Aeroflot is a Russian airline founded in 1923. They have a rule on the weight of pets that are allowed to travel with their human guardians in the cabin. The pet should weigh under 8 kilograms or 17.6 pounds.
Mikhail Galin’s tabby cat, Viktor, weighs 10 kilograms (22 pounds). He was refused permission at check-in to take him into the cabin. They insisted that he be put in the hold.
It was an 8 hour flight from Moscow to Vladivostock (a wickedly cold place) and Mikhail could not allow Viktor to be stuck in the hold for 8 hours so he abandoned the flight and hatched a devious plan.
Next, a strategic decision was made to find a similar cat of less physical mass – Mikhail
He found a person who owned a cat of similar appearance to Viktor but of much less weight. He arrived at check-in with his svelte cat, Phoebe. He passed through check-in without a hitch. He was allowed into the cabin with his cat.
Once through check-in he swapped the smaller cat for Viktor. He then embarked the plane and had a happy flight. So happy that he posted a photo of himself and Viktor to Facebook!
Bad move. The photo came to the attention of Aeroflot who cancelled his loyalty program and his air miles for his violation of the airline’s rules.
I got a penalty. It’s normal – Mikhail
Mikhail accepts the punishment with good humour. But he has support. His supporters who include a politician, Vladimir Burmatov, who want the airline to reinstate his privileges.
Viktor wanted to ride the airplane with his daddy! I think the airline should allow that! – commenter
Comment: You have to admire Mikhail’s determination and guile and above all the concern he has for his beloved Viktor. The motivation was good. I don’t see how a few extra pounds on a cat should ban that cat from the cabin. How many pets fly in the cabin anyway?
SOME MORE ON AIRLINE PET TRAVEL:
Airlines should differentiate between emotional support animals and service animals and ban the former