Having flown around the U.S. and world with our three dogs, we know how much of a challenge it can be traveling with pets, especially on long distance flights. One of the main problems is finding a place where you can let your pooch pee just before boarding or as quickly as possible after disembarking your flight. Most airports have an area outside the terminal(s) which are fenced, designated pet relief centers and play zones, but you have to go back through security again with your carry-ons, pet bags, and pets to catch your flight. ( DogFriendly.com has as excellent list of outside pet relief locations at all major airports.)
So it was nice to learn that as part of its $1 billion expansion of Terminal 2, the San Diego Airport has created an area inside security where you can take your pets to relieve themselves. The pet relief center is located next to the restrooms for their owners in Terminal 2, and features fake grass, a faux fire hydrant as well as a sink and free poop baggies. This pet center is available to anyone departing or arriving from Gates 20 -51 at the airport. Owners are still required to clean up after their pets and that is why there are free baggies (just like many dog parks). The airport staff does hose down the grass twice a day.
Airport spokeswoman Katie Jones said building a pet relief center was required by a Department of Transportation’s regulation that airports provide a relief center for service animals inside the secure area. However, the pet relief center is available to anyone traveling with pets. San Diego is the second airport to install such a facility. Seattle Tacoma Airport was the first.