February 16, 2021 |Written by Harriet Baskas
SkySquad’s Airport Assistant service is currently available at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International, Washington Dulles International and Ronald Reagan Washington National airports. The company’s background-checked and badge-wearing helpers provide travelers with assistance from the curb to the gate on departure, from the gate to the curb on arrival, and during layovers. Its customers include anyone who might need an extra hand navigating the airport journey, from inexperienced travelers to seniors, pet owners and families traveling with young children, which are likely carrying lots of extra luggage, such as strollers and car seats.
SkySquad realized it could expand faster and serve more customers by creating a strategic alliance with AtYourGate, which already has background-checked, service-oriented staff on duty in multiple airports. “Now is a great time to make this match so that we can be ready to ride the wave of travel coming back,” said SkySquad’s CEO, Julie Melnick. “Many people have not traveled in over a year and we want to help make their re-entry into the travel world easier than ever.”
Melnick explained that the fact At Your Gate employees know how to ensure customers have a great meal delivery experience “translates well into helping SkySquad customers who need support to get from the curb to the gate,” but said they will still receive SkySquad training “to play out all possible scenarios so that they can deliver the same incredible experience to every single SkySquad customer.”
In terms of logistics, Melnick said coordination is a manual process for now, with SkySquad emailing its booking to At Your Gate. “We require 24 hours advance notice for a SkySquad booking, in part to assure that we or At Your Gate will have a staff member available to help. However, as we grow, we anticipate building a technology solution that will allow for more seamless integration, so that both SkySquad and At Your Gate can handle requests and fulfillment in real-time.”
The SkySquad/AtYourGate service will launch within the next few months at John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, Boston Logan International and Philadelphia International airports, which AtYourGate already serves.