One may say that Viktor the cat the luckiest feline in the world. He was smuggled on board a Russian Aeroflot by his owner where he got to enjoy a splendid view in the lap of luxury from his owner’s window seat.
Mikhail Galin, 34, tricked officials by placing a different cat in his backpack weighing less than 8kg (17lbs) during the check-in en route from Riga the Latvian capital to Vladivostok. According to airline rules, pets weighing more than that must be placed in the luggage hold.
Onboard Russian Aeroflot flight SU1702, it was like Viktor was in “heaven.” But Mr. Galin did not cover his tracks.
In a Facebook post Mr Galin posted earlier this month he revealed how he had sneaked Viktor on board the flight earlier this month.
The post immediately went viral.
He said that when he tried to board, staff would not allow him to take Viktor into the passenger cabin.
At the weigh-in, Viktor showed he weighed 10 kilograms. And that was that. Mr. Galincould did not bear to put his precious pet in the luggage hold and decided to delay his flight. He ingeniously devised a plan to find a similar cat of lighter weight in Moscow, the stop-over.
The next day Mr. Galin returned with the smaller “cat double.” It passed the weight limit test at the check-in counter.
Mr. Galin said he gave the smaller kitty back to its owners at the airport. He put Viktor in his backpack and the two happily boarded the plane to Vladivostok.
Mr. Galin didn’t think in his wildest dreams that he’d get busted. Facebook is a very public place. After posting about the “operation to replace the Viktor,” accompanied by a photo for all to see, with fat cat Viktor looking “perfectly happy” sitting on the plane next to a glass of sparkling wine.
The post was so striking it even drew the attention of the Russians. An investigation was launched and after some detective work, it confirmed the cat swap on CCTV.
According to BBC the airline had “taken the decision to take this passenger out of its frequent flyer program.
“All of the miles collected during his time in the program will be annulled,” the airline said.
Mr. Galin appeared not to be to fazed about his punishment and seemed to take it in good humor. He cheekily shared a photo of a younger, leaner Viktor on another post “when his weight still met the requirements of the airline”
Sounds like a fairytale doesn’t it?