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New Airport Amenities: Therapeutic dogs and a place to nap

Therapy dogs began roaming the terminals with their human handlers last October. (Photo courtesy PRN Newswire)

From therapy dogs to napping rooms and yoga studios, airports are competing for passengers by adding amenities.

Step off the plane at DFW Airport and you might just get an opportunity to pet Max. Max and dozens of other therapy dogs began roaming the terminals with their human handlers last October. The results are obvious and instantaneous.

“I mean, very few people walk by without petting him,” explains Max’s handler, Stephen Burns. “It just makes everybody smile. It just makes everybody happy.”

You know what else makes a cranky traveler happy? A nap! In Dallas, people can walk into a Minute Suites, plop down 42 bucks, and for an hour they get 56 square feet of peace, privacy and enough space for two people to get a little shut-eye -- without ever leaving the terminal.

“It's got enough space and privacy. You can actually relax and catch some satellite television and zone out for a little bit and forget that I am at the airport terminal,” said Minute Suites customer Corey Freeze.

Pay a little more and you get a shower. That's a plus for passengers getting off a long international flight. Along with locations in Atlanta and Philadelphia, Minute Suites hosts 2,000 guests a month.

"I think the American airports are understanding - to compete on the international market, they need to have a place like this. A place, a respite for travelers, where they can sleep and relax," said Minute Suites co-founder Daniel Solomon.

DFW is the tenth busiest airport for travelers in the world. To get a competitive edge against other global hubs, this airport is upping its game.

Volunteer ambassadors help show you around. Customers find mood lighting and comfy couches at security, a yoga studio to find your inner Zen, play space for children, good food at every price point, free Wi-Fi and world class shopping. In fact, they’re about to premiere a first-of-its-kind duty free mall.

“In today's society, customers and passengers want to choose where they connect and where they want to fly out of. We think that if we can create a better experience here at DFW International Airport, they'll choose us over any other airport,” said DFW customer experience Executive Vice-President Ken Buchanan.

It's working. DFW was just named the best large North American airport for customer satisfaction.

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