Flying can be stressful, and dogs are adorable... and now those adorable dogs are being used to help with that airport stress at Pierre Trudeau International in Montreal, Canada. There are plenty of ways that airports around the world attempt to make the flying experience (or the airport experience as a whole) less stressful. Everything from day spas to cinemas to an actual golf course are offered at the best airports in the world, and even airlines are getting in on the action with extras like meditation apps to help passengers relax.
However, there are some things that are definitely more helpful than others. Spas and lounges can be out of the price range of most travelers, and other options can take too long for anyone to enjoy unless they have a particularly epic layover. One airport seems to have found the perfect option, though; service dogs, so that stressed out passengers can have a quick cuddle and feel better in no time!
Montreal's Trudeau International Airport has now introduced a 'pet squad' of 30 dogs and their handlers that will be roaming the airport so that travelers can pet the animals if they want to. The program was tested back in October, and positive reactions have led to it becoming a permanent fixture, with plans to increase the number of dogs in the future. The project is a joint venture between YUL and the Companion Animal Adoption Centres of Quebec, and animals can be found in both the domestic and international terminals.
Unsurprisingly, many passengers were enthusiastic about the introduction of the pups to the airport, enjoying the chance to meet a cute dog in a place that isn't usually known for being stress-free. Some passengers even said that the dogs might replace their pre-flight drinks, according to volunteer Joan Tasse;
One lady said to us, ‘I was heading off to have a glass of wine. Now that I have the dog I don't need the wine'
Of course, there are some concerns about the project, because not everyone is a dog lover. Some people have allergies, while others have fears (and some just don't want dog hairs on their clothes). To address these issues, the volunteers are trained to keep their animals close and wait for passengers to approach them; so anyone with an issue with dogs doesn't need to worry about being bowled over by an over-enthusiastic mutt! In terms of allergies, precautions are being taken, but as dogs are already allowed in the airports (whether service dogs, bomb-and-drug sniffing dogs, or traveling pets), this won't make a huge difference to those people who are allergic.