Man Smuggles Fat Cat Onto Plane, Gets Caught, Is Stripped of Frequent Flyer Miles

There's plenty of contraband that's rightfully prohibited on flights: knives, cocaine, actual tiger cubs. An adorably fat cat that's maybe one cup of kibble too heavy, however, is not one of them. But alas Russian airline Aeroflot stripped a passenger of his frequent flyer miles earlier this week after he was caught smuggling his chubby feline, Viktor, onboard. 

Mikhail Galin, who was heading from Moscow to Vladivostok, was required to weigh his pet at check-in. And when poor, sweet Viktor clocked in at 22lbs (the airline requirement is 17.6lbs), staffers refused to let him aboard, CNN reports.

"To all attempts to explain that the cat won't survive there on an 8-hour flight with the baggage and would haunt her in her nightmares for the rest of her life, she (the Aeroflot staff member) replied that there are rules," Galin wrote in his now-viral Facebook post. 

He came up with an alternate plan: skip his original flight and use a decoy "mini-Viktor" to trick TSA agents.

"The operation to replace the fat cat Viktor with a miniature cat Phoebe was successful -- the scales showed an acceptable norm, and the airline employee kindly issued a boarding pass wishing a happy flight," he said.

And while the swap-out seemed to work (they landed in Vladivostok no problem), the airline caught wind of the stunt and launched an "official investigation." 

"This information was confirmed by recording from video surveillance cameras -- during the pre-flight inspection procedure, the passenger took out a large-sized cat that looks like a photograph of the cat he posted," Aeroflot said in a statement.

The company banned him from its loyalty program due to "several instances of deliberate violation." And while he seems chill about the punishment -- "I got a penalty. It's normal," he said -- frankly, I'm not. Justice for Viktor. 

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 Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her @MegSchaltegger.