As Maryland continues its COVID-19 recovery and more people return to air travel, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is reminding customers of policies regarding animals in the airport terminal. As always, service animals such as highly trained, specialized guide dogs for sight- or hearing-impaired passengers are welcome at BWI Marshall Airport without restriction.

However, service animals are the only animals permitted in the airport terminal outside of a carrier. Non-service animals – including pets, emotional support animals or comfort animals – are welcome in the terminal, but must adhere to the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) requiring them to remain in a carrier. The regulation, found in COMAR, states that “domestic pets are not permitted in the terminal building unless destined for air transport and restrained in a container at all times.”


Also, when using one of BWI Marshall’s designated animal relief areas, animals must be leashed when outside of a carrier. For information on the airport’s animal relief stations and other animal policies, go to

Graphic noting non-service animals are to be crated at BWI Marshall Airport

“Pets and comfort animals are important to our customers and to the BWI Marshall team, and we want to remind passengers of the appropriate way to travel with animals for the safety and comfort of everyone,” said Ricky Smith, Executive Director of BWI Marshall Airport. “We want to maintain a clean and safe travel environment for all of our passengers, and these regulations are designed to help reduce challenges regarding housekeeping and animal behavior.”

As a reminder, service animals are the only animals permitted in the BWI Marshall Airport terminal outside of a carrier. In coming weeks, the airport will increase enforcement of these regulations.

While passenger numbers at BWI Marshall Airport are still far below 2019, they are rising as Maryland’s COVID-19 recovery continues. The airport had a 96 percent decline in passenger traffic in April compared to the same time last year. In July, departing passenger traffic was down about 68 percent from July 2019.

For more on the airport’s COVID-19 response, go to