Earlier this year Aeroflot announced that they would revoke the elite status of passengers who behaved badly inflight. Accounts would be closed and miles forfeit.
That surprised me because there have been incidents of Aeroflot employees behaving badly towards customers and aspiring pilots acting out. And what about the drunk Aeroflot flight attendant who attacked a passenger? But the incidents I’m aware of didn’t involve elites who may pull the “Don’t You Know Who I Am Card” every now and then but in my experience are less likely to get into major conflicts on board.
In practice this new policy doesn’t appear to be targeting drunk elites. Instead it’s being used to target a journalist.
Journalist Mitya Aleshkovsky’s Platinum status was revoked after tweeting an internal airline memo on use of cameras and sound recording.
Савельев окончательно головой поехал. pic.twitter.com/gLZB8Is2xy
— Митя Алешковский (@aleshru) November 16, 2018
Aeroflot says their policy allows them to punish a customer “for publishing false information, as well as information that ‘damages the business reputation’ of a company or degrades person.”
A business class customer had their miles and status yanked for criticizing the airline’s business class product using a profane hash tag. As Yakov Smirnoff might have said, “In Soviet Russia, elite status downgrades you!”
Aeroflot has been a long time organ of the government. I imagine my coverage of United, Delta, and American makes several executives sympathetic for Putin, it’s a wonder I still have my own miles…
Aeroflot ad from 1970