Therapy dogs make the rounds at SoCal airports to help lower stress of holiday travel

Rob Hayes Image
Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Therapy dogs roam Burbank airport to help lower stress
Therapy dogs are deployed at Burbank, LAX and other airports to help lower stress during the busy holiday-travel season.

BURBANK, Calif. (KABC) -- Holidays are always a stressful time to travel but this year could be even more so, as a big Midwest storm is expected to jam up flights around the country.

Some airports are taking extra steps to try to keep travelers as relaxed as possible amid the possibility of delays and cancellations.

At Hollywood Burbank Airport, for example, certified therapy dogs are dispatched from "Waggage Claim" to help take the edge off a bad case of stress.

"I've never been happier in an airport in my entire life," said one traveler. "This is a Christmas miracle."

Los Angeles International Airport also offers a therapy dog program - Pets Unstressing Passengers, or PUP. The dogs and handlers roam departure areas to visit passengers waiting for their flights.

LAX's busiest days of holiday travel season are here

Airport officials advise travelers - and those driving them or expecting them - to plan ahead and leave plenty of extra time.

Of course, you can lower your stress levels in other ways. At the top of the list: Budget plenty of extra time to get to the airport and your gate.

"Making sure that I'm running super, super early so I get to the airport and I have plenty of hours to just relax," said traveler Megha Jain of Berkeley. "Because you'd rather be sitting at your gate really relaxed than be rushing around until the last minute."

Also whether you're picking someone up or traveling yourself, always make sure to check your flight status before you leave home, with so many delays expected.