(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Parking, rental cars, shuttle buses, and long check-in lines at the airport are the obstacles travelers face in the race to the gates.
At BWI, an app-based service that debuted in the fall is designed to help navigate those time-consuming procedures by offering airport valet, holding a spot in line to check-in and delivering food or on-site retail items at the airport with timely delivery to gate hold areas.
Founded by Hope Porter and son Nathan Porter, Jourve launched in September 2017. The startup has completed 400 orders at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, and is preparing to launch a concierge service later this year.
The inspiration behind Jourve came after Hope Porter experienced a woman faint from hunger in baggage claim area after her flight.
“My mother’s a nurse, so she quickly assisted the woman and found that the only reason for her fainting was that she had been traveling all day and never had a chance to get food,” Nathan Porter said. “From there we thought of the idea to construct an app that allows airport travelers to access products and services in the airport sphere using peer-to-peer concierge services.”
Jourve – a blend of the words “journey” and “serve” – operates on a sharing economy model, similar to Uber and Lyft. BWI is proving to be a testing ground for these in-airport services.
All Jourve couriers are independent contractors and receive extensive background checks, along with education on the airport landscape and policies. “So far, we’ve been very pleased with our workers and the professionalism they have displayed to customers,” Nathan Porter said.
However, Jourve is more than just a delivery service. It’s also a way for travelers to add much-needed boost and convenience at the airport, Nathan Porter said.
“We’ve all felt the anxiety of nearly missing a flight or the stress of trying to find quality parking at the airport or the annoyance of waiting in the long check-in lines. Jourve alleviates that hassle,” he said. “I really feel that it extends the luxury of first-class status beyond the flight and into every stage of the airport.”
The startup made a specific arrangement around parking, which can be tough to find at busy times. Jourve contracts with a commercial airport parking lot just a mile outside the campus of BWI airport. At one point during the holiday season, Nathan Porter said Jourve’s valet option was one of the very few parking options available.
Porter hopes to be an instrumental airport amenity not just at BWI, but at all major U.S. airports.
“My hope is that five years from now Jourve is being used at every major airport in the United States,” Nathan Porter said.
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