Denver International Airport

Miami Int’l Airport and the Miami Hound Machine

The ‘Miami Hound Machine’ – a team of therapy dogs – is coming to Miami International Airport.

Miami International Airport’s new therapy dog program, charmingly called the Miami Hound Machine, is making its debut today.

The team’s five volunteer K-9 Ambassadors – Abbey, Belle, Dash, Donovan and Pico – and their owners will be on site today with airport officials for a press conference. The pups will then go to work inside Concourse D, visting with passengers and being cute.

Members of the Miami Hound Machine are all certified therapy dogs from the Alliance of Therapy Dogs and will be on duty in the MIA terminals during peak travel periods.

Therapy dogs at airports are a growing trend. So are the types of animals on the therapy dog teams – San Francisco International Airport’s Wag Brigade has a pig (Lulu); Denver International Airport’s CATS program (Canine Airport Therapy Sqaud) has a cat named Xeli, and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) often has a small herd of miniature horses stop by.

Have you encountered a member of an animal therapy team at an airport? Thumbs up or down?

Puppets at LAX; an outdoor park at Denver Airport

Don’t be shy.

If you’re at Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday or Wednesday, July 10 and 11, make your way to Terminal 4 (post-security) to see a performance by the LA-based Bob Baker Marionette Theater.

The shows will be at 11 am and noon each day and if you’ve got a ticket to any terminal at LAX it should get you through the security line at Terminal 4 as well.

 

For the summer, Denver International Airport has turned its 82,000 square-foot open-air plaza between the Jeppesen Terminal and the Westin Denver hotel into a Pop-Up Park with native Colorado trees and plants and 9,000 square feet of turf.

Passengers and locals are invited to hang out in the park, which has lawn games, lunchtime fitness classes, lounge seating and a variety of scheduled music events and activities. More details here.

 

Viral video shows dog owner ignoring her dog’s poop at Denver Airport

Reno-Tahoe International Airport pet relief area

RNO airport pet relief area

Last week, my At the Airport column on USA TODAY discussed the challenge airports are having with all the animals – mainly dogs – passengers are bringing into the terminals. Some dogs are well-behaved; others not.

“We find them making messes on the airport carpet, interfering with the airport’s working dogs and, on occasion, biting other dogs or passengers,” said Kama Simonds, spokeswoman for Oregon’s Portland International Airport.

This week, PDX issued revised rules for animals in the airport  which include potential fines up for up to $250 for infractions such as letting your dog do its business on the floor and not cleaning it up.

Looks like Denver International Airport will have to consider adopting similar rules. This video of a woman chatting on the phone instead of cleaning up after her dog has gone viral, with folks on the Internet working together to ID her and shame her.

By the way, Denver International Airport has official dog relief areas in each concourse.

Travel Tidbits from Denver and Los Angeles airports

Ending the week with some travel tidbits from airports for you.

Were you hoping that Norbert the Turtle really was joining the pet therapy program at Denver International Airport? That turned out to be an April Fool’s Day joke, but DEN did add their 101st member to their team.

Not a joke was the announcement that Los Angeles International Airport had installed Tooshlights in one set of bathrooms in the American Airlines Terminal 4 to guide lav users – via overhead red and green lights – to stalls that are open.

LAX also announced that $4.9 billion contract had been approved by the Los World Airports (LAWA) Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Automated People Mover (APM) system at the airport.

The system promises driverless trains that will arrive at every station every two minutes, and light-filled stations with escalators, elevators, and moving walkways. Bonus amenities include a viewing platform of the iconic Theme Building.

When will we be able to take the train to LAX? Sometime in 2023.

Goat yoga at Denver International Airport

Airports around the country are bringing out the big guns (in most cases, Santa and his elves) to help entertain travelers during this busy and often stressful travel week.  But Denver International Airport will likley win “Airport Amenity of the Week” for the highly entertaining and stress-busting goat yoga session it offered passengers.

Take a look:

For the next few months you’ll find a goat-free, pop-up yoga studio at Denver International Airport where a smal fee gets you a private space and instructional videos.

There are also free yoga studo spaces at San Francisco International Airport, Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Miami International Airport and several others.