We love our fur babies. And if you’re flying with Fido, you might want to check out the airports with the best overall pet amenities. Not all U.S. airports can boast the same pet-friendly features. We think these airports are “Top Dog.” Sorry, we just had to do it.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York, New York
The best part of JFK’s commitment to pet services is access. In a lot of airports, you have to leave the secured areas to get your pet some relief. That means, you can be inconvenienced by multiple security screenings if your dog needs to relieve itself. JFK has you covered with a total of 7 pet relief areas. And a few terminals have pet areas inside after you clear security.
Terminal 4 has a small, but efficient area inside the security area for your dog to relieve itself – it’s cute with a mini fire hydrant, artificial turf, free bags, and a wash up sink for owners.
We like Terminal 5 the best. In fact, it has a large outdoor patio called the “wooftop” that’s open to all passengers and their pets. It’s located after security, so you don’t have to tangle with the TSA twice. The wooftop has seating for 50, charging stations for all your devices, great views of Manhattan, and a dog walk. You can find the “wooftop” across from Gate 28.
Terminal 8 also has a service animal/pet potty area inside the security area. Furthermore, American has its own “pet relief” area at the airline’s departures area (also in terminal 8). There’s a 1,000 square foot area of natural grass where your pooch can “go” before or after a flight.
Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix, Arizona
Sky Harbor doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles you find at JFK, but this smaller airport still has outsize pet relief amenities. You’ll find 8 areas for pets to stretch their legs at Sky Harbor, all outfitted with areas to relieve themselves and drink water:
Areas near the Sky Train stations:
East Economy Park & Bark located near the East Economy parking garages
Park ‘n Play is on the northwest corner of the 44th Street PHX Sky Train Station
Areas inside security:
Terminal 3 on the South and North concourse
Terminal 4 in the D1-D8 gates concourse near the family restrooms, and at the B1-B14 concourse near the restrooms at Gate B2.
Area outside security:
Terminal 3: “The Paw Pad” located outside the terminal in the West Plaza. Offers a more landscaped area with native Arizona plants.
Terminal 4: “The Bone Yard” on the west side of Level 1, just outside of baggage claim.
Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is one of the world’s busiest airports, so it sees a lot of traffic from pet people. The airport has a good, solid number of pet relief areas located both inside and outside the terminals.
If you do have a service dog, Atlanta is the airport that offers the most accommodations, which is why we recommend it for people with flight connections. To accommodate passenger pets and guide dogs, the airport provides indoor Service Animal Relief Areas (SARAs) located in every concourse near Gates T7, A10, B33, C19, E14, F7 as well as D-Midpoint.
In addition, there’s a 1,000-square-foot dog park in the Ground Transportation area on Domestic Terminal South, outside of doors W1 and W2. The fully fenced-in park offers biodegradable bags along with benches. An additional pet relief area is located on the arrivals level of the International Terminal, right outside of door A1.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Los Angeles, California
For sheer numbers, you can’t beat LAX in pet relief areas. LAX has 11, more than any other domestic airport. They’re fairly utilitarian – you won’t find any cute branding, but you might also see some K9 security teams from local and federal law enforcement hanging out. This always makes me feel more safe. Each relief station has bags for easy disposal of waste and fresh drinking water.
Indoor post-security animal relief stations are located in all the terminals. Unless explicitly stated, these are mostly just small indoor rooms:
- Terminal 1: Near Gate 13
- Terminal 2: Near Gate 21
- Terminal 3: In the outdoor atrium
- Terminal 4 and TBIT (Tom Bradley International Terminal): A room along the bridge to Tom Bradley International Terminal
- Terminal 5: Near Gate 52B
- Terminal 6: In the outdoor atrium, by the restrooms near Gate 62
- Terminal 7: Between Gate 73 and 75B
There are also three outdoor stations located on the Arrivals Level:
- Between Terminals 1 and 2
- Between Terminals 5 and 6 — across the street in front of the parking structure
- At the east end of Terminal 7/8
Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport (MSP), Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport maintains pet and service animal relief areas at both terminals. Terminals 1 and 2 each house 1 post-security indoor pet area featuring faux grass, a fire hydrant, and a sink. There are 2 outdoor areas as well.
Convenient Pet Boarding Near Airport
For travelers who need to board their pets, the airport has an onsite, privately owned pet boarding facility called Now Boarding Pets. It used to be affiliated by the Animal Humane Society, but after a brief closure during the pandemic, reopened under new ownership in 2021.
Now Boarding Pets offers boarding, training, and grooming services for your pet, and will pick you up from the terminal and return you to your pet and vehicle for $15. They also allow travelers to park at their facility for $18/day. You can’t really beat the convenience!
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), Austin, Texas
Our last entry into the Best for Pets airport “Club” is Austin. Austin has a pre-security landscaped and lighted Dog Walk, that includes a pet drinking fountain, dog waste pick-up bag, and trash bins. There is also a pet relief area on an outdoor patio post-security too!
AUS has a Pet Boarding Facility Too
Like Minneapolis, Austin has a conveniently located pet boarding facility with easy access to the airport. Bark and Zoom is actually located on airport property. They offer reasonable pet boarding rates, inexpensive covered parking (just $11.95/day) and also offer a menu of other car services while you travel (car wash, oil change, etc.) A free shuttle service in an electric car rounds out your services, and your dog will experience comfortable boarding (they even have outdoor pools) while you’re away.
Most airports these days do offer services for your pet, so don’t forget to look into this if you’re traveling with furry pals. These airports are just the creme de la creme! Check out some of our other posts about how to travel with your pet, and other great airports with amenities for you!