Check out Lewis’ flight in the photo gallery above.
Lewis from Melbourne couldn’t believe his luck when he recently found himself in business class on a flight from Australia to Italy.
It’s every traveler’s dream – a flat bed, a huge TV, flight attendants on call. In addition, the alternative for Lewis wasn’t just flying in economy class. It flew in the hold.
Lewis, an adopted greyhound, was given the opportunity to fly in Singapore Airlines Business Class with his owner, Mary Meister, who moved to Italy from Melbourne last month.
Ms. Meister, originally from the USA, had lived in Melbourne for five years but decided to go to hotels after she finished her job. She also noted that the city’s lockdowns were affecting her mental health.
When she adopted Lewis in 2019, she wanted to stay in Melbourne, but after making the decision to move to Florence, she knew she had to bring the six-year-old greyhound with her.
“I was basically doing research to see if dogs were allowed in the cabin, which some airlines, including Singapore Airlines, allow,” she said. “Unfortunately they have weight restrictions which meant Lewis didn’t qualify. I then saw that they allowed Emotional Support Animals and did some research on what that means.”
Ms. Meister, who was being treated for anxiety, depression and panic attacks, spoke to her doctor and therapist in Melbourne. Both agreed that it was worth letting Lewis fly into the cabin. The alternative would have been a three-day separation while Lewis traveled as cargo.
“Being apart for three days was out of the question, the longest time I’ve been apart from him since I’ve been working from home is a couple of hours at the most,” she said.
Ms. Master was saving up for a seat in Business Class with the intent that Lewis would have room to sit and sleep at her feet. But since the cabin was practically empty (flights to and from Australia have few passengers due to international border restrictions), Lewis put them in the adjacent seat.
“He was very good and stayed when asked,” she said. “He definitely didn’t enjoy taking off or landing, but he slept 99 percent of the flight.”
Although he had pads with him in case of accidents, Ms. Meister said Lewis stuck to his house training and only relieved himself in the outskirts of airports in transit.
On leg two of the flight, it was Lewis’ seventh birthday and the crew “spoiled him lazily”.
“The flight attendants brought him muffins, croissants and loads of strawberry jam, which he loved,” said Master. “They all said he was the best behaved dog they’d ever had on a flight and they couldn’t believe how calm he was all along.”
Photos of Lewis’ flight released on Instagram of Greyt Grays Rescue, who looked after Lewis before Ms. Master adopted him, drew thousands of likes and comments.
Ms. Meister says Lewis loves his new life in Italy, especially the leash-free dog parks that “always seem empty”.
As for future trips, Ms. Meister cannot imagine Lewis being downgraded to cargo.
“I could never fly it in cargo again! Flying was too special, ”she said.