Aeroflot’s infamous fat feline crackdown prompts ‘outpurring’ of aviation cat MEMES
The PR cat-astrophe faced by Aeroflot after the airline banned a man from travelling with his cat because it was too heavy, continues to find new lives, as memesmiths flood social media with litters of feline aviators.
The tale of Mikhail Galin and fat cat Viktor charmed the world earlier this month when Galin revealed how he’d fooled Aeroflot into allowing Viktor to travel with him on a flight, by using a cat double to get around the Russian airline’s weight restrictions.
Galin’s clever switcheroo saved Viktor from travelling in the hold for eight hours and won the hearts of people everywhere; the story has been covered by news outlets across the world.
However, Aeroflot was far from impressed by the cat lover’s ingenuity and subsequently stripped Galin of his airline miles and kicked him out of its loyalty program. But the move appears to have backfired spectacularly, after Russians began flooding social media with memes mocking the airline and depicting Viktor as a champion aviator.
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A range of hashtags including ‘Fly Viktor,’ ‘Bro is not luggage’ and ‘We are Fat Cat’ have also gone viral as the saga stormed the internet. Other airlines were also given the cat treatment; however the meme makers were kinder to Aeroflot’s rivals.
“Sphinxes are not considered luggage,” ran the tagline on the EgyptAir ad while the ad for the Siberia based S7 Airlines joked that “Siberian cats get discounts based on weight.”
A phony Air France ad read: “If a cat can’t resist French cuisine, who are we to blame him?,” while one from ‘Lufthansa’ said: “We are happy to see absolutely every cat since 1926.” The German airline were so concerned by how widespread that particular meme went that it released a statement clarifying that it’s not an official Lufthansa advertisement.
The Kremlin was even moved to address the matter as the level of interest reached fever pitch. “I don’t think the Kremlin can or should comment on a situation regarding a cat,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RIA.
In a follow-up Facebook post earlier this week, Galin absolved Aeroflot from blame and admitted that he’d broken the rules. However, he added that he hoped the airline would allow people to pay extra to bring an overweight pet in the cabin in the future.
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