Aeroflot Will Revoke Elite Privileges for Pugnacious Passengers
Frequent fighter? Frequent flyer no more: Russian carrier Aeroflot is cracking down on entitled elites, according to a press release published this week.
The Skyteam alliance member is taking a closer look at its frequent flyer members after seeing nine reported cases of passenger misconduct since January 1, according to Air Transport World correspondent Polina Montag-Girmes (and to a Google Translate version of story on Russian Internet portal The Village).
The airline found, according to The Village, that status-holding Aeroflot frequent flyers were involved in the vast majority of the carrier's incident reports, which included physical attacks on flight attendants and other airline staff at the airport. Two of the cases have been turned over to Russian courts, according to Montag-Girmes.
As punishment for poor behavior, Aeroflot will rescind the travelers' premium privileges, indefinitely revoking all bonus mileage earnings. Offenders cannot re-apply to the loyalty program, and beginning June 2018, the carrier warns that Russian airlines will be able to legally black-list repeat offenders and deny them future transportation.
The full statement from Aeroflot is as follows:
Aeroflot will revoke the Aeroflot Bonus elite status and associated privileges from passengers who violate the rules of conduct during pre-flight services and on board its aircraft. Any miles accrued while participating in the loyalty program will be voided, and the participant’s account will be closed.
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.
Recently, thanks to the active efforts of the airline, the Russian Criminal Code was amended to provide criminal liability for gross violation of public order on various modes of transport. Aeroflot also reminds passengers that from June 2018 Russian airlines will legally be able to add offenders to a black-list and deny them future transportation.