A couple asks for a refund for their plane ticket because, they say, sitting next to a dog that “snorted and farted” ruined their experience.
Gill and Warren Press were on the first leg of their trip from Europe to New Zealand, on a 13-hour flight from Paris to Singapore with Singapore Airlines.
But the Wellington couple soon realized their economy class seats were next to a passenger with a noise-making emotional support dog.
“I heard a noise, a loud snorting,” Gill Press tells Stuff. “I thought it was my husband’s phone, but we looked down and realized it was the dog breathing.”
“I said, ‘I’m not going to have this sitting next to us the whole trip.’”
When he asked a flight attendant if they could change seats, Gill was informed that the only seats available were in the back of economy class.
They stayed where they were, but claimed the smell became unbearable about halfway through the trip because the dog was “farting,” while the animal allegedly took up room for Warren’s legs.
Gill claimed the owner “couldn’t take the dog out into the hallway because they couldn’t get the strollers through, so he had to be further inside, which meant his head was under my husband’s feet.”
“My husband was wearing shorts and got his leg dirty with the dog’s saliva.”
Gill spoke to the flight attendant again, who told them they could move to the seats at the front of the economy class, which were previously occupied by cabin crew, but were now free.
Although they were told that the incident would be recorded and that the airline would contact them, Gill said that a week later there was still no news.
He sent an email complaint and, three weeks later, was offered a travel voucher of US$118 per passenger.
However, Gill considers this unacceptable and is now demanding a full refund. “We didn’t get the experience we paid for,” he said.
A Singapore Airlines spokesperson said the company had contacted the couple directly.
“Singapore Airlines endeavors to notify customers who may be seated next to a service dog before boarding the flight,” it said. “We sincerely apologize that this was not the case in this case, and we will work with our airport teams to ensure that this failure does not occur in the future.”
“Should customers seated next to a service dog request to be moved, Singapore Airlines will assist them in reseating in the same cabin if space permits.”
Translation of Michelle Padilla