Philadelphia International Airport debuts new gita robots offering contactless food delivery

Will Kreznick

Travelers departing from the Philadelphia International Airport in the next few months can have a robot deliver them a pre-flight snack.  A robotic food delivery pilot program powered by AtYourGate is now offering travelers a new way to receive contactless food orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  Passengers waiting to board their flights can order […]

Travelers departing from the Philadelphia International Airport in the next few months can have a robot deliver them a pre-flight snack. 

robotic food delivery pilot program powered by AtYourGate is now offering travelers a new way to receive contactless food orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Passengers waiting to board their flights can order food from the airport’s restaurants through OrderAtPHL.com or the OrderAtPHL app. When ready to check out, they can select the robotic delivery option for an additional $2.99 fee.

Then, a self-operating robot, called gita, will use Bluetooth technology and visual sensors to follow an AtYourGate member to the traveler. The droid will transport the order inside a cargo bin.

“Now more than ever we are looking to be forward-thinking and innovative regarding our contactless ordering options,” PHL Food & Shops Marketing and Customer Service Manager Megan O’Connell said

Gita allows our guests to customize their experience by choosing how much or how little human interaction they want when having their food delivered. We are thrilled to offer this feature as part of the seamless contactless ordering experience at PHL.”

The service, which is launching at other U.S. airports, is expected be used in Philly through April.

The Philadelphia International Airport was one of the first U.S. airports to offer pick-up and delivery service from its eateries and stores. The robot is the latest option for travelers to use.

The gita was developed by Piaggio Fast Forward, a company was founded by the makers of Vespa scooters. The droid can carry up to 40 pounds for about 20 miles on a single charge. 

Participating eateries include Auntie Anne’s, Bar Symon, Bud & Marilyn’s, California Pizza Kitchen, Chickie’s & Pete’s, Dunkin’, Duty-Free, Gachi, Geno’s Steaks, Jack Duggan’s, Jamba, Piattino Pizza, Smashburger and Vino Volo. More are expected to be added as the weeks go on.

Travelers can use the code RUSH to get 20% off their first order. 

“We think passengers and employees will be pleasantly surprised to see their AtYourGate delivery being handled by a robot,” O’Connell said. “At the end of the pilot, we will look at feedback from customers and from the AtYourGate team members working with the gita to better understand how we can utilize gita in the future.”

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