Furry friends traveling with passengers at both of Oklahoma’s major commercial airports now have a place to go before takeoff.
Pet relief areas have been created at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City and at Tulsa International Airport in response to federal legislation. The Air Carrier Access Act requires airports to provide a relief area for service animals accompanying disabled travelers.
Staff at both airports say the pet relief areas are for anyone traveling with pets and are accessible before security checkpoints.
At Will Rogers World Airport, the pet area includes a mock fire hydrant and plenty of green grass for the dogs to stretch their legs. The fenced-in area is outside the east baggage claim on the lower level.
Disposal bags also are provided to help guests clean up after their pets, said Mark Kranenburg, director of airports for Oklahoma City.
"It’s quite nice,” he said. "It’s done first-class.”
Several passengers have told him that having the pet area is a benefit to traveling at the airport, he said.
"We hope people will maintain it and keep it nice,” Kranenburg said.
Tulsa International Airport’s bomb dogs have been frequent visitors to their pet relief area, a grassy spot on the upper level by the baggage claim, said Alexis Higgins, airport spokeswoman.
And because several airlines rank Tulsa’s airport fourth in the nation for dog shipments, there are a lot of pooch passengers, Higgins said.
"It’s fun. I see dogs in the terminal every day,” she said.