Aeroflot to revoke elite status benefits for disruptive, unruly passengers

Aeroflot has recently forced a change to Russia's legislation to criminalize disruptive behavior on board flights inside the country Offenders stand to never regain their privileges with the carrier (Leonid Faerberg /

In a fight against increasing instances of disruptive behavior among its top-tier clientele, Aeroflot, Russia’s biggest airline, has warned it will revoke the elite status and associated privileges of all passengers who violate rules of conduct during pre-flight services and on board its aircraft.

Any air miles accrued while participating in Aeroflot Bonus, the airline’s customer loyalty program, will be voided and the rule-breaking participant’s account closed, the national airline says.

The move follows a spate of instances of disruptive behavior on board Aeroflot aircraft. Since the start of this year there have been nine instances 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 loyalty programme and the cases received wide publicity in Russian media, with Aeroflot even publishing dedicated press releases exposing each particular incident.

The rules of the bonus scheme are such that a participant’s account may be blocked for abusive behavior towards airline employees, and that the participant will subsequently be banned from re-registration.

Participants 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 loyalty programme but also of the possibility of further participation.

“Aeroflot continues to take all cases of violations of public order on board its aircraft very seriously, irrespective of the status of the individuals involved. The airline strives to ensure complete safety and comfort for all passengers on its flights,” the carrier’s statement warns.

Thanks to the pro-active efforts of the airline, the Russian Criminal Code was recently amended to provide criminal liability for gross violations of public order on various modes of transport.

Aeroflot has also reminded passengers that, from June 2018, Russian airlines will legally be able to add offenders to a blacklist and deny them future transportation.

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