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Detroit Metro introduces pet therapy dogs and sunflower lanyards


Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) has enhanced the customer experience at DTW by introducing two new initiatives, pet therapy dogs and a programme that helps passengers with hidden disabilities.

“We are constantly looking for opportunities to address the needs and exceed the expectations of our customers,” said Wayne County Airport Authority CEO, Chad Newton.

“We hope the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower programme will help travellers across the disability community feel even more welcome at DTW. We want our customers to know they’re supported.

“Through our DTW Dogs initiative, we’re fairly confident every customer who crosses paths with our volunteers will leave smiling. After the last two years of the pandemic, our DTW team wants to lift everyone’s spirits; we believe these new programs will accomplish that goal.”

DTW Dogs Pet Therapy 
The DTW Dogs programme is designed to eliminate some of the stress travelling can cause through interaction with certified therapy dogs.

The owners and their four-legged companions are members of The Fur Angels Pet Therapy Group, based in Rochester, Michigan.

Each team volunteering at DTW has been trained to assist customers, similar to the Airport Ambassador Volunteer Program.

The first Fur Angels members to join the DTW Dogs programme are a Great Dane, two golden retrievers, a toy fox terrier, and their owners. The teams volunteer in the gate areas of both terminals.

Hidden Disabilities Sunflower
A hidden disability is not visible and may be physical, mental or neurological, notes the airport.

In response to this reality, passengers with a hidden disability, who are travelling through Detroit Metropolitan Airport, will now have the opportunity to discreetly identify themselves by displaying a Sunflower lanyard or wristband.

The Sunflower symbol alerts airport workers that special attention or additional assistance may be needed. The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program is recognised in more than 160 airports worldwide, including over 50 in the United States.

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