Are you or your kiddo a nervous flyer? There’s absolutely no shame in being a member of the White Knuckle Club. In a super-cute effort to calm nervous flyers, American Airlines now has service puppies at airports in Sydney, Australia available for calming, pre-flight cuddles.

The pups are courtesy of a new partnership between the airline and Assistance Dogs Australia. Nervous flyers, or anyone looking to perk up their day by petting a puppy, can visit the service dogs in-training during check-in.

photo: iStock

Aptly named the “emBark” program, this initiative is the first of its kind in Australia. While the dogs will have a definite affect on flyers who need a little slice of calm before they board, they also have another purpose.

The Assistance Dogs Australia partnership is also a way to raise awareness of the organizations work and the ways in which service animals help people with physical disabilities, autism and PTSD. While the pups aren’t service dogs yet, with some training (and plenty of hard work) they’ll fill the role someday soon.

So when can you get a puppy cuddle? If you’re flying out of Sydney Airport on American Airlines, you can meet the soon-to-be full-fledged service dogs on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

—Erica Loop

Featured Photo: Lydia Torrey via Unsplash 



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