Today, Mars Petcare announced the launch of a new Airport Certification1 through its BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program, naming Nashville International Airport® (BNA) as the first to attain the new pet-friendly designation. The announcement, in time for the holiday travel rush, comes in response to a rising demand for pet-friendly travel options, as a recent survey shows 85 percent of pet parents are likely to travel within the next year and 65 percent saying they would like to bring their pets along. Following the company’s recently launched partnership with Hilton’s Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton brands, the new Airport Certification aims to accommodate the growing desire from pet parents to travel with their dogs and cats and encourage other airports to make the travel experience more welcoming to both people and their pets.
“Our new Airport Certification is a natural extension of our BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program into the travel space, an area where pet parents are looking for more welcoming and accommodating experiences for their pets,” said Ikdeep Singh, Regional President, Mars Petcare North America. “It’s clear that pet parents want to travel with their cats and dogs and working with leaders like BNA help us ensure we’re meeting their needs and delivering on our purpose: A Better World for Pets.”
As the first airport to obtain the new pet-friendly designation, Nashville International Airport has prioritized the safety and ease of traveling with pets and service animals, installing a variety of pet-friendly amenities before and after the security checkpoint. New features include:
- A dedicated Dog Park, located in the Plaza on the fifth floor of Terminal Garage 1 to provide much-needed outdoor green space to traveling pets and pet parents complete with a hydration station and waste stations
- Two curbside relief areas at the North and South terminals, each equipped with a hydration station and waste station
- An indoor relief area located in Concourse D post-security, also equipped with a hydration station and waste station
- Enhanced visual wayfinding signage throughout the airport to make locating pet-friendly amenities easier for travelers
- Celebration of pet ownership throughout the airport, with two custom pet-themed murals in the North and South terminals where travelers can stop and snap a photo with their pets to document their trip
With these new spaces installed, pet parents will have options before and after the security checkpoint ensuring a more comfortable airport experience for travelers and their pets and service animals.
“As travelers seek pet-friendly travel experiences, BNA is thrilled to partner with Mars Petcare and provide these enhancements to earn the first-ever Airport Certification through the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program,” said Doug Kreulen, President and CEO, Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority. “We’re excited to announce the installation of our many pet-friendly amenities, including green spaces and relief and hydration stations, and we’re proud to help pave the way toward more pet-friendly travel in the future.”
To develop the new certification, Mars Petcare collaborated with the Civic Design Center, a leader in designing public spaces and American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), leveraging their insights and aviation expertise. The organizations provided feedback and guidance on the certification assessment, including input on relevant amenity enhancements and solutions that would facilitate welcoming, safe and comfortable travel environments for pets, pet parents and all other travelers.
“Travel with pets has increased in the last several years, and the new data on pet parent desires shows that the trend isn’t slowing down,” said Gwen Basaria, Vice President, Member Experience & AAAE Foundation. “As airports and our members look for guidance, tools and resources to help them meet traveler needs while first and foremost maintaining a safe and pleasant travel environment for all, it was important for us to work closely with Mars Petcare in providing insight as they introduced the new Airport Certification through their BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program.”
This latest news is a continuation of Mars Petcare’s BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program that helps cities become pet-friendly by bringing the voice of pets and their owners to places of influence, including key partners, businesses and local governments and advocating for fewer pets in shelters, more pet-friendly places and happier, healthier lives for both people and pets. To apply for the new Airport Certification through the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program, airports must be located within 90 miles of a BETTER CITIES FOR PETS certified city.
To spread the word about the new Airport Certification, Mars Petcare teamed up with Nashville-native and acclaimed singer-songwriter Cassadee Pope, who recently checked out the pet-friendly updates at the airport with her French bulldog, Cuppy.
For more information or to learn how to apply for the Airport Certification through the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program, click here.