31 January 2023

Two Lucky Corgis Fly Business Class From San Francisco To Singapore

Two corgis just flew from San Francisco to Singapore in business class. They were denoted as emotional support animals and seemed to have a ball of a time.


Flight SQ33 probably means nothing to you if you’re a dog. The same goes for distinctions in class. You may be devastated to learn, then, that a couple of corgis have just flown to Singapore from San Francisco in business class on Singapore Airlines flight SQ33.

The owner, Tommy Suriwong, took to Facebook to share the story, cheekily quipping, “Singapore Airlines SQ33 SFO-SIN with built in corgi seating area.”

Providing context, he said they “lead quite good live as mascots for our art school and are now retired with us in Phuket, Thailand.”

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Suriwong said the tail-wagging flight was possible “with ESA [emotional support animal] documentation” and that “we did import permit for Thailand and transshipment license for Singapore.”

“We relocated from Bay Area to Thailand thus had to bring our dogs on a oneway ride to Thailand with us.”

Tommy Suriwong

Comments on the post were mostly positive, with one Facebook user writing: “Dogs are typically better behaved than humans on the plane. You did a fantastic job of making them good travelers.”

Another wrote: “I have severe anxiety when it comes to flying, if I saw these doggos, I would feel so much more at ease… and if I got to cuddle them, probably wouldn’t need a Valium.”

“Better behaved than my two toddlers that went business class earlier this year.”

Angela Bristow Sims

Another Facebook user, Steve Lam, said he had done a similar journey with his dog in February, providing photos and all (and saying “Alcohol was definitely needed for this flight”).

Image Credit: Steve Lam

To avoid any bathroom issues on the 17-hour-long flight, Suriwong said “we modified their feeding and water schedule about a month in advance so they’d… basically take their final poddy right before we left for the airport.”

“Our older dog, had an accident as we got off the jetway in Singapore but it was ok since we had pee pads, poop bags, and baby wipes at the ready.”

After sharing this Suriwong also handed out a “protip” to other dog owners travelling with their pooches, writing: “at Changi, we went looking for the sunflower garden for them to go potty but it was under renovation” and explaining: “One of the passenger transport golf cart drivers pointed us to the outdoor smokers garden right under the SilverKris lounge and it worked like a charm (except had lots of smokers so probably shaved a few days off our lives).”

Singapore Airlines told CNA Lifestyle that additional seats were not purchased for the two dogs, with CNA Lifestyle reporting “the airline…confirmed that Mindy and Peanut are emotional support dogs travelling with two passengers.”

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In terms of the journey itself, Suriwong said both dogs spent most of the time asleep due to being given an anticonvulsant medication at various intervals (“we timed it perfectly so they’d fall sleep right as we were about to take off and land” he said).

Not everyone is stoked on having dogs with them on a flight. In answer to these people, Suriwong said: “I get it but I purposely chose the row nearest to the exits” and “our dogs are well behaved so it’s not like they were barking or running around.”

“[They] mostly just slept and cuddled.”

Tommy Suriwong

Suriwong also claimed he and his partner got the dogs prepared for the flight by having them listen to airplane sounds at home on Youtube and by taking them to the airport a few weeks prior to the flight to meet the ground crew, checkpoint people and TSA agents.

He said this strategy “totally worked” with the dogs getting celebrity treatment and the ground crew taking selfies with them (“and giving them lots of cuddle and pets”). This time also gave Tommy and his partner the time to ask questions and verify the document list they had was correct.

A dog’s life indeed…

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