A Russian airline has stripped a passenger of his air miles after he performed a switching act to get his overweight cat into business class.
Mikhail Galin, the passenger in question, was caught by the airline after bragging about his deception on Facebook, according to ABC News.
Galin’s cat, Viktor was too heavy to travel in the passenger cabin on an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Far Eastern Vladivostok, so the traveller resorted to another means of getting his furry companion on board.
“The weigh-in showed that the animal had fattened up to 10kg, a level not allowed for the cabin,” Galin wrote, adding that the limit for checking in an animal was 8kg.
The 34-year-old told the Washington Post he was worried something would happen to Viktor if he travelled in the cargo during the eight-hour flight.
Galin refused to board his flight and spent the night in Moscow where he hatched his elaborate plan. He managed to get his hands on a smaller stunt double cat owned by a friend to pose as Viktor during check-in for a flight the next day which he would swap for the real Viktor before boarding the flight.
Following his success, Galin posted photos of Viktor enjoying business class, staring at a glass of champagne during the flight.
However, it seems Aeroflot saw Galin’s gloating and confirmed to media it had kicked him out of its loyalty program, stripping him of his miles in the process.
“During pre-flight procedure, the passenger took out of the container a big-sized cat resembling in appearance the one in the photo made on board and posted on the passenger’s social media page later,” the airline told the Washington Post.
It is being reported that Galin had nearly 400,000 points before they were revoked.
In a follow-up post, Galin said the weight gain had taken place while he was working in Latvia for two years and decided to take Viktor along.
Galin also said some good had come from the incident, as a few companies have since come forward expressing disagreement with the airline’s decision, with one offering to give Viktor a years supply of cat food.
“Other companies are offering bonus miles for car-sharing. I’ve been offered a taxi for practically unlimited use. I’ve even been offered a jersey in celebration of Viktor,” he said.