Kudos to Singapore Airlines for properly addressing a very hairy situation on a 13-hour flight. Any dog that snorts or farts does not belong on a flight…and that really goes for humans too.
A “Snorting, Farting” Dog Spoils Singapore Airlines Flight
Gill and Warren Press were flying from Paris (CDG) to Singapore (SIN) on Singapore Airlines in premium economy class and found a dog seated next to them onboard, a dog they labeled as an emotional support dog. Even though Singapore Airlines banned emotional support dogs on April 1, 2023, it honored previously made reservations so it is not an oddity to presume this was indeed an emotional support animal versus a service animal.
Stuff interviewed the couple and their own words paint a clear story of their experience onboard:
“I heard this noise – a heavy snorting. I thought it was my husband’s phone, but we looked down and realized it was the dog breathing. I said, ‘I’m not having this sitting next to us the whole trip.”
What kind of videos does your husband watch?
Press claimed that the owner of the dog confessed that he needed the dog to travel, but his dog tended to get nervous on a plane. The couple asked a flight attendant if they could move seats, but were informed the only other seats available were in the rear of the economy class cabin, which would represent a cabin downgrade.
But it got worse. The smells became worse. The dog drooled. Personal space was not respected.
“The passenger 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. My husband was in shorts, and was getting the dog’s saliva goo on his leg.”
Complaining again, the couple was purportedly moved to seats blocked for crew rest in the front of the economy class cabin (odd because the crew has a crew rest area with lie-flat beds).
After the flight, the couple requested compensation and were provided NZ$125 each in the form of a voucher for Singapore Airlines’ KrisShop website.
The couple loudly complained, prompting an apology from Singapore Airlines promising to “work with our airport teams to ensure that this lapse does not occur in future” but adding that “Singapore Airlines will assist to re-seat customers within the same cabin where space permits,” which is what happened here…premium economy was full.
After the media picked up this story, Singapore Airlines has now refunded them for the difference in price between economy class and premium, totaling NZ$982.50 each.
Smelly Dogs Are Another Reason To Keep Dogs Out Of Cabin
I 100% empathize with the couple and sincerely can imagine few things nastier onboard than a loud and smelly dog who invades my space. I bet a dog like that would be accident-prone as well. It is not unreasonable to say, under the described circumstances, the flight became unbearable.
But I empathize with Singapore Airlines too. How can an airline ever fully prevent a dog…or a human…from passing flatus or smelling… especially once the flight is in the air?
If the flight had not taken off yet and the dog already stunk and was farting, then it would have been just as appropriate to offload the smelly dog as to offload a smelly passenger. But once in the air, you cannot exactly throw off a passenger and this does not rise to the sort of crisis that requires a diversion.
I do think the man and his dog should have been moved to the back if there was empty seating back there that could have isolated him from a dog that he could not control. It would be one thing if it was just sounds (like a crying baby) that can be mitigated via ear plug and noise-canceling headphones. The smell and the slobber make it a far worse problem.
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Not to shatter my picture-perfect portrayal of my son six-year-old son Augustine, but he’s developed the ability to fart on demand, which he uses to tease his sister quite effectively. We teach him to go the bathroom when he needs to pass wind. In fact, we just had this conversation (again) yesterday.
It always puzzles me why humans are so rude on flights. Need to fart? I get it…the airline food and the high altitude lead to that sort of thing. But for goodness sake, get up and go to the lavatory. Don’t be a jerk who toots in his seat just because no one will hear it. Have a little courtesy for your fellow passengers.
So should Singapore Airlines offer refunds every time a dog barks or a baby cries? No. But while I do not think travelers had a reasonable expectation to escape from babies onboard, I do think they have a reasonable expectation not to be seated next to slobbering, smelly dogs.
Singapore Airlines offered cash compensation to a couple who sat next to a dog that would not stop snorting or farting. While the gesture may not been required, it was a very nice one nevertheless and seems to validate why emotional support dogs are now banned on Singapore Airlines.