Flying with pets is both tough and expensive. Things get even worse when you can’t keep them in the cabin with you and your four-legged companions are put in the cargo hold. Frustrated owners, who want to make sure their pets are safe and comfortable during the flight, try to avoid cargo hold like a plague. Some even go as far as trying to deceive airlines. Recently, Mikhail Galin, a man from Russia, went viral for doing exactly that – he smuggled his cat who didn’t meet the weight requirement onboard. However, his actions didn’t come without consequences, as Aeroflot’s airline decided to remove him from the frequent flyer program for disobeying the rules.
Galin was traveling back to his hometown Vladivostok after a stay in Riga. The trip was disrupted when airport employees refused to let his adorable tubby tabby, named Viktor, fly in the cabin. They said that his rather chubby cat who weighs 22lbs is 5lbs over the allowed weight limit. According to Aeroflot’s policies, Viktor had to be placed in the cargo hold. However, Galin refused to let it happen.
Viktor’s owner told Bored Panda that his 4-year-old cat usually feels really bad during flights. Since it was not the first time Viktor flew on the plane, his owner already knew how he is affected by the changing air pressure and unfamiliar surroundings.
So the man came up with an elaborate plan to help his buddy stay close to him, by tricking airport employees into thinking that his cat is actually not that fat. And he did that in a rather simple way.
Galin posted a help request on his social media asking people if they could lend him a cat similar to Viktor. He managed to find an extremely similar cat who weighs much less than Victor. Then Galin swapped cats at the check-in and returned the borrowed cat to the friend successfully boarding the plane with Viktor in his hands.
The surveillance footage confirmed that Galin broke airline rules by switching Viktor for a similar cat. The airline made a decision to kick the man out from the frequent flyer program and take away the 400,000 miles from his account.