Local News

Prospective guide dog puppies learn the ropes at Oakland airport

By May 14, 2019 No Comments
(Photo courtesy of the Port of Oakland)

It’s often a hassle even for the fully sighted to negotiate an airport. But for visually impaired travelers, it can be a nightmare.

On May 11, some 70 puppies came to Oakland International Airport for training in leading blind or visually impaired travelers through the airport.

The airport sessions were hosted by Alaska Airlines for several Bay Area Guide Dogs for the Blind clubs, which raise and train puppies to be guide dogs.

Airports present their own set of challenges for the vision-impaired. Among the tasks for which the pups got training were going through ticketing and TSA security, simulating gate check-in, boarding and leaving a plane safely, exploring the plane and claiming baggage.

“We are grateful to Alaska Airlines and Oakland International Airport for yet another wonderful opportunity to help our guide dog puppies prepare for their very important role as guides,” said Christine Benninger, president and CEO of Guide Dogs for the Blind.

“We are proud to continue our work together to improve travel for people of all abilities,” she said.