New Delta food areas at JFK let passengers order food at the gate via iPads

Delta Air Lines and airport restaurant operator OTG Management have just launched a novel restaurant concept at New York JFK Airport. Rather than make travelers leave their departure gates to go to a restaurant, Delta passengers can order food and drinks via a custom application on one of 200 Apple iPads installed at dining areas near the gates. A server then delivers the food to the customer’s seat. Food can also be taken to go or brought onboard. 

Prior to completing their order, customers using the new dining stations will be informed of their meal delivery time to ensure their order is received before their flight departure time.  The orders will be delivered by OTG servers in approximately 10 minutes or less. The iPads are affixed to the booths and counters at the gates and also offer other applications that allow travellers to check flights, read articles, play games, etcetera. OTG says the wireless Internet connection for the iPads is free, there isn’t a time limit on customers’ use and travelers don’t have to buy food to use the devices. The newly designed gate dining areas accommodate single and group travelers with most seats also outfitted with power outlets for charging electronics. 

The iPad dining stations located at JFK’s Terminal 2 (gates 21 and 22) feature food from Croque Madame, a French-inspired dining concept developed by Michelin Star-winning chef Andrew Carmellini from New York, while Terminal 3 (gate 15) offers cuisine from Bar Brace, an Italian dining concept from New York restaurateur Jason Denton. The chefs composed their respective restaurant’s menus and will continue to consult on the eateries. 

Atlanta-based Delta launched a campaign about two years ago to try and dominate the New York market, and the airline is spending USD1.2 billion to build its own terminal at JFK. Construction on this new Terminal 4 facility begins this month with completion scheduled for May 2013. In the meantime, the airline has to cope with Terminals 2 and 3, the oldest at the airport, and the new iPad restaurant concept gives a novel twist to its facilities in the interim. 

Delta and OTG will also install iPad-enabled dining stations at La Guardia Airport in the coming weeks. At LaGuardia, the new Terminal D dining stations at gates 1 and 2 will be located adjacent to Crust, a Neopolitan-style pizzeria, developed by New York baker Jim Lahey. Earlier this year, Delta also introduced new full-service cafés and bars at four Delta Sky Clubs at JFK. 

Related articles:
Airlines increasingly make iPads available to passengers in the air and on the ground
New ‘Sky Club Cafe’ at Delta’s JFK airport lounges offers premium meals for a fee
Cathay Pacific’s ‘The Cabin’ caters to the connected traveller

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