Aeroflot Recovering Costs From Passenger Who Delayed Flight Due To “Petty Hooliganism”

I’m not sure how I missed this story initially, but thanks to @AirlineFlyer for Tweeting about it, as it’s quite something. It’s of course frustrating when a passenger causes a disturbance on a flight that leads to a delay. It wastes the time of all the passengers onboard, and also potentially costs the airline thousands of dollars.

Typically airlines don’t seem to go after passengers to recoup damages caused, though perhaps if they did so regularly, it would deter more people from causing situations to occur. In the US we already see airline employees sometimes threaten to kick people off “their plane” and “send them to jail.” Could you imagine if they could add a threat of charging them tens of thousands of dollars? 😉

Well, it looks like that’s exactly what Aeroflot is trying to do for an incident that occurred on February 16, where a passenger is being prosecuted for “petty hooliganism.” Here’s Aeroflot’s press release, which talks about what the passenger did, how they intend to go after him, and about how they’ll be able to blacklist passengers starting later this year (the whole thing is just so good that I’m sharing it in its entirety):

Aeroflot intends to recover costs incurred as a result of flight delays and additional aircraft maintenance at Sheremetyevo airport from passenger Evgeny Shigapov, who was removed from the flight for disobeying the crew’s instructions and attempting to enter the aircraft’s cockpit.

On Friday, February 16, business class passengers E. Borisov, P. Borisova and E. Shigapov were the last to board flight SU1750 from Moscow to Yakutsk, carrying a large number of hand luggage items. When asked by the flight attendant to show their boarding passes, they categorically refused, expressed extreme indignation at the airline’s regulations, were verbally abusive towards the crew, and made negative comments about the airline.

Despite being informed of the need to comply with the airline’s safety requirements and regulations, the passengers insisted on being allowed into the cabin on the basis of their employment IDs. After the boarding passes had been found and presented, the passengers proceeded to board the plane and settled into their seats. At this point Evgeny Shigapov, upon noticing that an employee of the airline was leaving the cockpit, pushed the employee aside and attempted to enter the cockpit without authorisation, demanding to speak personally with the captain of the aircraft. The passenger ignored repeated requests from crew members and the captain to leave the cockpit.

The captain made the decision to have Mr Shigapov removed from the flight and handed over to the police. The resulting delay to the flight lasted more than one hour. Aeroflot incurred extra costs in connection with this incident, the exact amount of which is being established.

Mr Shigapov is being prosecuted under art. 20.1 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation (petty hooliganism). Aeroflot is in possession of eyewitness reports confirming the destructive behavior of the passenger.

Flight safety is Aeroflot’s top priority. The airline shall strictly preclude any attempts to violate the rules of conduct on board that jeopardize safety.

Aeroflot reminds customers that beginning in June 2018, airlines will legally be able to include offenders on a black list and deny them future travel.

Interesting stuff!

Comments

  1. I’m fact there are several cases of airlines doing this. You may not be fully aware as it’s not always in the public eye.
    It’s time for airlines to prosecute people for causing disruption. Name and shame.

    It does say in the conditions of carriage however airlines should add they will recover costs for delays , diversions and costs incurred to reaccomodate disrupted customers

    Not only is the outbound delayed but it has a knock on effect for the return , crew hours and so forth

    Well done Aeroflot

  2. Actually, I think this is great! Going after passengers that are this disruptive seems like the only way to have them learn their lesson. Plus they do actually incur the airline with additional costs for seemingly no reason at all, so it makes sense as well.

    I seriously don’t get what’s wrong with people to behave like that, though.

  3. Good for Aeroflot! If this happened more often there would doubtless be far less lunacy in the skies.

  4. Hold on, hold on.
    There must be more to this story which goes undercover. Mr. Borisov is the governor of Yakutia (the region where the flight was destined for) who was travelling with his spouse and an assistant (Mr. Shigapov). Normally in such cases in Russia he would have been allowed to do anything without any consequences. This story went public within hours and reported by major Russian media (of course state controlled). Aeroflot has such a hard stance on a governor (who is of course a member of a Putin’s rolling party) for a reason. If such things happens it’s not just because Aeroflot and unruly passenger.

  5. “Aeroflot is in possession of eyewitness reports confirming the destructive behavior of the passenger.”

    I wonder where they’re being kept. And for how long?

  6. Agree with @Denis, this whole story is very fishy, and Aeroflot normally does not go so far in these cases. Clearly something political.
    @Lucky, you better write about one woman spilling juice on the other woman on Aeroflot flight to Beirut because the first woman reclined her seat during meal service – that’s much more fun.

  7. The governor of the region is Y. Borisov, I don’t believe him to have been listed as a passenger

  8. If it’s not political then it’s to be applauded. My last experience on Aeroflot: flying from Bangkok to Vienna via Moscow, flight significantly delayed on the tarmac at BKK due to ‘medical emergency ‘ onboard. Medical crews rushed on to treat the passenger. Turned out to be dead drunk rather than a heart attack, this at 0900.
    On the other hand, Moscow’s definition of hooliganism = any behaviour, characteristics they don’t like, eg being gay = hooligan. Pussy Riot is another example.

  9. Remember that Russia like China are COMMUNIST COUNTRIES….anything goes.
    No freedom, no democracy.
    But, in this case the pax on the plane should also take part in any renumerations.

  10. It is funny to read comments about Russia from people tht have probably never been to Russia.
    No freedom, no democracy etc.
    People in Russia are actually more happy , genuinely friendly and open minded than many other “free” world countries.
    And for avoidance of any doubt, this is coming from a person that is coming from western country but has by chance spent a lot of time in Russia and have many friends there.
    We have all seen what “West democracy” has done to countries like Egypt, Iraq etc…

  11. Excellent. More airlines should do this and they should also be more aware of when things start to kick off on the ground too….preventing idiots like that getting on the plane in the first place will solve a lot of problems. After all, we’re all in that metal tube together and if one person ruins it for everyone, then it’s everyones safety (and comfort) being affected.

  12. I’ve lived in Russia and other former Soviet countries.

    I’ve also been first in line at a West Coast Gateway for an Moscow-bound Aeroflot flight and on tens of times have been witness (when not flying them but nearby) to the following dynamic — with a caveat I have not watched a Moscow-bound Aeroflot line for over year.

    In each instance I saw firsthand the first person in line or the first several ending up in the middle or rear by the time check-in started.

    First one man dressed like a businessman would calmly step in front of the earlybirds(s), then another, another, and still more, until the very point of arriving first was defeated.

    No one ever protested.

    As in Russia, questioning those who cut in front of you is foolish if you value your freedom or life. That’s a lesson I learned in Russia.

    A Russian friend once told me there is a word for ‘witness’ in their legal system: ‘Dead’.

    That’s not always true, but this is a country where they jail (or far worse) attorneys for doing their job ,or even require attorneys to plead their clients guilty where the client objects or even is clearly innocent.

    On hearing of a possible criminal charge against a citizen, that person begins a mad scramble to beg, borrow or otherwise get often tens of thousands of dollars to bribe the police, because once arrested, you’re guilty. (Source, personal observation plus also the WSJ)

    With Putin as president following Yeltsin’s clown performance, Russia has gone from a nation where citizens (in my personal experience numerous times) ran behind trees or other obstacles when they just HEARD an approaching car in regional and rural cities, or ran the risk of being an object of a game of chicken. That even happened when others were driving me like a taxi. (Aim for the women and kids to brush them back).

    At one time cabs were unheard of. You just held your hand out, and a passing car would stop and take you where you anted to go for a small price.

    If traffic was heavy bigwigs drove on the broad side walk through hoards of pedestrians beside Prospect Mira (Peace Boulevard) honking their horn at pedestrians who were too slow to clear the way.

    I once witnessed in a hotel, with casino, one man beat another to death,and the hotel did NOT summon the cops. All this under the Yeltsin regime.

    Several friends had siblings who owned in particular, half shares in hotels, blown up but not murdered as their ‘partner;’ offered them a pittance for their share. The exploding car and six weeks in hospital was a warning.

    Crime has not disappeared under Putin; it’s been institutionalized.

    I understand that much of that has passed (except the occasional bigwig car on the sidewalk) is no longer so commonplace as Putin has corralled somewhat the street and courtyard murders that once were everyday among young thugs and their wives as they battled for territory. The country now is less dangerous for citizens.

    Cemeteries feature special VIP sections for rows of tall, black stone monuments to murdered thugs, mostly adorned with thin, bas relief sculptures of the gunned down hoodlum and often his wife — even kids.

    Putin put crime organized, under his thumb, and made it possible for residents to look out their windows without so much fear if they heard something happening far below their Soviet-built residences.

    To Russian citizens Putin presided over vast increases in personal income and wealth.

    So what if the police put explosives under an apartment building or two and either ‘discovered’ them to fanfare, or just blew them up and blamed it on Chechens or criminal gangs out of favor.

    Putin’s strong rules brought more peace to the streets and accompanied a great increase in prosperity.

    Grandmothers no longer commonly sell their most precious personal possessions for food in long lines of 25, 50, or more, with many sporting their own clothes hung on hangers from their coat tops for display.

    Moscow has seen Ikea and enormous wealth.

    Almost every Russian with ambition wishes to live in Moscow, and it’s the home of some extravagant wealth.

    And some fearsome characters, whom you might not recognize to your peril if you crossed one.

    That’s why I think that smart people in an Aeroflot line are careful not to question those who cut in front of them.
    ********

    To the ill-informed commenter above, Russia is NOT Communist.

    It is the opposite, a client-driven kleptocracy that only gives the rule of law or any other ideology only lip service, while the elite help themselves.

    But at the same time,the Russian people are often exceedingly warm, and may invite you into their home on a whim, have you drink Vodka with them, and then — if one of their possessions catches their eye — often insist that you take it with you.

    As one Russian I know said Russians value their friends closely; ‘We’re so busy stealing from others to survive, we keep our friends close in case we run out of potatoes in winter.’

    It’s a big, powerful, sprawling nation.

    Even with their might, however, it appears their GDP falls somewhere behind that of Italy.

    Signed: Been-there-seen-a-lot.

    (do NOT write me at my e-mail) (C) 2018 the name below, all rights reserved. However, you have permission to print at One Mile at A Time.

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