Who let the dogs out? Vancouver International Airport’s LASI.

by Alyssa Daniells
yvr ambassador dog LASI less stress airport initiative st. john ambulance therapy dog

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) just introduced a program to help kiss (or lick!) frantic nerves goodbye. Introducing LASI, the Less Airport Stress Initiative.

These ain’t no drug-sniffin’ canines, either! While the pooches do in fact provide a form of security, it’s an entirely different kind.

As part of YVR’s Less Airport Stress Initiative (LASI), these “Ambassador Dogs” offer security and comfort to reduce passenger stress and anxiety that often accompanies air travel.

The helpful doggies are certified St. John Ambulance therapy dogs, who will wander throughout the terminal for gentle pats and relaxing cuddles. Lassie, the clever acronym’s namesake, would be proud!

Seven Ambassador Dogs will rotate weekday shifts between 11am and 1pm. Bailey, Grover, Kermode, Mira, Molly, Norman and Soda will greet new friends before and after security checks. That means even if you’re not flying, you can get a soothing snuggle while saying goodbye to loved ones as they head to their gate.

The pleasant pups will be sporting official St. John red and white bandanas with their names emblazoned on them, accompanied by their handler and a green-vested YVR volunteer.

The four-legged workers are not camera shy, either. They’ve been busy posing for photographs as well by appreciative passengers. Watch the YVR Instagram for more cute pics or hunt for #yvr.

This innovative initiative was unleashed by Edmonton International Airport (YEG) back in 2014. Other Alberta airports didn’t tail far behind. Fort McMurray (YMM) in 2015 then Calgary (YYC) in 2016. Since they are “ambassadors”, we wonder if Ottawa’s international airport (YOW) will be next!

The calming effect of dogs is widely documented and scientifically-proven.

Of course, not everyone has a bone to pick with flying and that’s OK, too. Anyone is welcome to enjoy the warm company of these furry companions. Make no bones about it, travel is fun (in our opinion, the best kind of fun!) and what a great send off, or welcome home, these cute Ambassador Dogs provide.

So if you are travelling through Vancouver Airport Monday through Friday during lunch time, the YVR LASI dogs will be there for a waggly-tailed welcome, whether you’re feeling “ruff” or not!

This adorable initiative has us chomping at the bit to fly from Vancouver! Do you find this idea fetching?

To book cheap airfares from YVR to global destinations, talk to a Flight Centre travel agent! Call 1 877 967 5302 or visit us at a store near you.

This post is dedicated to Jake, in loving memory.