Aeroflot has stripped a passenger of no less than 400,000 miles because his cat was too fat to fly. Passenger Mikhail Galin was unwilling to place voluptuous Viktor in the hold, and instead devised a fur-midable plan to get the fat feline past security. But bragging on Facebook turned out to be a cat-astrophe. Here’s how it went down.
That cat’s too fat to fly
We’ve heard of passengers being fat shamed, outfit shamed and just plain shameful, but it seems that now the pets are getting in on the action too. Following hot on the heels of American Airlines fat shaming a dog, Russian carrier Aeroflot has now brought the issue of size discrimination to a feline traveler too.
The airline apparently took umbrage with a passenger, Mikhail Galin who had tried to travel from Latvia to far eastern Vladivostok with his cat. Viktor the cat, being somewhat sizeable, had been deemed too fat to be taken onboard the plane while the passenger was on a layover in Moscow. The cat was weighed in at 10kg, which exceeded Aeroflot’s maximum weight of 8kg for a cabin animal.
‘Feline ‘ sad at the thought of leaving his furry friend behind, Galin pawsed for thought and came up with a fur-midable plan. His plan was to find a feline double, but one which had laid off the Go-Cat a bit more. He claims this was a ‘strategic decision’, and went on the hunt for a similar cat somewhere in Moscow.
Enter Phoebe, a slimmer doppelganger
The next day, Galin arrived at the airport armed with a replacement cat, it’s owners and his real cat Viktor. The not-fat cat, named Phoebe, has been described as a pretty kitty of just 7kg, well able to pass the Aeroflot fat test. Thanks to willing owners, sleight of hand and some less than overly observant security personnel, Galin succeeded in doing a quick kitty switch and boarded the plane with fat cat Viktor.
Phoebe was happily reunited with her owners, and Galin and Viktor were safely on the plane. All would have gone purr-fectly if not for the size of Galin’s ego.
Feeling smugly satisfied, the passenger proceeded to upload to Facebook a photo of fat cat Victor sitting in business class with a glass of celebratory bubbly. He also shared the entire story of the kitty-switch, gaining tens of thousands of likes in the process.
Aeroflot was not kitten around
Facebook is a very public place, and when a post goes viral, there’s a good chance someone you don’t want to see it will see it. This was exactly what happened to Galin and Viktor, as Aeroflot soon spotted the story doing the rounds.
The airline was not at all amused. It looked into the situation and confirmed on CCTV that a cat-switch had indeed taken place. According to View From The Wing, Aeroflot said,
“Aeroflot has taken the decision to take this passenger out of its frequent flyer programme. All of the miles collected during his time in the programme will be annulled.”
And it was no small amount of miles that this particular passenger had collected either. In fact, he was un-fur-tunately stripped of some 400,000 miles as a punishment for his endeavors.
Galin appears to have taken his punishment in good humor, posting a picture of Viktor when he was a kitten and would have been allowed on the Aeroflot flight.
Have you ever had issues with boarding with a fat animal? Do you think the 8kg weight restriction is too tight? Let us know in the comments.