A couple from New Zealand had an unpleasant experience on a flight. They were sitting next to a dog that was passing gas, and it smelled really bad. So, they had to move from their nice seats to less comfortable ones in the economy section of the plane.
After a few months, Gill Press and her husband, Warren Press, received $1,410 as compensation from Singapore Airlines. They complained about the smelly situation they had endured on a 13-hour flight from Paris to Singapore in June. They didn’t even know there was a dog next to them until after they had finished eating.
Gill Press explained, ‘I heard a strange noise, like someone snorting heavily. At first, I thought it was my husband’s phone, but when we looked down, we realized it was the dog making that noise and smell.
However, she said it got much worse when the dog — which appeared to be a bulldog mix began loudly farting as well
The dog couldn’t stay in the aisle because it blocked the trolleys, so it had to move closer, and its head ended up under my husband’s feet,” she said. “My husband was wearing shorts, and the dog’s slobber was getting on his leg.”
She talked to a flight attendant about the issue, but they said the only other available seats were in economy, and those were usually reserved for Singapore Airlines staff. After they landed, she and her husband reported the incident and were told that the airline would contact them.
The airline did get in touch and offered them two gift vouchers worth $73 each. However, Press felt that this amount didn’t make up for the extra money they had paid for premium seats compared to economy, so they asked for more compensation.
After several months of talking back and forth, Singapore Airlines finally gave the couple their money back. They got a refund that matched the extra cost they had paid for the premium seats, which was about $587 for each seat. In total, they received about $1,410.
When PEOPLE asked Singapore Airlines for a comment about what happened and the refund, they did not respond immediately. However, they told Insider in a statement that they try to let passengers know if they will be sitting next to an assistance dog before the flight.
The airline also said, “If someone sitting next to an assistance dog wants to move, we will help them find a new seat in the same part of the plane if there is space.” They couldn’t move the Presses to a different seat in the same part of the plane because it was already full.
Press told Insider, “The main thing for us wasn’t about the money. It was really about making sure people take responsibility.” She mentioned that they planned to give the money they received to a local organization in New Zealand called Blind Low Vision NZ. This organization helps people who can’t see well by pairing them up with trained service dogs.
Looking ahead, Press expressed her hope that they would be told in advance if they were going to sit next to a dog on a flight. She said, “I expect to see babies. I expect to see young children. But I don’t expect to see a dog