Airports making it easier to travel with your Italian Greyhound
Flying with your Iggy this summer to the family reunion or your timeshare at the beach has never been easier. As more and more airlines permit small non-service dogs to travel with their parents in the cabin,* parents of Italian Greyhounds are taking advantage of a 2009 provision of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which mandates all U.S. airports provide relief areas and special accommodations for service dogs. And good news—pet dogs are welcome too.
The ADA regulation has resulted in some rather elaborate potty zones. Reno-Tahoe International Airport created “Gate K-9 Bark Park,” a full-scale doggy playground entirely enclosed so that little Guido can be taken off-leash to burn some stress between flights while you relax on one of the benches. Many of the more dog friendlier airports, like San Diego’s Lambert Field and Memphis International, have allotted inside areas for dogs to relieve themselves, a welcome luxury while you and your Iggy wait out airport weather delays.
A few airports, like Salt Lake City International, permit dogs to take pit stops right outside the concourse next to the aircraft, provided you can find an airport employee willing to “escort” you and your dog, thereby bypassing the need to go back out through security. At Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Delta Air Lines was the first airline to install a designated airside relief area outside the concourse, complete with “porch potties,” grass, and a fake fire hydrant.
The increasing number of dog flyers has prompted some airports to embark (no pun intended) on dog safety training for airport employees. Boston Logan trains airport employees on dog first aid, including CPR, and the Fire and Rescue squad has two ambulances on hand just for animals in case of an emergency.
So if you’re hesitant about flying with your furry baby this summer, worry no more. Thanks to the ADA and forward-thinking airport planners, you and Zoë can join the ranks of world travelers safe and sound—and far more relaxed.
State by state detailed description of dog relief areas at U.S. airports: http://petfriendlytravel.com/airports
* Airlines each have their own regulations for traveling with your dog in the cabin, based on carry-on size, dog weight and, perhaps most importantly for Italian Greyhound parents, standing height. Fees can range from $50 to full fare. Check with your airline.