Story By: Anastasia Smirnova, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Aeroflot has booted a client from their frequent-flyer programme after he admitted using a slim stand-in cat to pose for his overweight 10kg moggy to beat weight restrictions for animals allowed on board.
Mikhail Galin, 34, managed to bypass Aeroflot’s rules and regulations to check his chubby cat into a business class flight earlier this month.
While travelling on the SU1702 flight from Moscow-Sheremetyevo International Airport to the city of Vladivostok in the south-eastern Russian region of Primorsky Krai, Galin reportedly used a cat double pose as his beloved Victor.
Victor the cat weighs 10 kilogrammes (22 lbs) which is two kilogrammes over the permitted weight and Aeroflot staff wanted to put the chubby moggy in the hold where pets are usually kept during flights.
In the end, Galin felt that his pet would not survive eight hours in the chilly hold area and he missed the flight.
However, he reportedly returned to the airport two days later with a friend’s cat called Phoebe that posed as Victor at the check-in.
After being weighed, the cats were switched and Victor joined Galin in business class for the flight to Vladivostok.
However, after Galin shared his story on social media, Aeroflot bosses were far from impressed and they conducted an investigation that concluded the passenger was culpable of several violations, including failing to check-in his cat, intentionally switching cats during the weighing and removing the cat from its box while on the plane.
As punishment, the cat owner was reportedly chucked off the company’s frequent-flyer programme.
All the miles he has accrued so far will be annulled and his account will be shut down, according to local media.
It is unclear whether Galin intends to appeal the decision.
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