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Orlando International Airport Launches New Therapy Dog Program

Orlando MCO Paw Pilots program

Orlando International Airport (MCO) is putting its best paws forward by launching the all-new “MCO Paw Pilots” program, a customer service initiative designed to offer some comfort to the traveling public.

The pilot program offers travelers the chance to decompress and get some doggy kisses from certified therapy dogs that will be located in the main terminal building as volunteer schedules allow.

“We understand that travel can be stressful and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) wants to try something new to enhance the customer experience,” said Brian Engle, GOAA’s Director of Customer Experience. “Our Paw Pilots will offer the right balance of comfort and cuddles with our team of vetted therapy dogs and their handlers.”

The 10 teams will appear at various times throughout the week in two-hour increments on the landside of our facility, meaning they will not be available for guests at the gates. MCO Paw Pilots is a trial program and will be evaluated next year to determine whether or not it will be added as a long-term customer service program at Orlando International.

To ensure the safety of our guests, Orlando International partnered with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs to screen potential dogs and their handlers. Each dog has been a certified therapy dog for at least two years and passed both an in-person screening and an in-terminal test before being invited to work at MCO.

MCO Paw Pilots

Below is a roster of all the dogs, and their breeds, participating in the MCO Paw Pilots program:

  • Annabel, Golden Retriever
  • Annie, Golden Retriever
  • Fifi, Miniature Schnauzer
  • Daisy-Mai, Pomeranian
  • Jora, Golden/Labrador Retriever mix
  • Essie, Corgi-Border Collie mix
  • Tori, German Shepherd
  • Farley, Bearded and Border Collie mix
  • Woody, Basset Hound

With more than 49 million annual passengers, Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the busiest airport in Florida and 10th busiest in the U.S. MCO is currently engaged in a $4.2 billion Capital Improvement Program to increase capacity and enhance customer convenience.


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