A New Zealand couple is seeking a refund from Singapore Airlines after being stuck next to a rather messy and stinky oversized dog on a long-haul flight. They complained not just about the dog and its owner, but of the airline's response during and since the debacle.
Gill and Warren Press of Wellington, NZ were flying from Paris to Singapore in June according to Stuff. They had booked premium economy seats for the 13-hour flight but had to share their row with a traveler who had reportedly brought a "support" dog along to help with his anxiety. Singapore Airlines had reportedly banned untrained support animals on its flights on April 1, but honored requests made prior to the deadline, hence the dog's presence in the cabin.
Partway through the flight, the couple reported hearing strange noises that they initially thought was one of their phones—but turned out to be the dog snoring. They complained to the flight attendant but were told the only available seats were at the very back of economy. It's unclear why the airline suggested the couple relocate, rather than the passenger who had brought his dog.
The couple initially stayed, but their experience worsened as the flight dragged on. The dog was reportedly farting, and drooling "goo" on one of their legs due to encroaching on their legroom. (Otherwise, the dog would've apparently been in the aisle, blocking the food cart.) Finally, the couple was relocated to seats at the front of economy that were initially reserved for the crew. They were told an incident report had been filed, and that the airline would follow up.
No such contact was reportedly made. They later called in and were offered $147 USD in vouchers for the airline's luxury goods shopping site. They protested, as this reportedly didn't match the difference in value between their seats. It reportedly took the airline three weeks to counter with an offer of $236 in travel vouchers. The couple now seeks a full refund.
Untrained "support" animals have been widely banned from airline cabins in recent years after travelers abused the privilege. However, most still accept documented service animals, with even unusual varieties such as miniature horses still being allowable on U.S. airlines.
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