So you’re at your gate at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport when you suddenly get a craving for a Maryland crab cake — or realize you forgot to pick up that Orioles T-shirt. Well, there’s an app for that.
The Airport Sherpa app, launched this week at BWI, allows travelers to order food, beverages and even gifts, from restaurants and retail stores anywhere in the airport — and have the items delivered to them.
The on-demand delivery service is the first of its kind at the airport and is aimed at enhancing the travel experience and potentially growing airport revenue. The app is expected to be available at 10 to 15 major airports this year.
Another app, At Your Gate, is launching at San Diego International Airport next month.
This week, only a few food and retail options were available through the app, but more are expected to be added in coming days, officials with the D.C.-based Airport Sherpa said.
That means, soon travelers on Concourse D will be able to order a meal from the Chick-fil-A on Concourse A or the famous Baltimore crab cake from Obrycki’s.
But it’s not just food.
Forgot your earphones or cellphone charger? The Airport Sherpa folks have you covered.
The app gives travelers the option to pick up their order for free, and frequent travelers can even schedule meal deliveries in advance. Delivery fees range from $3.99 to $7.99, depending on the distance of the delivery.
Because the experience is personalized based on the user’s itinerary, the app knows when a flight is delayed, a gate location changes or a connection is altered, and automatically makes adjustments to ensure on-time delivery, company officials said.
Patrick DellaValle, co-founder of Airport Sherpa, said the app was created to enhance the travel experience for passengers by providing them a service that “users have grown accustomed to for services outside of the airport.”
A recent survey found that about half of U.S. adults had ordered food delivery in the past three months. And, food delivery was most popular among millennials. America’s love for delivery services has only grown in recent years with the launch of restaurant delivery through Amazon, Uber and Google apps.
The delivery option at BWI would expand options for travelers who miss out on newer dining and shopping options because they head straight to their gates after going through airport security and stay put. And some concourses offer more choices than others.
Besides facilitating access to a wide range of food and retail choices to travelers, retailers will be able to reach out to more customers and increase sales, according to officials at the Pittsburgh-based Airmall, which manages the retail and food program at BWI. That will result in more revenue for the airport.
“This app will give travelers access to hundreds of stores across terminals right at their fingertips,” DellaValle said.
The app is available now for iOS and will soon be available for Android devices.