Passengers Demand Refund After Dog Flatulence Ruins Paris Flight

Singapore Airlines passengers who flew Paris to Singapore, enroute to New Zealand, are demanding a refund of their premium economy tickets after they say their flight was ruined by flatulence – dog flatulence.

The passenger seated beside them in the “W” cabin had a dog, breathing heavily in a sound that they first thought was snoring. The dog’s owner explained that it was an emotional support animal, because he was “nervous.”

Halfway through the flight the dog wasn’t just snoring. A smell wafted through the cabin that became “intolerable.” The dog was also occupying the husband’s legroom, since it was too large for its owner’s space even in premium economy.

“[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.”

Credit: Gill and Warren Press

Things became so difficult that, with the help of a flight attendant, this couple downgraded to regular coach.

  • Since they didn’t get their full seat, and they were made so uncomfortable in premium economy they feel they should get a refund

  • And since they didn’t even get to fly in the premium economy they paid for half of the flight, they feel they should get money back

  • But Singapore Airlines offered them a US$75 (SG$100) voucher.

They believe they should have been given at least for the difference in price between coach and premium economy. Now they want a full refund for the Paris – Singapore flight. Things are made a bit more complicated because the trip was actually booked through Air New Zealand.

If a seating arrangement is so untenable that a customer downgrades inflight, it does seem reasonable that the difference in fare should be refunded. The discomfort was because of the dog and their owner, but it’s an arrangement that’s still the responsibility of the airline, and the passengers who moved certainly didn’t get the product or experience that they paid for.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Since when are ’emotional support animals’ allowed on international flights? I thought the ESA accommodation was a US domestic airline policy only.

  2. Look at what was just reported, 8 hours tarmac delay. They have nice commercials that make themselves look high class and all but reality is different. Then they apologised for the inconvenience to their passengers. Is that all? Great news I’m sure that makes the passengers feel better! In my opinion sq deserves zero premium over budget carriers.

  3. you shouldn’t even be flying if you need and emotional support animal, and or leave your animal at home where it would be more comfortable..and not stressed out…come on man!

  4. Why wasn’t the offending PAX with offensive dog not moved to economy? Why move someone who didn’t initiate the problem?

  5. People need a human therapist not a dog. BTW I’ll bet that claiming the dog to be an ESA was a hack to take a pet without paying for it.

  6. Realistically, Singapore Airlines could not have known about the flatulence or the size of the dog before the flight, but once airborne, both issues became known. The former is a bit tough to prove, but the latter is clearly a violation of the dog owner’s assurance that his “support animal” would fit within his footwell. What I don’t understand is why the Singapore Airlines flight crew didn’t force the dog owner and his dog to downgrade to the pair of seats in economy. This solves all issues, and the dog owner could not seek restitution from Singapore Airlines because he clearly required (2) seats, and that was unavailable in Premium Economy.

  7. A number of online UK news outlets reported that the revised offer was 95 UK pounds, not the equivalent of 75 US dollars. That is almost $120 USD. If the airline allowed the dog onboard, they have to deal with it. Maybe it would be better to wear long pants instead of spreading your skin cells around you for 13 hours. I feel that the offer was fair and they should go pound sand. Maybe sweeten it a bit and make it cash.

  8. Yeah these people can “want” a refund all they desire but I’m reminded of the old saying that “you can want in one hand and s*** in the other then see which gets full first”

    They should take whatever is offered. No leverage to get more as they willingly asked to downgrade.

  9. How could a person go to school or hold a job without their EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL?
    I mean they would be in school ALL DAY without Fluffie by their side. How could the dog lover work a job, go shopping after work and finally get home after 12 hours. OMG!
    It’s all a crock !
    Airlines need to distinguish whether they are in the dog hauling business or the people hauling business.
    Have you ever seen an animal NOT PEE when they are excited? Then that smell gets in the carpet, behind the curtains…..and on and on…
    Every June you see parents taking taking their children to Grandma’s house….with FLUFFIE . Why?….because the children want FLUFFIE at Grandma’s house in the summer.
    Oh, I know! We will call it an “emotional support animal” …..and it WORKS! Hallelujah!
    Now the parents are free to go on holiday!
    How to solve?
    Pay to board the animal… other people. You animal is ALONE, hours and hours anyway.
    Or, put the animal in a cage underneath from where the paying customers sit.

  10. They should have only asked for the difference in value and then see if customer service was willing to give more. Always start with the reasonable amount that you are actually owed, and make customer service feel bad for you and want to do more, rather than demand high and try to get them to agree with you.

  11. Does this now mean that I can bring my Emotional Support Crocodile with me on flights? Yes, yes I know that his breath can be really atrocious after he has devoured a neighborhood poodle or a rotting chicken carcass. C’mon my Loving Support Croc, we’re on the aisle in 29D …

  12. When are we going to come to our senses and stop the madness of allowing animals in restaurants, in bars, and especially on airplanes. I am not a dog hater. But dogs are not replacements for children. Unfortunately many people have now come to believe it’s perfectly okay.

  13. To put an end to this nonsense, how about organizing a very large population of flyers who pledge to bring emotional support animals on every flight? Everyone has stress in their life and therefore everyone is entitled to bring an animal on board with them. Fill the planes from windows to aisles. Maybe set up emotional support animal vendors near all airports where you can rent such an animal and include a certificate that you are stressed and would like to transfer that stress onto an animal—without that animal’s consent—for the duration of the flight. You could rent an animal one way or round trip.

    I have no problems whatsoever with true service dogs that are actually trained and certified to perform an essential function which their human can not perform. I am honored to share my row with them any time.

  14. Service animals and ESA need to stay within the passenger’s footprint of the seat area they purchased. If this can NOT be attained, the passenger needs to buy a more suitable seat or a 2nd seat.

    I’m shocked the FAA, DOT, EU, and IATA haven’t come up with a rule like this.

  15. To the person that said get a human therapist, not a dog.
    I am a therapist and I recommend clients get a dog to help with their anxiety and depression.

  16. There is no legal or airline policy requirement to allow pets (“emotional support animals”) on the plane and all the carriers have explicitly cracked down on it in recent years. Unfortunately, it only takes one gate agent who doesn’t have the energy to argue with the type of narcissist who does ths, or one airhead flight attendant who thinks “dogs are so cute,” to decline to enforce the policy, and then it’s everyone else’s problem.

  17. There is absolutely NO NEED FOR ANY PERSON to have a dog,vcat, parakeet, snake, spider or any other creature to aid in their comfort, ESPECIALLY, when it is at the expense of say, 265 othersvat 35000 feet.
    When are we Americans gunna get a grip and stop this incessant series of demands because of a perceived need. Here’s the list: Oxygen, water, food, some assorted vitamins, and mostly, a clue

  18. People keep saying that the couple with the dog should have been downgraded and that would solve everything. How does that solve everything? Then everyone in economy has to deal with the dog and it smell. Why are they any less deserving of fresh air?

  19. Singapore was just helping out another airline did anybody read that? This was Air New Zealand they’re the ones who need to issue the refund if this was in the US the emotional support animal would not been allowed on the plane without pain but this was an international flight meaning the rules and laws are different this dog probably shouldn’t have been flying but you don’t know if the dog can handle flying until you take him up in a plane because they can’t actually tell you before the flight hey man I’m afraid of flying I hope you have to wait till you’re actually on a plane to find out how the dog is going to react most dogs do not enjoy cabin pressure and being locked up in a tin can I feel sorry for the dog not so much the passengers they got to move their seats they actually got a refund for the difference in price but ever since reading that other story about another issue with the dog farting they decided to jump on the bandwagon and become what’s known as a Karen

  20. The way the article is written is too confusing for most of the readers commenting here. To set the story straight: The neighbor couple that downgraded did NOT own the dog. There was one owner with the dog. The dog was too big to fit in front of the owner so the dog ended up under the legs of the neighbor, even getting it’s saliva on the neighbor. So the neighbor and his wife, totally inconvenienced by the size, smell and saliva of the dog downgraded to economy. They definitely should be recompensed.

  21. Lmbo! I’ve never read so much drivel in my life! Of all the problems in this world a dog farting on a plane is world news. Grow up people! Life sucks and I wouldn’t refund a penny.

  22. I feel sorry for the dog. Screw the people, most animals are cleaner than they are anyway. They’re certainly nicer. Maybe the dog can SCREAM at the top of its lungs like a human kid. Or get drunk, spill booze, pee in the isle. Yea, humans are such a delight.

  23. The dumb ass people can walk next time. The dog has more Intelligence than most of the people on the plane. The poor dog wasn’t having a blast sitting in the floor getting trampled on and smelling those high and mighty too Goodies stinking feet. The dog has a bigger heart than any one on the plane and is behaved better also. And all you other Morons that are putting your 2 cents or less in, that think you are to good to ride or eat with animals , yall are probably Nastier than any animal, because of your wicked hearts!! Find some goodness if that’s possible.

  24. I agree. Get over it people. I sat next to some stinky annoying and rude people on the plane I rather sit next to the dog

  25. I doubt this is true. The thing is, I don’t know how much emotional support you get from an Animal in quarantine. Because rabies doesn’t exist in Australia or New Zealand there are strict quarantine laws in both countries. New Zealand requires a quarantine period of 180 days for all dogs and cats entering the country, except for animals coming in from Australia. About 170 days of the quarantine can be spent in the home country and 10 days at the quarantine facility in New Zealand. They have accommodations for guide/assistance dogs but not ESA.

  26. Get over it? There are worse things in the world? Really? I’ll bet these same people would be screaming bloody murder if someone scraped their car. After all there are bigger problems in the world. They would be screaming if they had to endure a few hours of this especially if they paid extra to be comfortable. And the man who had the dog under his feet had no right to complain? to those who say this is no big deal.. Get over it.

  27. To the person who said they ate a therapist and recommend an.animal, you aren’t a very good therapist…

  28. It’s a dog..not even a service dog. Just a dog the owner went online and paid 150 dollars to get a fake cert saying it is a service animal/support animal. That dog should be in a crate under the plane where animals travel. If the owner can’t be away from the dog for a few hours then the owner needs to stay home. So tired of theses fake service dogs. The offended people should get everything they are asking for at the expense if the offending dog and owner. It’s a dog not a human. Wake up idiot people who think differently. And not everyone likes dogs…or kids for that matter

  29. Walter, Kutte rye max, Jose, Mary E, Ed Sparks, InLa, and others who offered hilarious comments, THANKS FOR THE LAUGHS,…
    felt sooo good!

  30. @InLa:

    Are you complete daft?
    PTSD and other diagnoses in the same spectrum are very real and emotional support animals are not just any animal for someone who experience stress.

    Maybe do some research before you blast that bs all over the web.

  31. Ummm, emotional support animals have no legal standing like certified service dogs do. Airlines do not have to let them on planes. Did you not read about emotional support horses, pigs and other ridiculous support animals that have been on planes? And of course I’ve known people who CLAIM to have an emotional support dog just so they could take them with them on trips without paying. Most people do not want these animals on planes including dog owners. They are not trained, have accidents and can be a danger in an emergency.This dog was interfering with the passenger next to the owner. And you think that’s OK? There are people that don’t like dogs, are allergic to dogs or are afraid of dogs. THEY COME FIRST!!! Do some research!

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