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09th Sep 2023

Couple demand refund after being seated next to ‘snorting, farting’ dog on flight


Dog on plane

The dog was dribbling all over his leg

A couple are demanding a refund after they claim they were seated beside to a “snorting, farting” dog despite paying for premium economy tickets.

Gill and Warren Press were flying from New Zealand from Europe in June and had boarded the long-haul stint between Paris to Singapore when they were surprised to discover an emotional support dog accompanying the passenger beside them.

Gill Press told Stuff: “I heard this noise – a heavy snorting. I thought it was my husband’s phone, but we looked down and realised it was the dog breathing.

“I said, ‘I’m not having this sitting next to us the whole trip’.”

Press also claims she overheard the dog owner tell another passenger that he gets anxious when he flies which is why he was accompanied by the dog. However, Mrs Press alleges the dog itself seemed to be in a distressed state.

The couple raised their issues with a flight attendant on board, and were told the only other seats they could take were in the back row of economy to the rear of the plane.

The couple elected to stay where they were, but as the flight progressed, the dog’s presence in the row had become intolerable. According to Press, the dog was farting, and occupying her husband’s leg room because it was too big for its owner’s space.

Press said: “They couldn’t have the dog out in the aisle because they couldn’t get the trolleys through, so it had to come in further, which meant his head was under my husband’s feet.

“My husband was in shorts, and was getting the dog’s saliva goo on his leg.”

The couple tried to plead with a flight attendant one more time, who now said they could move to the front of economy as seats had been occupied by cabin crew which were now free.

They were told the airline would be in touch regarding the issue, but the couple alleges there was radio silence for a week.

Mrs Press emailed in a complaint to Singapore Airlines and was offered a travel voucher of £95 per passenger after three weeks.

However, Mrs Press is unhappy with this remuneration and is seeking a full refund.

A Singapore Airlines spokesperson apologised to the couple for “any inconvenience or distress caused by their experience”

The statement continued: “Singapore Airlines endeavours to notify customers who may be seated next to an assistance dog prior to boarding the flight. We sincerely apologise that this did not occur in this case, and will work with our airport teams to ensure that this lapse does not occur in future.

“In circumstances where customers seated next to an assistance dog request to be moved, Singapore Airlines will assist to re-seat customers within the same cabin where space permits.”

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