Priority Pass App Will Soon Let You Order Food And Buy Duty Free

Airports have a lot of passengers going through them, but these aren’t the airport’s customers – they’re the airline’s customers. As a result airports frequently know little about their passengers. And that’s a wasted marketing opportunity.

Does someone buy food before their flight? Do they arrive by Uber or do they park? Are they someone that shops, or maybe gets a massage? Knowing who your best customers are, and what to market to them is key to increasing spend across the airport.

Since airports generally take not just rent payments from vendors but a percentage of spending as well, that’s good for their bottom line. Moreover, the more successful businesses are in the airport, the better businesses the airport can attract and the higher lease rates they can command. That in turn helps to keep landing fees low. Together with sharing airport revenue with airlines helps attract air service.

It’s a virtuous cycle, and using data to understand passengers is certainly a better strategy than following Chicago O’Hare’s and Dallas Fort-Worth’s lead in removing moving walkways, inconveniencing passengers in hopes they’ll wander into more stores along their journey through the terminal.

Thanks Again helps airports to better understand their customers. When they work with an airport so that spend with merchants across the airport earns a mile per dollar spent, they’re really getting customers to register their credit cards and allowing their airport spend to be tracked and traced to a single customer. Four years ago I interviewed their CEO. I’ve always been surprised that the business hasn’t been more successful than it is. They should be expanding to shopping malls, because mall owners have the same challenge and opportunity that airports have.

A newer player in the space of bringing intelligence to bear on the airport shopping experience is Collinson Group, which you know as the company behind Priority Pass. They aren’t working with airports directly on this project, but they’ve been slowly building out an infrastructure to capture data about customers and use that to effectively market more and more services.

For instance a little over a year ago they launched Priority Pass offers, which are discounts for purchases you might make in the airport. You generate an offer code within the app or when logged into the Priority Pass website. This helps drive more business to an airport vendor, and also generates information about what services you tend to purchase.

Now they’ve announced the new “Collinson Airport Alliance” which is meant to connect different experiences and products across the airport into an integrated database, marketing tool, and delivery vehicle.

  • Bring more services onto a common platform
  • Let passengers access those services within a single app, regardless of which app they use.

Initially this brings together:

  • Club lounge network Priority Pass
  • Food ordering service Grab
  • Retail and duty free shopping app Inflyter

What’s different for now is I expect to see Grab integrated into the Priority Pass app. They’re starting with companies where Collinson has an equity investment. However they tell me this may open up more broadly, and that they “are actively tracking start up businesses and operators contributing to the evolving passenger experience across the airport and over time look forward to welcoming new members to the alliance.”

Bringing more airport vendors on the platform means better customer data – with a broader view and greater understanding of each customer, in order to better tailor offers that move the needle on sales – and cross-marketing to existing customers. Wouldn’t it be great if you could pick up pre-ordered food nearby the lounge you’re headed to and get a discount on the meal?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I figured out the gratuity situation… just dont leave tips. Its not the customers j9b to pay decent wages, that is up to the employer. If r he employer doesn’t want to, then the employee should take it up with them or quit. I refuse to have the beggars get money out of me.

  2. Boy do I hate the “offers” in the PP app. They’re terrible and they make you have to dig around to figure out which airports/terminals actually have lounges.

  3. If I get free food and drink in a lounge or free food and some drink on an international flight, why would I want an app to pre-order paid food? This notion is absurd. Likewise, it is mostly the non-premium flyer that buys Duty Free, not the premium passenger that uses a Lounge.

  4. In some states the “tip jobs” pay $2 an hour. Yes it’s employers’ responsibility to pay a living wage to its employees but they are allowed to carve out “tip jobs”.
    I am happy to tip. I have enough resources to take a trip, visit a PP lounge and in general enjoy a good life.
    I always tip to anyone including hotel housekeepers and uber/lift drivers who help with the bags and are generally pleasant. I always carry plenty of one dollar bills for tip purposes.
    I have worked hard to be where I am and I am willing to tip people in such jobs.
    It’s only 3-5 dollars on a $28 free PP meal.

    And I am not a “progressive “ either.

  5. @Lisa-you have obviously never had friends, family(who) or worked in a tipped job before. While I agree with the idea behind employers paying a living wage, in this country, they’ve got a strong lobby and have convinced their unions and group memberships that they make more by not going to stable wages. It works in Europe and could work here BUT so does universal health care and we don’t have that either because of lobbyists. In the interim, not tipping at all is in poor taste to say the least, if you don’t want to tip, you should get your food to go as it is still the norm, the server has no control over the situation and still relies upon tips as the largest part of their salary. I agree tipping is ridiculous and the upping from 15% as a standard to 18% is a load of garbage (they just suddenly made it up) and I feel that to base it on the cost of the food is crazy to start with, the server who brings your food at Waffle House does the same amount of work as the server at Outback, but you’ll leave a $5 tip at WH and a $15 tip at Outback and the poor server at WH has to wash dishes, doesn’t have table bussers, the system is really stacked against those servers in rural communities and small towns where higher priced restaurants don’t exist and they literally may not make $5 in tips in say an overnight location in middle of nowhere Texas. But most of them are like so many in the U.S. who really don’t have a voice other than to try to vote for change.

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