With more pet parents than ever eager to bring pets as they travel, Mars Petcare’s BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program aims to recognize and support airports that are taking steps to help people traveling with pets and service animals. Here’s some information to help you get started in applying for Airport Certification.
Who can apply
- Airports must be located within 90 miles of a BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ Certified City to be eligible for certification. You can find a list of current certified cities here.
- As an airport certification, the assessment should be completed by someone employed by the airport or a designated partner.
- Keep in mind that if you are not near a certified city, you can work in tandem with the city to get it certified as well as applying for Airport Certification. Here’s info about applying for city certification.
- While most airports accommodate service animals, pets must be explicitly included in policies and programs to be eligible for certification.
What to expect
- A first pass of the assessment should take less than 20 minutes to complete.
- You do not have to complete the assessment all in one sitting. You may stop, save your work and return later by clicking save and continue at the top right of any page. You will then receive a unique link that will allow you to return to where you left off.
- Depending on your familiarity with the airport’s programs and policies, you may need to check with other teams or resources to confirm answers.
- We don’t expect any airport to be perfect across all aspects of the assessment but do need to see evidence of the airport’s commitment to pets and being pet friendly.
- Once you submit the airport assessment, it will be reviewed by the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ team within approximately two weeks. You will be contacted at the email address you provided with your results and any follow-up questions.
- Certification is currently being awarded for two-year periods. To be recertified, airports will need to update their assessment every two years to capture pet-friendly progress that has been made.
What’s in the assessment’s sections
- Airport Information: Basic information about you, the airport and how to contact you.
- Welcoming Pets and Their People: Information about how your airport welcomes pets as people arrive, depart or look for airport information.
- Wayfinding and Signage: Information about how your airport helps travelers with pets find what they need as they travel through your airport.
- Pet-Friendly Places in Your Airport: Information about spaces in your airport that are dedicated to service animals and pets.
- Pet-Friendly Places in your Airport – Indoor: Information about indoor amenities and spaces for pets and service animals.
- Pet-Friendly Places in your Airport – Outdoor: Information about outdoor amenities and spaces for pets and service animals.
- Incidents and Accidents: Information about how your airport proactively and regularly prepares for incidents and accidents involving pets, service animals and their people.
- Customer Experience and Engagement: Information about how your airport provides quality customer service and engagement opportunities for pets and people.
What you’ll need
- For the “Airport Information” section, you will need basic demographic data like number of passengers per year and an estimate of the percentage who are traveling with pets or service animals.
- As part of the airport team, you will likely be able to answer all of the questions included in the assessment based on your experiences in the airport. You may need to consult with other team members where you have questions.
- Since the certification depends on self-reporting, you’ll need to confirm that answers are accurate to the best of your ability. During the review process, you may be contacted regarding any questions that arise.
Tips to keep in mind
- You can download a PDF of the assessment questions here so you can review all the questions before beginning.
- While most airports accommodate service animals, to choose an affirmative answer, pets must be included in your policies, programs, signage, etc.
- Do not refresh your page while working on the assessment, it will take you back to the beginning of the assessment.
- Some questions ask you to “select all that apply.” If none of the options apply to your airport, simply select “none of the above.”
- Check out our Pet-Friendly Airport Toolkit for insights and best practices.
Click here to see the airport assessment and apply now.
We’re here to help
Have questions about the certification or how to answer a particular question? Email us at info@BetterCitiesForPets.com.