With food delivery services such as Google Express and apps such as GrubHub, Americans have become accustomed to getting exactly what we want, exactly when we want it.
That explains a new app-driven service rolled out this week at Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI). The service, dubbed Airport Sherpa, allows air travel passengers to order food, drinks, and anything else for sale at the airport and have the items delivered straight to their gate before take-off.
According to a recent article in USA Today, the BWI service is similar to another service set to roll out at San Diego International Airport (SAN) in August; this latter iteration is titled At Your Gate. Both apps will offer items in catalog form, making life easier for travelers who’d rather not schlep through the airport to find what they want.
The new gate-delivery services benefit parties on both sides of each transaction.
Passengers win by having access to hundreds of different items from around the airport, and airports win because all the options likely will inspire passengers to spend more. Just about the only ones to lose out with these new apps are the airlines themselves, since customers may be less interested in ordering in-flight food and snacks if they order items beforehand.
Of course, the apps aren’t free. On Airport Sherpa, there is a gate-delivery fee of $3.99 to $7.99 per item, depending on how far the delivery person has to trek in the airport. Deliveries made by At Your Gate will cost $6.99 per item. Tipping in both cases is welcome but not required.
As for the future, stay tuned. Airport Sherpa CEO Patrick DellaValle told USA Today the company hopes to expand into more airports by the end of the year. At Your Gate appears to be on a similar path.