Apps / Delivery

Can in-airport delivery take off? BWI will be a proving ground

Airport Sherpa offers travelers a way to get food and other items delivered while waiting at their gate. It's live at BWI this week.

BWI airport. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

In-airport delivery is now arriving at BWI.
According to USA Today, a new service that provides travelers with delivery of food or other items straight to their gate rolled out on Tuesday at Baltimore Washington International-Thurgood Marshall Airport. Airport Sherpa allows people waiting at the gate can use an app to order items on sale from any concourse across the airport. The couriers who deliver the goods are called Sherpas, and have badges identifying them as such. The delivery fee runs $4-8, depending on the trek through the airport that is required.

Along with being an example of startup founders having a hunch that people like all kinds of delivery, the service is addressing an airport waiting area phenomenon known as “gate-hugging.” From USA Today:

Once through the airport security checkpoint, a majority of travelers head straight for their gate, grab a seat in the hold area or nearby and stay put.
It doesn’t matter if their flight is leaving in an hour — or three.

So delivery is not just about increasing options to make the Obrycki’s crab cakes at Concourse B available at an A-gate. For the vendors at airports, it could be a way to increase sales that wouldn’t have otherwise happened.
While it’s early in the space, there’s already competition. USA Today reports a second app called At Your Gate is also set to debut in San Diego.


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