Starbucks Pickup locations coming to more airports in 2024

Starbucks is set to expand its mobile ordering capability at two major New York-area airports, Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA). The coffee giant plans to open new Starbucks Pickup locations at these airports in 2024, allowing customers to place orders exclusively through the Starbucks mobile app and pick up their items to go.

This expansion comes as Starbucks aims to enhance its mobile ordering experience for customers at airports. Less than three years ago, Starbucks first introduced mobile ordering at airport concourses, and now it is taking the concept a step further with dedicated pickup locations for mobile orders.

The Starbucks Pickup concept, which was launched in recent years, currently represents only 1% of the coffee chain’s U.S. stores. At airports, the concept is even more limited, with only one location currently available. OTG, an airport concessionaire, opened the first Starbucks Pickup airport location at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) earlier this fall. OTG plans to open two additional locations at the airport next fall.

At a Starbucks Pickup location, customers can only place orders through the Starbucks mobile app. Upon arriving at the airport terminal, customers need to open the app, enable location services or manually select their location, and place their order. They can then proceed to the Starbucks Pickup location and wait for their order to be ready. The status board at the pickup location will indicate when the order is ready for pickup.

Starbucks and OTG see the mobile-only ordering experience as a fitting option for airports, where efficiency and convenience are highly valued by customers. OTG CEO Rick Blatstein emphasized the suitability of the concept for airport environments, stating that customers value efficiency, seamlessness, and dependability above all else in such settings.

The expansion of mobile ordering capability at airports is not new for Starbucks. Even before the introduction of dedicated pickup locations, Starbucks had been scaling up its mobile ordering capabilities for airport customers. Dulles International Airport (IAD) near Washington, D.C., became the first airport location to offer mobile ordering in 2021. Today, nearly all Starbucks airport locations offer this option, providing a line-skipping and time-saving tool for customers, particularly during busy morning hours.

Starbucks’ mobile ordering capability extends beyond its own stores. Customers can now also place mobile orders at licensed Starbucks locations operated by third-party companies in various settings, including hospitals, colleges, grocery stores, retailers, and airports.

The company’s focus on mobile ordering has proven successful, with about 31% of Starbucks orders coming via the mobile app as of November. This represents a significant increase of over 30% from the previous year, highlighting the growing popularity and convenience of mobile ordering among customers.

In conclusion, Starbucks’ decision to expand its mobile ordering capability at Newark Liberty International Airport and LaGuardia Airport reflects the company’s commitment to providing convenient and efficient service to customers at airport locations. With the introduction of dedicated pickup locations and the ongoing scaling up of mobile ordering, Starbucks customers will have more options for grabbing their favorite coffee on the go at airport concourses. This not only saves time but also offers additional perks, such as earning Delta SkyMiles for Delta Airlines passengers.

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