As much fun as going on holiday is, there’s no denying that it can be quite stressful at times going from A to B - especially if you’re in a foreign country, don’t know the language and know you’ll be rushing around trying to catch that connecting flight.
But now airports appear to be going above and beyond to help keep passengers happy and their stress levels low as they make their way to the departure gate. How? By introducing airport therapy animals, of course!
We’ve done a quick roundup of some of the animals you could potentially meet on your travels, so make sure you keep your eyes well peeled as you fly around the world this year or next.
LiLou is a five-year-old Juliana Pig and forms part of the Wag Brigade at San Francisco International Airport, a group of well-meaning animals who want to bring a bit of cheer to passengers and help them with any travel-related anxiety they may be experiencing.
According to Reuters, LiLou can be seen trotting about in a dashing pilot’s cap with bright red toenails, raising her hoof in greeting, taking selfies with travellers and even keeping them well entertained by playing tunes on her toy piano.
The next creature you’re going to want to meet on your global tour of airport therapy animals is Stitches the cat, whose excellent work you can admire at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport.
According to the Star Tribune, she is the first feline to join the 96 therapy dogs already serving as Animal Ambassadors at the airport, all of whom are on hand (or paw) to reduce stress and make your overall airport experience that much better.
Now, we’re not entirely convinced that seeing alligators in the airport will help us to destress as we try to reach our final destination, but we’re willing to give it a go.
As USA Today explains, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and the Audubon Nature Institute have teamed up to bring live baby alligators to the baggage claim area every Friday afternoon, where you can pose with selfies and get to know these fascinating animals a little bit better.
No list of therapy animals would ever be complete without the mention of at least one dog - and if you make your way to Denver International Airport you may well be lucky enough to meet Shogun, the seven-year-old Bernese mountain dog, who’s part of the Canine Airport Therapy Squad programme.
Local magazine 5280 reports that Shogun is one of more than 100 animals to be found at the airport and he gets around 87 pats on the head, five photo requests and at least one hug in a two-hour shift.