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Published on : Thursday, November 24, 2016
As throngs of people rushed toward their Thanksgiving holiday celebrations, U.S. airports trotted companion dogs to calm the jittery travellers. The airports also offered free parking options to the passengers.
Up to 2.8 million people per day, about 600,000 more than average has been expected to fly in the United States over the coming six days, making it one of the busiest weeks for travel. According to motor club AAA, the airports will not only be the crowded places as some 48.7 million people, the most since 2007, are expected to travel 50 miles (80 km) or farther for the holiday.
Fortunate were those passengers who travelled on early Wednesday and reported smooth experiences.
Airports in cities including Chicago and Memphis, Tennessee took this amazing step of deploying therapy dogs to wander around terminals with their owners to help the passengers relieve their anxiety. At Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway International Airports, the dogs in service this week include a Jack Russell Terrier mix and a German Shepherd mix provided by a local charitable group, Canine Therapy Corps.
Ann Davidson, the group’s operations manager believes that with the dog distracting attention for a least a little while will help to improve passenger’s experience at the airport. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport said it was giving up to seven days of free parking to the first 1,000 cars that entered through specially marked lanes starting on Wednesday morning. In New York, reduced parking rates were available for a limited time at John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark International airports.
Amtrak also added extra trains and seats to accommodate rail passengers, specially on the busiest lines – along the East Coast, in southern California and the Pacific Northwest.