January 19, 2020

The Skinny on Fat Pets on Flights


The Skinny on Fat Pets on Flights
Only pets under 8 kg are allowed on most flights. Tripp [CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Russia’s Transportation Ministry will not set uniform standards for pet weights on airplanes.

As we previously reported, a cat that was two kilograms above the weight restriction made its way onto an Aeroflot airplane. The cat’s owner managed to get his fat cat on board by presenting a smaller decoy cat at check-in. Once Aeroflot discovered the swap, they stripped the cat’s owner of his bonus miles and canceled his account. This led to a petition from Russia’s union of passengers to the Transportation Ministry asking for uniform standards for pet weight.

Russians did not approve of Aeroflot’s actions: the internet responded with many memes supporting cats of any weight on planes.

Despite the drama surrounding the event, the Transportation Ministry decided to hold off on establishing standard requirements for pet weights in the cabin of an airplane. The Ministry didn’t find it appropriate to set standards, since different airlines use different sized planes, which each have their own safety requirements. As it is, each airline sets its own limits, with companies’ policies currently ranging from 5 to 12 kilograms for pets in the cabin. There is some discussion of the possibility of paying extra for pets who are over the weight limit. Otherwise, overweight pets have to ride with the baggage.

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