"The [principle] wasn't about the money, it was truly about making people accountable,” the New Zealand couple said
A New Zealand couple who got blasted with smelly gas from a fellow four-legged passenger on a flight got compensated for their troubles months after it happened.
Gill Press told Insider that she and her husband Warren Press were awarded about $1,410 in compensation from Singapore Airlines after they complained that they were forced to let go of their premium seats on the plane and instead sit in economy due to a loud, farting dog that belonged to a passenger seated next to them.
Press said they were on a 13-hour flight from Paris to Singapore in June and had not been aware that the passenger seated next to them had a canine companion. She told the outlet that the trouble began after their dinner service when they heard something weird.
"I heard this noise — a heavy snorting," Press told Insider earlier this month. "I thought it was my husband's phone, but we looked down and realized it was the dog breathing."
However, she said it got much worse when the dog — which appeared to be a bulldog mix — began loudly farting as well.
"[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," she added. "My husband was in shorts, and was getting the dog's saliva goo on his leg."
She said she complained to a flight attendant who told them that the only other seats they had available were in economy, which were reserved for Singapore Airlines staff. She and her husband filed an incident report after they landed and were told that they would be contacted by the airline.
The airline eventually reached out and offered them two $73 gift vouchers, which Press said wasn’t enough to account for the monetary difference between the premium and economy seats and so they asked for more.
After several months of back and forth, Singapore Airlines finally gave the couple a refund worth the price difference of the seats, which was about $587 each, totaling about $1,410.
Singapore Airlines did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment on the incident or the refund, but told Insider in a statement that it “endeavors to notify customers who may be seated next to an assistance dog prior to boarding.”
"In circumstances where customers seated next to an assistance dog request to be moved, we will assist to re-seat customers within the same cabin if space permits,” the airline said, adding that they were unable to move the Presses within the same cabin because it was “full.”
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Press told Insider, "the [principle] wasn't about the money, it was truly about making people accountable.” She noted that they would donate the money received to local New Zealand animal organization Blind Low Vision NZ, which matches vision-impaired residents with service dogs.
Moving forward, Press said that she hoped to be notified in the future if they were seated next to a dog on a flight. "I expect to see a baby. I expect young children. But I don't expect a dog," she noted.
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