Man stripped of frequent flier status for smuggling fat cat into cabin


(CNN) &#x2014 Communicate of smuggling typically evokes photos of prescription drugs, guns and other contraband — but it was a fats cat that observed a person guy punished by Russian airline Aeroflot.

Mikhail Galin was stripped of his air miles soon after smuggling Viktor the cat into the cabin with him on a flight from Moscow to Vladivostok in Russia’s Much East.
When animals weighing underneath 8 kilograms (17.six lbs .) are allowed in the cabin, heavier animals have to journey in the keep, in accordance to Aeroflot regulations.

Viktor the cat weighed in at 10 kilograms at test-in, and Galin was not eager to ship his furry close friend down below deck.

But Aeroflot test-in workers would not budge.

“To all tries to make clear that the cat will not likely endure there on an eight-hour flight with the baggage and would haunt her in her nightmares for the relaxation of her lifestyle, she (the Aeroflot workers member) replied that there are regulations,” Galin wrote in a Facebook article that went viral.

He resolved to pass up the flight and arrived up with a crafty program to permit Viktor to journey in comfort and ease.

“Subsequent, a strategic choice was produced to uncover a comparable cat of a lot less bodily mass,” he wrote.

Galin instructed CNN that he set up a Fb article and questioned his good friends for enable discovering a “mini-Viktor” in Moscow.

The moment a appropriate applicant experienced been found, he returned to the airport for yet another try at acquiring to Vladivostok.

“The procedure to switch the fats cat Viktor with a miniature cat Phoebe was productive — the scales confirmed an appropriate norm, and the airline worker kindly issued a boarding move wishing a content flight,” he wrote.

Soon after placing Phoebe by means of the weigh-in, Galin swapped her out with Viktor and boarded the airplane.

The pair produced the journey without the need of incident, but the viral Fb article introduced their journey to the airline’s notice.

Soon after an “formal investigation,” the airline resolved to exclude Galin from its loyalty application and terminate his air miles for “numerous cases of deliberate violation” of its conditions.

“This details was verified by recording from movie surveillance cameras — through the pre-flight inspection treatment, the passenger took out a huge-sized cat that seems to be like a photograph of the cat he posted,” Aeroflot mentioned in a assertion.

The airline’s response induced an outcry on Russian social media, which includes memes of solidarity that translate as “Je Suis Unwanted fat Cat.”

It even prompted a reaction from politician Vladimir Burmatov, who contacted the head of Aeroflot requesting the airline return Galin’s miles and revise its regulations on transporting animals, in accordance to Russian point out information company RIA-Novosti.

Nevertheless, Galin took a comfortable watch of his punishment, telling CNN that he acknowledges that he broke the regulations, which are crucial and need to be highly regarded.

“I obtained a penalty,” he mentioned. “It truly is regular.”

Aeroflot is a person of the world’s oldest airways, launched in 1923, and is owned by the Russian point out.

CNN’s Nathan Hodge contributed to this report.

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