- Aeroflot banned Victor the cat because he was 2kg too heavy
- His owner borrowed a look-alike cat to check ‘Victor’ into a business class flight
- Usually pets travel in the hold but Victor’s owner felt he would not survive there
The cat who got the cream: Victor the moggy travels business class with his owner Victor after using a lighter body double to get through check-in and flout the strict pet weight regulations
Victor the cat travels in style after his owner refused to put him in the hold
Mikhail and his cat Victor are the best of friends and go everywhere together
Sheremetyevo airport outside Moscow is the busiest airport in Russia
A fat cat flew business class from Moscow to Vladivostok after his owner ingeniously overcame airline red tape.
Mikhail Galin, 34, was all set to fly with his beloved moggy, Victor, when cat-astrophe struck – Aeroflot banned him from taking Victor on board because he weighed in at 10kg (22 lbs), 2kg over the permitted weight.
The airline wanted Victor to travel in the hold, where pets are usually kept during flights.
‘To all my attempts to explain to her [the check-in official] that the cat would not survive eight hours in the hold… she replied that she has rules and was not going to take responsibility for two extra kilos in the cabin,’ said Mikhail.
So he set about finding a cat double – only lighter.
With the help of friends and social media, he found cat owners not far from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport who had a lookalike pet, weighing far less.
Mikhail by now had missed his flight but two days later borrowed the cat double, called Phoebe, to check in on another service, then swapped her back for his pet Victor.
So Victor travelled with him business class after he gratefully handed Phoebe back to her owners at the airport.
Now he has admitted his ploy, it may prove harder to use the same trick when he flies back to Moscow.
Aeroflot did not seem pleased about the admission and repeated that it strictly enforces its rules over pet weights.
‘It is forbidden to transport animals weighing more than eight kilograms in the aircraft cabin,’ said a spokesman.
‘If the animal exceeds the permissible norms, then it is sent to the luggage compartment.’
The cat would have been safe in the hold, said the airline.