Lewis, Melbourne greyhound, enjoys business class on Singapore Airlines flight to Italy

Take a look at Lewis' flight in the photo gallery above.

Lewis from Melbourne couldn't believe his luck when he found himself in business class on a recent flight from Australia to Italy.

It's every traveller's dream - a lie-flat bed, giant TV, flight attendants at your beck and call. Not only that, but the alternative for Lewis wasn't just flying in economy class. It was flying in the cargo hold.

Lewis, an adopted greyhound, was given the opportunity to fly in Singapore Airlines' business class with his owner, Mary Meister, who relocated to Italy from Melbourne last month.

Ms Meister, originally from the US, had been living in Melbourne for five years but decided to leave after being stood down from her jobs working in hotels. She was also finding the city's lockdowns were affecting her mental health.

When she adopted Lewis in 2019, her intention was to stay in Melbourne, but after deciding to relocate to Florence, she knew she had to bring the six-year-old greyhound with her.

"I was basically researching if dogs were allowed in the cabin, which some airlines including Singapore Airlines allow," she said. "Unfortunately they have weight restrictions which meant that Lewis didn't qualify. I then saw that they allow 'Emotional Support Animals' and researched what that meant."

Ms Meister, who was being treated for anxiety, depression and panic attacks, spoke to her doctor and therapist in Melbourne. Both agreed it was worth applying to have Lewis fly with her in the cabin. The alternative would have meant a three-day separation while Lewis travelled as cargo.

"Being separated for three days was out of the question, the longest I've been apart from him, since starting to work from home, is a few hours at most," she said.

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Ms Meister saved up for a business class seat with the intention of Lewis having room to sit and sleep at her feet. But since the cabin was virtually empty (flights to and from Australia have few passengers due to international border restrictions), she set Lewis up on the adjacent seat.

"He was very well behaved and stayed when asked," she said. "He definitely didn't enjoy take-off or landing, but he slept for 99 per cent of the flight."

Although he had pads under him for any accidents, Ms Meister said Lewis stuck to his house training and only relieved himself in the outdoor areas of airports in transit.

On the second leg of the flight it was Lewis' seventh birthday and the crew "spoiled him rotten".

"The flight attendants brought him muffins, croissants, and lots of strawberry jam which he loved," Ms Meister said. "They all said he was the best behaved dog they'd ever had on a flight and they couldn't believe how quiet he was the whole time."

Photos of Lewis' flight posted on Instagram by Greyt Greys Rescue, who looked after Lewis before Ms Meister adopted him, attracted thousands of likes and comments.

Ms Meister says Lewis is loving his new life in Italy, particularly the off-leash dog parks which "always seem to be empty".

As for future travels, Ms Meister can't see Lewis getting downgraded to cargo.

"There is no way I could fly him in cargo ever again! Flying was too special," she said.

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