Airport service lets you cuddle puppies at check-in to calm pre-flight nerves

An airport has come up with a genius ways to help nervous fliers forget their worries, even for just a moment, while checking in.

Cuddling. Adorable. Puppies.

The new emBark programme says that "pictures, cuddles and pats are all welcome", as passengers are encouraged to interact with the adorable dogs as they start their journey.

To be honest, our concern is we’d forget to check in at all after spending some time with the fluffy dogs!

But it’s not just humans who get something out of it – the dogs themselves are actually in training to be assistance dogs, so they need to learn to interact with plenty of people.

The dogs are part of Assistance Dogs Australia, which is working with American Airlines to raise awareness of the services it offers.

It actually takes over $35,000 to train a puppy including buying the dog itself, its food, vaccinations, training and placement.

However, people in need will be provided with the trained dog for free.

Unfortunately, the airport service currently isn’t available in the UK, but has been launched at Sydney International Airport by American Airlines.

But if you do happen to be in Sydney, the puppies will be on hand to greet you between 7am-9am on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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The new service launched in September, but it’s not the first time the airlines has launched a scheme of this nature.

In fact, it has had a Puppies in Flight programme since 1999, enlisting volunteers to transport service dogs to trainers and then on to their permanent homes.

Russ Fortson, American’s Managing Director – Asia Pacifc, said: "American’s team at Sydney International Airport has seen first-hand the smiles, relief and confidence emBark can give our customers while they check in for their flights.

"Each Tuesday and Thursday that the emBark program runs, the atmosphere at check-in is noticeably lighter and more relaxed.

"If these inspiring dogs can accomplish this during short interactions with our customers, imagine the positive impact they can have on the daily lives of the people who need them."

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