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Airport Luxury Travel Pet Travel

JFK Is Getting a $48 Million Makeover … for Pets

A new pet-only terminal will include flat screen TVs, a full-service salon, and a swimming pool shaped like a dog bone.

New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport recently announced plans to open a $48 million luxury terminal in 2016 that will include flatscreen TVs, a full-service salon, a swimming pool, and even a 20,000-square-foot resort. But good luck trying to get into the new terminal—it’s exclusively for pets. Sorry, folks, but while you’re waiting in a never-ending security line, your pet might be having a bit more fun.

The new 178,000-square-foot-terminal, dubbed The Ark (because of course it is), will be JFK’s answer to the 70,000 pets that travel through the airport each year. Apparently they’re taking “pet-friendly” to a whole new level. In The Ark, our furry friends can wait for flights in daycare where they have the option to watch TV, swim, have their hair cut, or just sprawl out in the ultra-luxe lounge.

Want to leave Fluffy or Fido behind? You’ll be able to reserve a suite at The Ark’s resort, run by Paradise 4 Paws, which also operates properties in Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, and both of Chicago’s major airports.

RELATED: Expert Tips for Pet Travel

And for about $100 a night, your pet can enjoy access to showers, massages, “pawdicures,” and even a doggy swimming pool shaped like a bone. (Because, again: of course it is.) Cats will be able prowl around a jungle-like atmosphere filled with live trees, while separate climate-controlled accommodations with natural lighting will be available for livestock. (Side note: Who are these people that bring livestock to the airport?)

Traveling with a penguin? The terminal will also include separate spaces for penguins and other exotic animals.

An onsite veterinary hospital will be available to animals needing general or emergency care. And if you have a special attachment to your pet, don’t worry—the resort will offer webcams to make staying in touch that much easier.

If you’re wondering where swimming pools for humans will be located … keep wondering. But at least you’ll be able to sleep off your airport frustrations at the new JetBlue hotel. That’s something, at least.

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Olivia Briggs has worked in the hospitality, tourism and online travel industries for more than a decade. She has lived in Ireland, traveled throughout Europe, and has been a passionate writer from a very young age. Follow her on Twitter @OliviaOlileibri

By Olivia Briggs

Nothing excites Assistant Editor Olivia Briggs quite like traveling to new destinations. Follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram.

Briggs joined SmarterTravel in 2012 and became a member of the editorial team in 2015. She has lived in Ireland and has worked in the hospitality, tourism, and online travel industries for more than a decade. She loves scoping out new hotels, promoting unfamiliar destinations, and writing about niche travel topics.

Her stories have also appeared online on USA Today, The Huffington Post, TripAdvisor, Jetsetter, Oyster, Savoteur, and AirfareWatchdog.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "The Baggallini Zipper Cross-Body Travel Bag. This is a great travel bag because it's small, compact, has many compartments, and can be worn across your body for added security."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Snowboarding through the Alps and staying in a chalet overlooking the mountains."

Travel Motto: "Travel more; it awakens your soul."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Window seat."

Email Olivia at editor@smartertravel.com.

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