As the topic states, are dogs allowed to be outside of their kennel/carrier inside of airports (leashed of course)? I checked a few airport websites and couldn't find a clean answer. I very often see dogs walking around leashed with their owners in the airports, but I also recall an incident in an airport where the airport staff told somebody their dog must be inside the kennel/carrier at all times.
It really depends on the rules of the airport and whether those rules are enforced. When I flew with my Yorkie through STL and LAS, he was rarely in his carrier. In LAS, he walked on leash even on the tram to the D gates and I would carry him in the fast food restaurants (I always asked and never took him into a restaurant) and was never questioned. STL was never a problem. EWR was always a problem. I had some air crew literally yell at me and another couple with a dog on leash to put the dogs in the carriers. They weren't just enforcing rules (what exactly does air crew have to do with airport regulations?), they were extremely nasty about it. I always sat with him on leash in a waiting area away from people and no one said anything about that and most people were just wanting to pet him.
I checked the website http://www.ifly.com which lists all major airports and it appears that all the airports I checked required pets in carriers so it really depends on the enforcement.
Of course, none of these rules applies to service dogs.
My BF brings our dog to the arrivals area when I come home every week at EWR and never had a problem. I dress up our Frenchie in a Santa outfit and waited by baggage claim over the holidays without a problem.