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Pets on Aeroflot flights to receive air miles as Russia’s flag-carrying airline expands loyalty program to include dogs & cats

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People transporting their animals on Russia’s most famous airline, Aeroflot, will be able to collect up to 2,000 extra air miles as part of the company’s bonus program, the carrier’s press service revealed on Tuesday.

The miles can be accrued by any pets allowed on flights, on all routes, with some minor exceptions, such as guide dogs and emotional assistance dogs on routes to and from the US.

“Mileage accrual depends on the route destination, size and weight of the carrier, and method of carriage,” the company’s website says.

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Last month, Aeroflot increased the number of pets allowed to be transported by a passenger from one to three, also changing the rules to allow two adult pets to be transported in the cabin. Passengers are also now allowed to put pets in the central seat on wide-body aircraft.

“Mileage accrual is the next step of Aeroflot in the improvement of pet carriage service,” the company’s statement said.

The Russian airline has been criticized for its treatment of animals in the past, sometimes making headlines for the wrong reasons. In January last year, passenger Maxim Chumachenko reported the death of his two cats during transportation at the Sheremetyevo Airport between two Aeroflot planes. The airline blamed Sheremetyevo cargo handling services.

Later that year, in June, another animal was injured during transportation by Aeroflot. A Russian woman, Ksenia Ilyicheva, claimed on social media that her mother’s dog was injured during a flight to Simferopol, and that the animal was stained with blood.

“All the walls inside the carriage were covered in sand, dirt, and blood,” she wrote.

In response, the airline’s spokesman Mikhail Demin said that the dog was moved carefully, and could have injured itself.

“This, unfortunately, sometimes happens. A dog can damage both its jaw and teeth when it tries to get out of the cage in flight,” he said.

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