LAX Airport Hired Some New Workers – Therapy Dogs!
Pets Unstressing Passengers Therapy Dogs Program Lauches!
Trained dogs and handlers will roam through the gate areas on the departure level of each terminal and visit with passengers awaiting flights while providing comfort and offering airport information, the airport said. Each volunteer underwent classroom and in-terminal training to learn about the airport and how to assist passengers. As one of the few programs of its kind in the United States, the LAX PUPs program features 30 trained dogs and handlers roaming all terminal boarding gates, 7-days a week. The PUPs visit with passengers awaiting flights, provide comfort and offer airport information. Each passenger who interacts with a PUP gets a complimentary trading card featuring the dog’s vital statistics and airport improvements information. All the dogs roaming the airport as part of this program are registered with Therapy Dogs Inc. of Cheyenne, Wyo. The nonprofit organization provides comfort and stress relief at facilities such as hospitals, schools, senior homes and other institutions.
LAX is the sixth busiest airport in the world and third in the United States, offering 680 daily flights to 96 domestic cities and 930 weekly nonstop flights to 59 cities in 30 countries on 63 commercial air carriers. It ranks 14th in the world and fifth in the U.S. in air cargo tonnage processed. In 2012, LAX served nearly 63.7 million passengers, processed over 1.9 million tons of air cargo valued at nearly $89.6 billion, and handled 605,480 aircraft operations (landings and takeoffs). It was clear to LAX officials that after it got named the 2nd worst airport in the US last year by Travel+Leisure something had to be done to change passenger perception around if they wanted to stay a top International and Domestic Airport.
Last week Singapore Changi Airport was crowned the World’s Best Airport for offering services such as free foot massages, tropical rooftop gardens, a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and free bus tours into the city for transits longer than five hours. While none of those amenities are going to be arriving at LAX in the near future they are trying to come up with ways to take the stress out of flying. Even seasoned flyers and people on their way to or home from a vacation experience some stress at the airport once in a while and if having a team of 30 dogs visiting with passengers will help put a smile on even 25% of their visitors faces that could be enough to turn the perception of their airport around and have people want to fly in. I want to fly to LAX just to meet all 30 therapy dogs and collect their trading cards!
What do you think of the Pets Unstressing Passengers Therapy Dogs Program?