Couple seated next to ‘snorting, farting’ dog on flight awarded $2,000 refund

A couple who shared a flight with a “snorting, farting” dog have been offered thousands of dollars in compensation by the airline following their experience.

Earlier this month, Gill and Warren Press were on the first leg of their journey from Europe to New Zealand, flying the 13 hours from Paris to Singapore with Singapore Airlines.

Having paid extra for premium economy seats, they found themselves next to a passenger with an emotional support dog who made the journey less than peaceful. Mrs Press said at the time that she “heard this noise – a heavy snorting” and didn’t want to sit next to the animal for the entire flight.

However, when she asked a member of cabin crew if they could move, Mrs Press was told the only seats available were at the back of economy class. They stayed where they were – but claimed the smell became unbearable about halfway into the journey as the dog was “farting”, while also taking up Mr Press’s legroom.

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

After their multiple complaints and requests for a refund, Singapore Airlines offered a travel voucher worth NZ$200 (£96) – which Mrs Press argued was unacceptable as the couple “didn’t receive the experience we paid for”.

The airline has now reached out to the couple and said that “as a gesture of goodwill”, they would reimburse them for the difference in cabins, which amounted to NZ$982.50 – or around £472 – each.

The pair will also be able to keep their previously gifted travel vouchers.

Mrs Press told Stuff that they were planning to donate the money to a New Zealand guide dogs charity.

“It wasn’t about the money in the end,” she said. “The fight was more about principles and normalising things that really aren’t normal and acceptable.”

The Independent has contacted Singapore Airlines for comment.

The carrier previously said: “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.”