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Airpawt ambassadors: Therapy dogs in terminal for pats and cuddles

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 14 Dec 2021, 2:11pm
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Airpawt ambassadors: Therapy dogs in terminal for pats and cuddles

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 14 Dec 2021, 2:11pm

New Zealand's first "airpawt ambassadors" will begin their duties at Christchurch airport. 

The airport's Pups Assisting with Stress programme has therapy dogs in the terminal for pats, cuddles and paw-fives. 

"Travelling to be with loved ones is extra special, but some people will be a little anxious. That's why we will have New Zealand's first "airpawt ambassadors" on duty, chief aeronautical and commercial officer Justin Watson said. 

"Our P.A.W.S programme (Pups Assisting With Stress) has therapy dogs in the terminal for pats, cuddles and "paw-fives. Our Christmas wish for all our visitors is for them relax and enjoy their holiday," Watson said. 

The pups will be at the terminal on Thursday and Friday this week and Monday-Friday next week from 12pm to 1pm. 

Watson said this year's Christmas travel season is expected to be one of the busiest on record. 

The busiest domestic travel day is next Thursday, when 212 flights are scheduled and 19,000 passengers will pass through. 

The airport will get a lot busier this week, when Aucklanders begin to travel around the country, Watson said. 

"This Wednesday is going to be very busy, but we're well prepared and used to managing big numbers. 

"Safety remains our top priority, so in addition to the requirements to fly, facemasks and scanning are mandatory, along with using hand sanitiser and we have increased cleaning protocols," he said. 

They are asking everyone to be tolerant and patient, he said. 

"The few extra pre-travel requirements may take travellers a little longer to manage before their flight. We want everything to go smoothly, so ask people coming to the airport to look after themselves and others, and to be patient with airport and airline staff." 

Airlines are asking people to arrive 60 minutes ahead of their flight. 

"We expect our drop-off/pick-up area to be especially busy, so suggest people check their parking options on our website. 

"It will be more important than usual to arrive at the airport well prepared, with everything you need and with carry-on and checked baggage within the weight limits."