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American Airlines tastes mobile-ordering frenzy with AirGrub promotion

On-demand dining application AirGrub is celebrating its expansion to airports in Boston and New York by enabling American Airlines AAdvantage members to earn loyalty miles for each dollar spent on food.

The dining service its bringing its suite of mobile ordering and payment tools to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and San Francisco International Airport, appealing to travelers seeking to purchase meals quickly while on-the-go. The platform is also rolling out a promotion with two airline loyalty programs, one being AAdvantage, to enable members to accumulate up to four miles for each dollar spent within the AirGrub app.

“Offering this frequent flyer miles promotion with two major airlines is beneficial for AirGrub because not only are we able to offer our service of getting great food to those busy airport travelers but now they are also able to rack up more miles when they order,” said Jennifer Minami, marketing manager at AirGrub, Millbrae, CA.

On-the-go airport meals
Providing users with loyalty miles as thanks for trying out AirGrub’s app is a smart way of driving adoption and restaurant sales. Frequent travelers will appreciate getting a leg up on their rewards miles balance, proving that relevant cross-partnerships can add significant value to brands and startups.

AirGrub recognizes that one of the busiest travel seasons of the year is swiftly approaching, meaning that scores of visitors will be searching for easy ways to grab a bite during layovers or before their flights depart. Consumers in New York, Boston and San Francisco’s main airports now have access to AirGrub’s platform, which can be downloaded for iOS and Android devices.

Users may choose their designated terminal and flight departure time to pull up a list of available restaurants and menus. They can then select which food and beverages they would like to order, pre-pay the meal within the AirGrub app and schedule a time to retrieve their purchases.

As soon as customers arrive at the restaurant, they may pick up their freshly made food and head to their next location. The app enables users to indicate whether they plan to eat their meals in-terminal or in-flight.

This is an optimal solution for time-strapped consumers who may be stressed about getting through security check and finding a nearby restaurant at which they can order takeout. The option of using a mobile ordering app is also beneficial for travelers with special nutritional needs, as AirGrub allows users to purchase food tailored to gluten free, low carb and vegetarian diets.

As mobile ordering continues to gain traction in the quick service restaurant sector, airports could be next to follow. The constant connectivity that mobile devices offer seamlessly slides into the instant gratification that so many consumers demand nowadays.

“Our transactions are growing at 50 percent month-over-month – the numbers speak for themselves,” Ms. Minami said. “And the feedback has been great – especially regarding our ability to ensure that the food is fresh.”

Relevant rewards partnerships
American Airlines AAdvantage members may be able to receive up to four miles per dollar spent in the AirGrub app, which provides a major opportunity to accumulate a significant amount of miles for frequent users.

Consumers who travel for business on the weekly and purchase at least two meals in their respective terminals can also work on bolstering their airline rewards, which they may use for an upcoming flight.

Other airlines may soon clamor to join the ranks of AirGrub’s promotion partners, especially if the app enjoys an even wider rollout.

San Francisco travelers have been using the mobile ordering service since July, resulting in positive feedback.

“We expect that pre-ordering your travel food with AirGrub will start to become part of the travelers’ routine,” Ms. Minami said. “Similar to the routine of booking a flight, hotel, car, etc.

“Everyone has to eat, our customers don’t like to wait in line and don’t want others deciding what they should eat – so pre-ordering your travel food to grab and fly when you are at the airport makes sense and saves time when you bypass the lines as an AirGrub VIP.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York