Houston Airports is celebrating the first full year of its therapy dog program at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) which launched in April 2016. In an effort to enhance the customer experience at the airports, the airport system partnered with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs to help ease anxiety and stress some experience when traveling.
“For some of our passengers, flying can be an uneasy experience, and the therapy dog program has really helped ease that anxiousness,” said Interim Customer Service Manager Ella Ghica. “The feedback has been great, and even a fun experience for those that enjoy flying, because who doesn’t love a four-legged friend.”
Throughout the week, volunteer dog teams, readily identifiable by the handlers' bright orange polo shirts and the dogs' blue bandanas, make their way to the various terminals and gates around the airport offering passengers an opportunity to pet and interact with the furry ambassadors.
“This was the best part of my day and a nice way to be greeted. I wish my hometown airport had this,” said Melissa Morris, a traveler who had a brief layover in Houston before heading to Puerto Rico for vacation.
The airport currently has 10 volunteer dog teams and plans to expand the program to William P. Hobby Airport.