“The [principle] it wasn’t about the money, it was about people becoming responsible,” said the New Zealand couple
A New Zealand couple who got foul-smelling gas from a four-legged passenger on a flight have been compensated for their troubles months after it happened.
Gill Press told Insider that she and her husband, Warren Press, received about $1,410 in compensation from Singapore Airlines after they complained they were forced to give up their premium seats on the plane and instead sit in economy class because of a loud farting dog belonging to to the passenger who was sitting next to them.
Press said they were on a 13-hour flight from Paris to Singapore in June and were unaware that the passenger sitting next to them had a canine companion. She told the publication that the problems started after the service when they heard something strange.
“I heard that noise — a heavy snort,” Press told Insider earlier this month. “I thought it was my husband’s phone, but we looked down and realized the dog was breathing.”
Bride says she missed destination wedding in Belize due to canceled flight: ‘Total devastation’
However, she said it got much worse when the dog – who appeared to be a bulldog mix – also started farting loudly.
A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 jumbo plane docked at Pudong Airport in Shanghai, China on September 11, 2023.
“[The passenger] they couldn’t leave the dog in the passage because they couldn’t get the cart through, so he had to go further in, which meant his head was under my husband’s legs,” she added. “My husband was in shorts, and he was getting dog saliva on the legs.”
She said she complained to a flight attendant who told them the only available seats were in economy, which were reserved for Singapore Airlines staff. She and her husband filed an incident report after they landed and were told they would be contacted by the airline.
The airline eventually reached out and offered them two $73 gift certificates, which Press said weren’t enough to make up the monetary difference between premium and economy seats, so they asked for more.
Spirit Airlines passengers claim they stayed on the runway for 7 hours because the pilot did not show up
After several months of back and forth, Singapore Airlines finally refunded the couple the value of the difference in the seat price, which was about $587 each, for a total of 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 “makes efforts to notify customers who may be seated next to a guide dog prior to boarding.”
“In circumstances where clients sitting next to a guide dog request to be moved, we will help him re-sit in the same cabin if space permits,” the airline said, adding that they were unable to move Presse within the same cabin because it was “crowded.”
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
Press told Insider, ” [principle] it wasn’t about money, it was about people becoming responsible.” She mentioned that she will donate the money received to the local New Zealand animal organization Blind Low Vision NZ, which connects visually impaired residents with service dogs.
Press went on to say that she hopes to be notified in the future if they sit next to a dog on a flight. “I expect to see a baby. I expect small children. But I don’t expect a dog,” she pointed out.