Long Beach Airport (LGB) is offering a new amenity aimed at reducing travel stress. The STARS (Simple Therapy And Real Smiles) program provides trained therapy dogs to comfort travelers making their way through the airport. After a successful pilot, the STARS program officially launched yesterday, Oct. 30, with nine therapy dogs.
“The Long Beach Airport is one of the most relaxing airports to fly in and out of,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “We’re really excited to be adding therapy dogs to make air travel through Long Beach an even more exciting experience.”
To commemorate the occasion, the airport held a ceremony formally introducing the dogs and their handlers. The therapy dogs were outfitted with personalized vests, identifying their names and encouraging the public to stop and pet them. Each of the nine dogs also has its own trading card, which can be requested from the handler. The dog handlers are all official volunteers with the airport.
“The feedback from our travelers has been extremely positive,” said Cynthia Guidry, Long Beach Airport Director. “We love the pure delight that these dogs bring our passengers and how often we see travelers interacting and even taking selfies with our furry friends.”
The dogs vary in size and breed, from a chihuahua-terrier to a golden retriever to a labradoodle. The oldest participating dog, Coco, is a 12-year-old standard poodle and the youngest, Harmony, is a two-year-old lemon beagle. Travelers can encounter the dogs on the concourse, where they will be identified by their vests.
Travelers are encouraged to share their selfies with the dogs on social media and tag #AirportTherapyDogs and #FlyLGB.
About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 470,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more. The City also has a highly-respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 171 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths, and a Bike Share program.
About Long Beach Airport
Founded in 1923 as the first municipally-owned airport in California, Long Beach Airport (LGB) is wrapping up its 95th anniversary. A new passenger concourse opened to the public in 2012 and has since earned extensive praise for its modern design and architecture, local eateries and easygoing travel experience. Recently, Sunset magazine awarded LGB with a Best of 2017 Travel Award. In addition, USA Today and 10Best.com recognized LGB for Best Airport Dining in their Readers Choice poll. LGB offers non-stop service to several U.S. cities while supporting a healthy general aviation community with over 260,000 annual operations. The airport is also a source of substantial economic activity and employment. Long Beach Airport and its tenants generate more than $10 billion and 45,000 jobs in total economic activity to the Long Beach region with an additional $1.1 billion in tax revenue at the federal, state, and local levels. Long Beach Airport prides itself in preserving its esteemed historic legacy and maintaining a safe, sustainable, and environmentally responsible operation. For more news, pictures, videos and announcements of what’s happening, “Like” us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @LBAirport and Instagram @lgbairport.