Hostile To A Flight Attendant Or Disruptive On Board? Aeroflot Will Revoke Your Elite Status

Filed Under: Aeroflot

I’m living for Aeroflot lately. Every time I see one of their press releases I’m like:

Last week I wrote about how Aeroflot published a press release indicating that they’re planning to recover costs from a passenger who disrupted a flight due to “petty hooliganism.” They’re seeing an increase in abusive passengers, and they’re trying to minimize that going forward.

It looks like Aeroflot is now taking another step towards preventing passengers from misbehaving. You’d think that you’d use threats like arrest or being blacklisted from the airline or having to pay for the costs incurred as a result of problems caused. Nope, instead Aeroflot is going after something that’s near and dear to our hearts — airline status. Aeroflot is threatening to take away the status of anyone who treats their employees like second class citizens and behaves aggressively or rudely.

Here’s part of the press release:

Aeroflot has seen an increase in cases of disruptive behaviour on board its aircraft. Since the beginning of 2018 alone, there have been nine cases of physical violence against employees of the airline. Closer scrutiny of these incidents has revealed that virtually all the disruptive passengers were elite-level participants in the Aeroflot Bonus loyalty programme. A number of silver, gold and platinum Aeroflot Bonus card-holders consider it acceptable to treat the airline’s employees as second-class citizens, behaving not only rudely and aggressively but also in some cases resorting to violence.

The rules of the Aeroflot Bonus programme are such that a participant’s account may be blocked for abusive behaviour towards Aeroflot employees, and the participant will subsequently be banned from re-registering with the programme. Each participant may register with the Aeroflot Bonus programme only once. Thus, passengers who behave in a disruptive or violent manner on Aeroflot flights may be deprived not only of all privileges associated with the Aeroflot Bonus programme, but also of the possibility of further participation in the programme.

Aeroflot continues to take all cases of violation of public order on board very seriously, regardless of the status of the individuals involved. The airline strives to ensure complete safety and comfort for passengers on its flights. Aeroflot is constantly raising the level of its services and makes every effort to ensure the safety and protection of its passengers.

Fascinating! So they’ve seen nine cases of violence against airline employees this year, and “virtually all” of those passengers were elite members in Aeroflot’s program. Wow!

We’re used to seeing videos of airline employees threatening to deny someone boarding or send them to jail, but now taking away status becomes part of the equation as well.

Good on Aeroflot for standing up on their employees in this way.

(Tip of the hat to YHBU)

  1. Same should be the case when people don’t know what they are doing in the likes of TSA PreCheck lanes. Not sure what the suitable punishment would be — sitting next to me on the plane would probably be one idea that smart butts would come up with — but when people think it’s just like normal security but with shorter lines then it’s all kind of wrong.

  2. Sadly a lot of elites across various alliances are complete a-holes who think they are above everyone. Money does not bring you class

    Over the years I’ve heard about various disruptions by executives

    Check list air rage incidents on Wikipedia

    All these passengers should have been fined heavily blacklisted by IATA. there should be a list that can be shared between airlines. Sadly it’s probably not allowed due to privacy. Then they sd me made to find alternate transport – a trans Atlantic or Pacific freighter

  3. What’s really a lie in that press-release is the “Aeroflot is constantly raising the level of services” phrase, at least in economy.
    Aeroflot was atrocious in 1990’s-early 2000’s, then they dramatically upped their game for several years, and starting around 2014-2015 they have just been going downhill (reducing normal meals to a gross sandwich on many European flights, for example), while raising the prices at the same time.
    The initiative, while it seems reasonable, is in line with the current policies of the Russian government: punish everybody for everything. Or pretend to do it, while letting the VIPs do their thing anyway.

  4. Lucky
    So how successful is the residence at etihad??
    Can someone do phantom bookings 2 days out on all residence flights and publish the statistics?

  5. @Nobody in particular – Instead of trying to punish them you could, you know, just tell them how to do it properly…

  6. Out of curiosity, did Alaska ever discuss how they resolved the issue of harassment by the Elite flyer toward another passenger on the flight from Mexico to San Jose?

  7. Off topic, the iOS version of this message seems to have been hacked on my phone with a phony Amazon promotion.

  8. I will not support the regime of Mr. Putin. Ronald Reagan said that Russia was an evil empire. The empire may be smaller FOR now, but the evil is as strong as ever. Love their classical music.

  9. C’mon this is not really blogworthy… Aeroflot have serious alcohol infused reputation for many year and have had for such long time. I know of a regular Traveller to Thailand whom isn’t allowed to travel with any of the ME3 due to his ‘indiscretions’ … it is what it is with boozing it up on aircraft and lux lounges these days … it’s bound to get ugly

  10. As an American who has lived in Russia over the past 5 years, I can say that wealthy Russians have a serious superiority complex and treat “normal” people like crap in many cases. But it is evident in Russia that most people tend to defer to this as just the way it is. The thing is, most Russians are not that way. But, back to my point. I have noticed in Russia that premium services, not only in airlines, tend to be well-protected, i.e., reserved only for those who can pay for it, and have a significant price gap. As a 4-year Gold level elite with Aeroflot, I have not once been upgraded to business class, even when economy is full and they begin bumping people (note that they allowed the business class cabin to fly half-full). This gives a sense that “you pay for what you get,” and that is prevalent in Russian society. Not many freebies. I am actually okay with that, however. But, for normal Russians, Elite status is not easy or cheap to obtain, so the elites tend to be wealthier people. If you’re curious, go check the astronomical price difference (in rubles) between economy and business class, a bigger price gap than most other airlines. I had a situation at Sheremetyevo airport two weeks ago while checking in for a flight to Vladivostok where there was almost no line in the Sky Priority check-in area. However, it did not stop some jerk from passing the three or four of us in line and cutting off a woman as she was approaching a check-in agent to go first, boasting that he is a Platinum and he doesn’t have to wait in line. And he was allowed to check-in, nothing was said about his inappropriate behavior. The most egregious situation that I witnessed by a Russian was actually on a Korean Air flight from Vladivostok-Seoul last summer. The guy was wasted and tried to go to the toilet as the plane was on final approach. The small female Korean flight attendants told him to return to his seat, but he actually unlocked the toilet, shoved one out of the way and entered the toilet anyway. And he wasn’t arrested on arrival, which was even more shocking.

  11. The Russians like to be IN CONTROL. If they are not in control, they do not know how to act in public. Witness…Ukraine.
    And if Russia wants to be respected as a nation, they need to be humble.
    GREAT Britain gave independence to India, Australia, Canada, the USA …and others
    USA gave the Japanese back their country after WWII, conquered the Nazi’s, rebuilt Germany and GAVE IT BACK TO THEM…brought millions of Vietnamese to the US
    Russia hasn’t given anything to their neighbors except HELL…
    Wake up Russia and put your big boy pants on and take your place….

  12. I saw an American Executive Platinum member present his “credentials” and then throw a temper tantrum when a gate agent refused to bump another passenger in the last 5 minutes before boarding. Mr. Entitled wanted to get on the earlier flight. He threatened to end the agent’s career and then walked away in a huff. I would loved to have seen that low life lose his status AND sacrifice all his accumulated miles.

  13. As a citizen of a post-communist eastern Europe country I can tell many stories how it is to be treated as a second class citizen by the Aeroflot staff. Most rude and arrogant experiences in fliying ever…

  14. I wouldn’t regard this as being supportive of staff being assaulted and abused, anyone resorting to this behaviour should be arrested and dealt with by the courts and the offender being banned from ever travelling again. If not serious enough for arrest, still ban them for life.

  15. Jetstar Asia has had a few problems with unruly Australians travelling to Bali and Thailand… lol

  16. However, I have to wonder, if most of the people causing disruptions on Aeroflot are even able to afford airline status to begin with lol. Most of the troublemakers I’ve seen have been from the rabble, not those with money to spend.

    Still, a good idea, but I’d rather see Aeroflot simply have the troublemakers sent to Siberia permanently.

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