For millions of Americans preparing to travel this holiday season, the preparation checklist might be a little daunting: Book last-minute travel. Get last-minute gifts. Pack the bags. Pack the kids.
The joyous Christmas season can be stressful. United Airlines understands – and is enlisting help from some of its furry, four-legged friends on a mission to reduce stress and deliver smiles to anyone who needs one.
United Paws, a program designed to deliver smiles to customers, brings professionally trained comfort dogs to airports in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark and Washington/Dulles. The United Paws crews will greet customers from Dec. 21 through Dec. 23, each day between 9 a.m. and noon and between 1 and 4 p.m.
“United Paws is a wonderful program that comes at just the right time for some holiday travelers who may be experiencing a bit of anxiety or stress,” says Veterinary Consultant Dr. Walter Woolf. “Research shows that just petting a dog releases oxytocin, the hormone associated with bonding and affection, and also decreases levels of stress, helps us breathe easier and lowers our blood pressure. I’ve experienced this recently and think this is a wonderful idea for holiday travelers.”
“In ways large and small, all of us at United want to bring a bit of comfort and joy to our customers during this busy season of travel,” said Tom O’Toole, United’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “We introduced comfort dogs during the holiday season last year, and they were very popular with our customers, so we’re bringing them back at more airports this year.”
Share with friends to win two roundtrip tickets
Customers who use Instagram and Twitter to share a picture of their dog in a travel setting or with a United Airlineslogo or gear will be entered to win two roundtrip tickets to anywhere United Airlines flies in the continental United States, Alaska, Canada and Mexico when they use the hashtags #UnitedPaws and #UnitedContest.
For each photo shared, United will donate $1 to participating United Paws organizations.