Flying to Philadelphia With a Small Dog

The bipeds always prefer going through US customs at the Ottawa National Airport. This little perk is a well kept local secret. Flying to Philadelphia with a small dog has huge advantages over other airports. It’s small, it’s quiet, it is highly efficient and it’s quick; all major bonuses when travelling as a four legged tourist. The only down side is on a human front – the Duty Free is almost non existent once you are on the other side.

So this trip was no exception – When we left for Naples we flew out of Ottawa , via Philadelphia and on to Fort Myers to then drive to Naples . Sounds long and tedious but it isn’t and the best part for dog travellers is in fact – Philadelphia airport itself. Quite possible the most dog friendly airport we have ever come across to date. There isn’t one or two … nor three pet relief areas … no – there are SEVEN of them to choose from. In other words – you don’t have to really look for one the odds are there is one right near you. They also come in different sizes!

The Airport provides 7 pet relief areas ranging in size from 250 to 600 square feet. The fenced-in facilities consist of a 4-inch deep mulch surface, biodegradable pet waste bag dispenser and receptacle, bench, faux hydrant and dog paw print. The areas are located on the Departures Road between Terminals A-West and A-East as well as Terminal B/C Ticketing and the Airport Communications Center; adjacent to Terminal E and Terminal F; on the Arrivals Road adjacent to Terminal A-East bag claim; on the Commercial Vehicle Road (south side of bag claim nearest to SEPTA train platform) at Terminal B bag claim and Terminal E bag claim.” – Philadelphia Airport Website

We got off the plane from Ottawa and had an unfortunate 3 hour wait for the next flight. With this much time to kill, the bipeds and I were more than happy to head outside and take a walk. We found our new departure gate – and using the pet relief area closest to that spot – we went out. It was easy to find and the lady at the information desk was very helpful.

The areas are all the same. Most relatively small. They do provide poop and scoop bags and I thought that was smart! The down side is not everyone uses them. I hate when I see this because this means that the potential for them to discard the idea of pet relief areas is always higher because of those few people that don’t clean up after their dogs. It is infuriating to say the least.

The space was cute enough. All of it either mulch or concrete slabs forming the design of a massive paw. It is an issue for those of us wanting to use grass. But I sniffed around and figured it out and relieved myself. We then walked up and down the length of the airport – stopping to chat with some staff having a break etc. We saw many of the little pet relief areas.

I appreciated the sense of a “garden” that was attempted with nice trees for shade in the heat. The bench provided for the bipeds was also a nice touch.

Getting back in through security was super easy – not because they are lax but because they have so many that the line ups are in fact really short. Staff are really friendly too with a lot of smiles, and even a dog treat!

I am not sure what the policy IS for the airport – but I will add that I was removed from my carrier and carried or allowed on a lap while we waited for our flight. The bipeds did not push their luck and let me walk on leash in the airport – but I enjoyed being out of my carrier. We went shopping and we had fun rocking on the white rocking chairs that dot the airport.

In review: Flying to Philadelphia with a small dog is easy! On the whole our experience was very much a positive one. We would go via Philly any time!



4 Comments on “Flying to Philadelphia With a Small Dog

  1. Very cool! I especially like the “no smoking” designation, as sadly some people think it’s appropriate to smoke around animals. Thanks for the report Monte!

    • Your welcome Brittany! I just hope I can keep doing this and with time have a really good idea of what routes to take when flying so as to avoid the less dog friendly spots! Now if only I had your talent with the camera to document all this!

      And I agree … no smoking PLEASE!!! Maybe I should do a blog post on that subject – what do you think?

  2. Love the report, and I’m happy to hear that the whole experience was so positive. Isn’t it funny how crucial a bench is? A pet relief area just has to have a place for me to dump all my stuff while I’m waiting for Chloe.

    • A bench yes! especially since there are – unfortunately – those that do not pick up!! So the idea of putting bags down on the ground where dogs “go” is kind of yucky! I think too it invites you to stay and take your time and not rush back. Getting every minute of fresh air possible. Humans do that a lot … rush things.

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