Flying to Fort Myers With a Small Dog
After flying to Fort Myers with a small dog … me… the bipeds agree that there is always far more charm associated with a small airport. Not only does the smaller size make it more manageable to maneuver, the atmosphere is also always far more pleasant. The staff tend to smile more, things are a little more relaxed. Not lax – but less … how shall I put it … disgruntled.
The Fort Myers Airport falls in this category. Although the main hub for all Southwest Florida destinations (including Naples, Florida) it remains by and large a relatively small, charming, efficient and very clean airport. Their approach to pet relief areas is in harmony with the rest. Efficient, esthetically pleasing and bright and sunny like Florida itself; it just says “welcome to your vacation”.
To begin with, the small airport refers to “Pet Relief Areas” as “Dog Walk Areas” invoking a desire to stay and linger a while. Imagine our surprise as we found (easily!) the pet designated area and it was a very large expanse of thick, healthy grass (the large blade kind my Mom calls “crab grass” and is considered a weed – ahmmm… plague… for most gardeners in northern climes). This stuff is almost half as tall as me and really tickled my tummy. I had a wild time bouncing like a rabbit all over it! It was wonderful and I got to do this while Dad waited for our bag at the carousel. Great thinking on their part to put an area so close to the exit for us little ones that need to stretch and relieve ourselves ASAP after a long flight. Kudos!
“Animals (excluding service or law enforcement) are prohibited inside the terminal unless they are carried in approved travel containers. If you would like to walk your dog, there are designated Dog Walk Areas at both ends of the terminal on the lower level (near the gazebo and loading dock), or across the street from baggage claim on the lower level near the parking garage. Please remember to clean up after your pets.” – From RSW Airport Website
Poop bags are kindly provided, and there were some in the disperser when we visited. There were two benches (between the grass area and the car rental building) where we could sit in the shade for a moment. The only complaint might be that it wasn’t fenced in allowing for a little off leash … but it is a walk area and not a dog park after all. There were some large trees along the edge of the sidewalk bordering the grassy area that provided the choice for shade versus sun. As we were starving for sun upon our arrival we chose to soak some up right then and there. It was really an easy and pleasant experience.
There are two designated “Dog Walk Areas” at both ends of the terminal. One is on the lower level (near the gazebo and loading dock). We are saving this one for our next trip! The easiest one for anyone to find – especially for those renting a vehicle as part of their trip – is just across the street from baggage claim on the lower level near the parking garage. Talk about convenient! The poop bag dispenser is not far from the bus stop, just right off the pedestrian crossing. Ask any member of staff for direction and they will tell you – with a smile!
In review: Flying to Fort Myers with a small dog? Well so far – this has been my favorite airport “pit stop”. It was grass, it was clean, they didn’t over complicate things, there were no attempts to make this cute with useless fire hydrants and useless concrete paw shapes; nope – just a nice large expanse of thick lush, clean and great smelling grass. Perfect.