By Cailey Rizzo
November 13, 2019
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A Russian man had his frequent flier status revoked after he smuggled a very fat cat onto his flight.

Earlier this month, Mikhail Galin and his cat, Viktor, were flying from Riga to Moscow to Vladivostock. The first leg of the flight went alright, although Viktor was not too pleased to be in the air. He was sick and “did not understand what was happening,” Galin wrote on Facebook.

When the duo reached Moscow, they were told that Viktor would have to go in the luggage hold for the next flight, as he was too heavy to ride in the cabin.

Galin, concerned that Viktor would not make it through the flight if he was alone in the hold, found an “understudy cat” that would make it through the security check and then switch the cats back before boarding the plane.

“The operation to replace the fat cat Victor with a miniature cat Phoebe was successful,” Galin wrote. He returned to the airport the next day with the two cats and some accomplices. The miniature cat weighed underneath the limit and the airline employee issued a ticket.

Galin gave the “mini-Viktor” back to its owner, put Viktor in his carrier and boarded the flight with no problem. Everything was fine — until Galin posted about the ordeal on his public Facebook page. He detailed his scheme (complete with pictures) and gained so much attention that Aeroflot looked into the matter.

However, according to The BBC, the airline confirmed Galin’s cat-swapping using CCTV footage. And because of the scheme, the airline said they had "taken the decision to take this passenger out of its frequent flyer programme” and “all of the miles collected during his time in the programme will be annulled." 

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