Tips for Pet-Friendly Airport Wayfinding and Signage

A traveler arrives at your airport with their pet. Now what? Think about wayfinding for guests with pets or service animals as a 360-degree customer experience. You’ll want to tailor your signage to the tone and voice of your airport and hometown, but here are some standard recommendations to get you started.

Use all your options. Think about all aspects of wayfinding including signage, maps, digital signage, audio messaging and advertising, as well as airport personnel, volunteers, ambassadors and vendors. Make sure all of these communications and communicators help direct people with pets and service animals to the amenities or support they might need.

Be specific about pets and service animals. Nearly all airports welcome service animals, but service animal-only signage may be confusing for pet parents. They won’t know if their pet is welcome or if spaces are only for service animals. Be specific about where pets are welcome.

For departing travelers… Keep in mind that departure starts as soon as people enter your airport’s footprint. Consider promoting your airport’s pet amenities and pet-friendliness as people are driving in on billboards, electronic signage, in airport shuttles or trains, in elevators, etc.

For arriving travelers… Think about the path from concourse gate to baggage claim. Arriving travelers with pets will likely be looking for the closest pet relief area, so pay special attention to wayfinding for them.

Prep your information desk. Travelers with pets and service animals will appreciate information about local pet resources, such as nearby pet-friendly hotels, transit options and veterinary care. Make sure airport personnel, volunteers and ambassadors know how to guide those traveling with pets.

Communicate expectations, too. Signage that educates about pet owner responsibility and pet expectations helps everyone have a better visit to your airport. Include clear expectations in relief areas, for example about cleaning up pet waste, and other reminders throughout the airport, such as the need to keep pets leashed and to report any pet accidents for immediate cleanup. 

Signage in relief areas and the dog park at Nashville International Airport (BNA) includes responsible pet ownership guidance and a number to call for assistance or questions.

Want more tips? Check out the full Pet-Friendly Airport Toolkit for how-to’s and best practices to help plan pet-friendly policies, amenities and programming for airports.

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