United Airlines Will Have ‘Comfort’ Dogs At Airports To Help Reduce Stress

Airport travel can be a bit hectic, especially around the holidays.  Flights are delayed and cancelled, airports are packed, weather can be bad.  It’s just no fun to travel right now.

United Airlines realized the stress travellers are facing and brought in some backup to help with the problem. Through its United Paws program, the airline will have more than 230 trained ‘comfort’ dogs walking around seven airports across the country.  Their goal is just to greet the passengers and provide a little happiness to an otherwise stressful trip.

“Research shows that just petting a dog releases oxytocin, the hormone associated with bonding and affection, and also decreases levels of stress, helps us breathe easier and lowers our blood pressure,” said veterinary consultant Dr. Walter Woolf in a press release.

The program runs December 21 – December 23 at Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark and Washington/Dulles airports.

They are also encouraging people to share photos taken with the dogs on Instagram and Twitter. “Customers who use Instagram and Twitter to share a picture of their dog in a travel setting or with a United Airlines logo or gear will be entered to win two roundtrip tickets to anywhere United Airlines flies in the continental United StatesAlaska, Canada and Mexico when they use the hashtags #UnitedPaws and #UnitedContest.”

For each photo shared, United will donate $1 to participating United Paws organizations.

Here are some of the great photos:

A photo posted by United (@united) on

Let’s hope more airlines start doing things like this to make it just a little easier for their passengers.