Owner Cunningly Overcomes Aeroflot’s Fat Cat Flying Ban

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Russian traveler Mikhail Galin booked himself on an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Vladivostok, Russia. However, he was told by the airline that his cat, Viktor, was too fat to fly. In response, Galin came up with a plan to get his kitty onboard.

Facebook Mikhail Galin

No Space in the Cabin

There are strict weight limits for pets who want to travel in Aeroflot’s passenger cabin. When Viktor arrived for his weigh-in the Russian airline found that he was 4 pounds over their acceptable weight limit of 18 pounds.

Facebook Mikhail Galin

At 22 pounds Viktor was deemed too fat to be a companion animal. Although Galin used every tactic at his disposal, including guilt, to convince staff to let Viktor board the flight they were not moved. 

He even told one of the staff that his cat couldn’t survive the time in the cargo hold and if he died would haunt her dreams, when she continued to refuse he quickly rescheduled the flight and left the airport.

The airline staff thought the issue resolved, however, Galin had other plans and was determined to get the portly cat on board.

Feline Body Double

Galin eventually settled on the idea of a body double for Viktor and used his friend’s cat. With similar looks to Viktor, Fibi had the advantage of only weighing 15 pounds. When returning for his rescheduled flight he handed Fibi over to be weighed.

Facebook Mikhail Galin

She was approved for the flight so all that remained was for Galin to switch the cats back and board his flight with Viktor the following day.

Taking his seat in business class, Galin decided to boast about his success through a series of social media posts. Sharing images of himself and Viktor sharing champagne and with Viktor happily looking out of the window the images soon went viral. 

Incredibly Galin even admitted in the posts that Viktor had failed the weigh-in, showing a photo of the cat as a kitten when he said, he would have easily passed the checks.

Inevitably the images soon caught the attention of Aeroflot and the airline was less than happy about the situation. Checking back on their CCTV recordings they found the moment that Galin switched Fibi for Viktor in preparation for boarding the flight.

Retaliation was swift, soon after the airline announced that Galin's action was a 'gross violation' of baggage transportation rules they followed up by removing all of his 370,000 frequent flier points accumulated over the preceding 10 years. 

Despite Galin’s protests that his deceit was aimed to prevent Viktor experiencing stress in the cargo hold and that many of Aeroflot’s partners allowed much heavier animals, the airline remains unmoved.

Aeroflot has got a reputation of being catty with passengers – they revoked platinum status from one passenger simple for criticizing their CEO Vitaly Savelyev.

Public Opinion was Mixed

Although Galin got a lot of applause for his deception, some people are not so happy about the fact that he has allowed Viktor to pile on the pussy pounds. However, Galin says that Viktor's breed rather than overeating is the cause of his weight gain.


The incident traveled so far online that even Vladimir Putin was asked for his opinion. Although amused, he did say this was not a matter for the Kremlin.

Ongoing discussions are taking place regarding the level of customer service in Russia and how improvements can be made.