Are you planning on a long vacation? Do you wish to take a little bit of ‘paws’itivity along? Your stress may start as soon as you decide to book your ticket. You wonder how to make sure your fur baby is chill at the airport. Don’t worry! You can find a lot of pet-friendly airports in the country which have and are coming up with wonderful pet relief areas for your paw friend to unwind before boarding the flight. Letting your pet loose in these relief areas when at the airport is sure to ease your stress too! So, which are the airports that offer the most relaxed travel for your pet? We have listed six of the most pet-friendly airports in the country, which is sure to relax you and your some ‘paw’dy special before your flight takes off.
Top six pet-friendly airports in the US
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
- Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Minneapolis St.Paul International Airport (MSP)
- Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
This New York airport is sure to give a unique experience for your pet before boarding the flight. The airport has seven pet relief areas across all terminals. The biggest attraction is the 4,000 sq ft’ Wooftop’ at Terminal 5, an outdoor garden courtyard accessible to all passengers and pets. The space provides seating for around 50. Many terminals have access to post-security relief areas so that you can always enter into one without leaving the security area.
If you’re at Terminal 8, you can locate a pet relief area post-security. American Airlines has also set up a 1000 sq ft relief area of natural grass at the terminal’s departure level. Do you want to freshen up your pet? Terminal 4 features a 70 sq ft pet bathroom post-security. The bathroom has built-in drainage, a wash sink, a bag dispenser, a replica fire hydrant, and a waste receptacle.
Atlanta International Airport
The world’s busiest airport is one of the most pet-friendly airports. It features seven indoor post-security relief areas in each concourse. You can locate these relief areas near gates A10, B33, C19, T7, E14, F7, and D-Midpoint in each concourse. The airport also boasts two outdoor dog parks. The 1,000 sq ft ‘Poochie Park’ is located in the Ground Transportation area (on Domestic Terminal South). The park is fully fenced, offering biodegradable bags along with benches. You can locate the other one on the Arrivals Level of the International Terminal.
What’s more? ‘Pet Paradise’ is an onsite 24/7 boarding facility in the airport. You can safely leave your pet here if flying out for a few days or weeks. Collect your happy pet when you’re back!
Sky Harbor International Airport
This pet-friendly airport is sure to delight your pet! Sky Harbor Airport features nine pet relief areas, of which you can locate three post-security. You can find Pet Patch in the east of Terminal 2, Paw Pad at Level 1 of Terminal 3, and Bone Yard on the western side of Terminal 4. The other relief areas are adjacent to the Sky Train stations. One you can locate at the East Economy park. You can find Bark near East Economy parking garages and Park’ n Play at the northwest corner of 44th Street Sky Train Station. The post-security relief areas are in Terminals 2-4. What makes the airport attractive to pets? The airport policy allows all dogs to use the outdoor relief areas irrespective of size and breed before traveling.
This busiest airport is also famous as one of the most pet-friendly airports in the country. LAX Airport features 11 pet relief areas, eight indoor ones, and three outdoor dog parks. You can locate the outdoor dog parks in the Lower Level/Arrivals area. Where to find the indoor relief areas? Once you’re past security, you can find these near gates 13, 21, Terminal 3 atrium, 52B, 62, 73, and on both sides of the TBIT/T-4 Bridge.
Info: LAX was considered one of the worst pet-friendly airports before adding seven pet relief areas in 2016. While at the relief areas, your dog may encounter therapy and service animals, law enforcement dogs, and bomb-sniffing pooches.
Minneapolis St.Paul International Airport
The airport features a total of five pet relief areas in two terminals. Terminal 1 has two post-security relief areas, and Terminal 2 has one post-security area. These areas feature artificial grass, a sink, and a fire hydrant. Both the terminals boast a pre-security relief station.
Are you planning to travel without your paw friend? Nothing to worry about! The airport features ‘Now Boarding,’ a boarding facility set up by the Animal Humane Society. They offer boarding, training, and grooming services to your pet. Get ready to welcome a happier pet when you’re back from your trip!
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
How do you feel about taking your pet for a walk at a well-lit and landscaped park? To experience this, you need to fly out of Austin Airport with your pet. The walk will be striking if you have a late-night or early morning flight. The park also features a pet drinking fountain, trash bins, and dog waste pick-up bags. The airport also has a relief area in the outdoor courtyard post-security.
Austin Airport also features a boarding facility – Bark and Zoom. It features outdoor play areas and swimming pools for dogs alone. So, never worry if you’re flying out for a few days. Your dog will be thrilled to spend its vacation! The airport also runs a quarterly event that offers pet therapy. Your pet will be lucky to get therapized if you’re traveling at the same time.
Policies at these pet-friendly airports
Most of the pet-friendly airports adopt different policies when it comes to taking pets inside the terminals.
- JFK: Your pet can only be outside of the carrier when using a pet relief area or while going through security.
- Atlanta Airport: Your pet should be in the carrier while on airport grounds. It is not applicable for service dogs or when your pet goes through security or uses a pet relief area.
- Sky Harbor Airport: According to the airport’s policy, except for service animals, all other dogs need to be in carriers when at the airport.
- LAX: Pets need to stay in their carriers except during security checks or at a pet relief station
- Minneapolis Airport: All non-service animals should stay in their carrier while using the airport’s facilities.
- Austin-Bergstrom International Airport: Your pet must remain in the carrier all the time while at the airport.
Traveling to the airport
Always travel in your car while you’re going to the airport with your pet. It makes your pet relaxed and happy. It is better to avoid going via public transportation services or cabs as your pet won’t be comfortable in the new settings. Ensure that you book an airport parking spot while you book the flight ticket. It avoids the hassle of driving around the parking lots with your pet looking for a secure parking spot at the last minute. Be mindful that there will be many who will be traveling with pets, especially during holidays. Always use the Way.com app or website to get parking near pet-friendly airports for 60% less than onsite rates.
Going on a road trip with your pet? Read the Essential Tips for Pawsome Road Trips with Pets
Which are the most pet-friendly airlines?
Like pet-friendly airports, the country also has some very pet-friendly airlines. But, some airlines have imposed restrictions on pet travel since the pandemic. Below listed are some of the airlines that allow seamless pet travel.
- Delta Air Lines
- American Airlines
- United Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- Alaska Airlines
Tips on pet-friendly airports
- JFK is the most pet-friendly airport in the US.
- The post-security pet relief areas in Sky Harbor Airport are small. It can accommodate just 1-2 dogs at a time.
- Most of the pet-friendly airports don’t allow you to release your pet from its carrier while at the terminals.
- Read about the dos and don’t of flying with pets