The Adventures of Django and Arya

Airport Pet Reception Centres

You may have noticed an increase in the number of pet relief areas popping up in airports across the globe. Why would my pet need a hotel inside an airport you may ask? Well, if you have a flight connection and your pet is travelling in the hold, you may need to use an airport pet reception centre, or pet hotel as they are sometimes known. Airport pet reception centres are also responsible for carrying out border inspections for animals travelling to and from certain countries. In other cases, your pet may be flying as cargo without you, therefore, you must collect them at their final destination. So, if the airport has a designated pet relief area, your pet will usually be looked after in the special animal facility until you’re both reunited. And, of course, after a long flight, your dog will no doubt need a bathroom break! So, we’ve included airports that also have a purpose built indoor pet relief area for dogs to stretch their legs. In tandem with the global pet ownership phenomenon, there also comes an increased demand for pet travel. So it’s no surprise that many airports are constructing purpose built facilities, such as animal reception centres and pet relief areas. At the moment, you’re most likely to come across a reception centre or pet relief area within high traffic airport hubs in popular destinations.

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Airport pet reception centres airport animal reception centres

Animal Care & Welfare in Airport Pet Reception Centres

Of course, there are differences in the care provided within different airports and countries. But, in general, the staff will:

  • Collect your pet from the aircraft and accompany them to the airport’s animal reception centre
  • Check paperwork for compliance with the relevant pet travel scheme
  • Provide temporary accommodation to animals in transit
  • Be responsible for the safety and comfort of all animals in their care
  • Provide a temperature controlled environment for animals travelling outbound and inbound, or onwards on a connecting flight
  • Give your pet clean drinking water

Services available vary, but in most cases if you have a dog, staff will ensure that they receive some well deserved exercise to break up their journey. You should always check with the specific airport pet relief area staff that your pet will receive the care and attention that they need.

Before you book your next pet flight, you can check out reviews by pet travellers who’ve used each centre.

Airport Pet Centre Facilities

While some facilities are more state of the art than others, due to new regulations over recent years the basic amenities available in all cases are:

  • Dog kennels
  • Catteries
  • Isolation rooms for birds and reptiles
  • Toilet areas
  • Food and water

Airport Pet Relief Areas

Sometimes the terms ‘airport pet reception centre’ and ‘airport pet relief area’ are used interchangeably. In the guides that we’ve provided for international airports, we’ve included:

  • details of the Pet Reception Centre, held in a separate building from the terminal, and handling animals arriving by plane as cargo
  • details of any indoor Pet Relief Area within the terminal building, to allow dogs a toilet break when they’ve arrived in the cabin of the plane

Global Airport Pet Reception Centres & Relief Areas

Click on the links to read the full policies for the following busy airport hubs that house pet reception centres. We’ve also included details of any indoor, purpose built pet relief areas that are available for dogs arriving at the airport.

Be aware that if your pet is travelling separately from you, you must arrive in the UK within 5 days of each other. If not, then your pet must enter the UK through only Edinburgh, London Heathrow or London Gatwick airports.


England (UK)

Scotland (UK)

United States of America

Always protect your pet when travelling to a foreign destination, and remember to leave a review for any airport pet reception centre visited by your furry, feathered or scaled animal companion!

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