From charging and technology stations to yoga rooms and workout facilities, we’ve seen airports evolve over the years to adapt to traveler needs and desires. Whether it’s to stay close to a power source or for fear that they might miss a gate change or delay announcement, one growing trend in airports is that once through security, travelers are staying close to their gate or departure point no matter how long their dwell time. As a result, “gate huggers” as they are sometimes referred to in the industry are expecting more and more at their gates when it comes to amenities and conveniences. Read on to see how certain mobile apps and airport initiatives are catering to these demands.
Gateside delivery apps
Imagine touching down for a short layover and needing a quick snack to curb your hunger or something to read for the second leg of your trip. Or, imagine sitting down to make a phone call at your gate only to realize you forgot a phone charger and need to purchase a new one before takeoff. With mobile apps such as AtYourGate (currently live in San Diego International Airport) and Airport Sherpa (currently live in Baltimore/Washington International Airport), you can make all of this happen with the simple click of a button. Just open the app, place an order for food, drinks, gadgets, reading materials or other products and for a minimal fee, a delivery person will bring your order to you while you’re sitting at your gate. Not only does this offer more convenience, it offers an opportunity to eat and drink what you prefer vs. what’s located in your specific terminal. These services are especially beneficial for business travelers who are looking to get some work done while waiting for their flight to depart or for those traveling with small children that don’t necessarily want to trek all over the airport. Both apps plan to expand to multiple airports by the end of 2018.
Similarly, in Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, travelers will find touchscreen monitors where they can order food and beverages for gateside delivery.
Mobile carts and shops
If you prefer not to use an app, simply keep your eyes peeled for a mobile cart or shop. Paradies Lagardère, a popular travel retail shop found in many airports, brings their best-selling items right to you with their “At your Service” carts. HMSHost has similar offerings with their mobile snack carts, food cycles, beer carts and food trucks found in many airports across North America.
Restaurants built around gates
Many gate-centric restaurants are popping up in airports across the nation so that passengers can enjoy a meal or a cocktail while still keeping an eye on their gate. For example, Page at Reagan National Airport sits nestled in-between gates and is equipped with touchscreens for ordering.
With amenities like these, sitting at your departure gate just got a little more desirable. Have you tried one of these services yet? What did you think?
Interested in more industry updates, tips and tricks?
Sign up for our newsletter and get the latest travel news straight to your inbox.