Lonely Planet Writer

Where to find the most pet-friendly airports in the US

Getting through the airport is stressful enough, but travelling with a pet in tow can add new layers of complications. However, if you’re travelling in the US, a new list of the most pet-friendly airports may help you find the top spots to bring your beloved pet.

Not all airports are as easy for pet owners. Image by Orchidpoet/Getty Images

Federal rules require that airports that serve more than 10,000 passengers per year must have pet relief stations for service animals. To find out what airports go above and beyond those regulations, Upgraded Points released a new study ranking the best airports for pet owners, offering up even more benefits like room for animals to run and play.

Unsurprisingly, the number one airport for pet owners is John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, which made headlines last year by introducing The ARK at JFK, the world’s first privately-owned animal terminal. According to the study, one terminal at JFK has a 4000-square-foot outdoor garden patio that is open to both passengers and pets, while other areas have pet bathrooms with artificial grass. American Airlines have even created its own pet relief area at its departures terminal.

Inside the Ark at JFK Image by The Ark

The second spot also happens to be the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which includes relief areas post-security and a 1000-square-foot dog park located pre-security. There’s also Pet Paradise, which is a boarding facility so travellers can be reunited with their pets as quickly as possible when they land home in Atlanta.

Overall, the top 10 most pet-friendly airports, according to the survey, are: John F. Kennedy, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, Sky Harbor International, Los Angeles International, Minneapolis-St. Paul International, Austin-Bergstrom International, Reno-Tahoe International, Dallas Love Field Airport, Denver International, and Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport.