing more than 8 kg with another similar feline weighing 7 kg. This has been confirmed by a recording from surveillance cameras," the company notes.

"Aeroflot adheres to strict discipline at all stages of its flight operations. This is a key condition for the successful completion of work on air transportation, guaranteeing the safety and regularity of aircraft flights," the company stressed.

Earlier this month, Mikhail Galin brought his cat Viktor with him on a flight from Riga to Vladivostok with a stopover in Moscow. According to newspaper reports, during a check-in at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport it turned out that the feline weighed 10 kilograms, essentially two kilograms above Aeroflot’s weight limit for pets traveling onboard. Galin failed to convince the Aeroflot staffer to let Viktor onto the plane. The passenger was forced to stay overnight in Moscow and with the help of his friends he found a smaller cat with the same pattern on its coat of fur to have it weighed at the airport in Viktor’s place. The next day, Galin returned to the airport with the smaller cat and passed the weight limit test. With the check-in process complete, he gave the smaller cat back to her owners, brought Viktor onto the plane and flew off to Vladivostok. The incident was widely covered throughout social media.