For most air travelers these days, the idea of a glamorous flight that features a delicious on-board meal is simple fantasy or the fixture in television period dramas. Nevertheless, new technology is starting to take some of the hassle out of air travel, including the search for food before boarding the plane.
A new smartphone app called B4YOUBOARD, available free for both the iPhone and Android mobile operating platforms, will allow travelers to order food at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and have it delivered directly at the gate while they wait for their flight. No more roaming the terminal halls to see what’s near your gate. The service will offer travelers delivery or pick-up service from three restaurants: French Meadow Bakery & Café, Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, and Chili’s Too!. Menus include breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, and mobile ordering is available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The application, from HMSHost, made its debut in May with service at JFK International Airport’s Delta Terminal 3. Through the first six months of 2011, more than 19 million passengers at MSP International boarded planes bound for more than 135 national and international destinations, according to information from HMSHost. And with 37 percent of all travelers carrying smartphones, the Twin Cities proved a valuable test market for the service. HMSHost will roll out the service at Chicago’s O’Hare International later in the month, and additional U.S. airports into 2012.