Back in June 2023, Gill and Warren Press, two New Zealanders, embarked on a long-awaited journey back home from their European vacation. They had booked premium economy seats for their 13-hour flight from Paris to Singapore with Singapore Airlines (SIA).
As the Press couple settled into their premium economy seats, they were taken aback when they realized that the passenger next to them had brought a pet dog along.
According to Stuff, the wife, Gill Press, initially mistook the dog’s heavy breathing and snorting for her husband’s phone, only to discover it was the furry co-passenger.
Uncomfortable with the presence of the dog, Gill and Warren approached a flight attendant to voice their concerns.
The flight attendant informed them that the only available seats were in the back row of the economy class. Initially, they decided not to move, but as the flight progressed, they reconsidered.
The decision to change seats was influenced by the dog’s apparent flatulence and the limited legroom, which resulted in the dog’s head being under Warren’s feet.
Gill described the discomfort, stating that the dog’s “saliva goo” even made contact with Warren’s legs as he was wearing shorts.
When the couple approached a flight attendant once more, they were relocated to some seats at the front of the economy cabin, which were initially reserved for the airline’s staff. Additionally, they were assured that an incident report would be filed, and the airline would follow up on their case.
Despite these assurances, the Press couple did not receive any updates from Singapore Airlines regarding their complaint for an entire week. Frustrated, Gill contacted SIA’s customer service via email, seeking resolution.
Request for full refund
SIA’s response came two weeks later, accompanied by an apology and an offer of a S$100 gift voucher each for the airline’s KrisShop website, which Gill rejected, asserting that it did not compensate for the significant difference between the premium economy tickets they had initially booked and the economy seats they occupied.
Over three weeks later, SIA offered a S$200 travel voucher, but Gill remained unsatisfied. Instead, she requested a full refund.
The couple emphasized that their complaint was not about disliking dogs, as they were dog owners themselves. Their concern was the lack of prior information about the situation and their disappointment with the airline’s customer service.
In response to inquiries from Mothership, an SIA spokesperson
A spokesperson for SIA issued an apology to the Press couple for their unpleasant experience and clarified that assistance dogs are accepted on SIA flights, provided they meet the airline’s travel requirements.
SIA added that they endeavor to notify customers who may be seated next to an assistance dog before boarding. If customers request to be moved, they will be accommodated within the same cabin if space allows.