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Traveling through TPA with a furry companion? Here's what you need to know

With record peak days of travelers taking flight in 2022, airports worldwide are busier than ever. That not only means more people filling up TPA's terminals, but also more four-legged companions. Flying with a pet can be overwhelming and confusing, both to the animal and the owner. Here are four tips to help make the journey safer and smoother for all.

1. Do your research

Requirements such as carrier dimensions, weight limits and fees associated for traveling with your furry friends vary from airline to airline. Regardless of whether they are service animals, emotional support animals or pets, all questions should be directed to the airline's customer service line or website for the most accurate information.

2. Keep Fido secured during screening

Are your pets traveling in a carrier? Taking a pet through TSA is no small task for many, and often you will need to send the pet carrier (minus the pet!) through the screening machine. If your small animal is skittish, they may be placed in a private screening room while TSA inspects your pet’s carrier. It is important that you keep your animal leashed while they are out of their carrier. TSA has a fun guide that describes this process.

pet relief3.  Look for relief     

TPA has some of America's best restrooms, and that extends to relief areas for your pet on each Airside and outside of the Main Terminal. The Main Terminal pet relief areas are located just outside of the building on the Baggage Claim Level, providing pre-security access for passengers and visitors with service animals. Post-security pet relief areas are covered spaces located within each of our four Airside Terminals. These areas feature lush synthetic grass and a red fire hydrant. There are waste disposal bags, bins, and a drinking sink so you can keep your four-legged companion happy and comfortable.

4. Do the meet-and-greets at home

While the team here at Tampa International Airport loves pets as much as you do, we ask that guests refrain from bringing to TPA anyNo Animals Allowed signage animals that are not service animals or en route to and from a plane. This helps ensure that passengers are kept safe and our K9 units can safely do their job within the Main Terminal. 

“Pets traveling by air must be kept in their travel carrier at all times to ensure their safety,” TPA Vice President of Operations Adam Bouchard said. “A non-service animal on a leash outside its travel carrier can create a dangerous situation for the pet and its owner, especially when using escalators, elevators, and other airport transit systems.”   

Looking for more information about pet policies at TPA or maybe with some of our busiest carriers? Checkout everything you need to know about animals at the airport.