The London startup that solved one of the most annoying things about flying is now branching out into trains
- Airportr is a start-up that picks up air passengers' luggage from their doorstep and checks it in for them at London airports.
- The firm is now branching out into trains, partnering with Go Ahead to create an integrated app where you can book baggage pick-up and train tickets in the same place.
- Airportr CEO Randel Darby said he wanted to get into the rail business after seeing users ditch cabs for trains when travelling to the airport.
Airportr, a London tech startup that helped solve one of the most annoying things about air travel, is now branching out into trains.
The company was founded in 2014 and picks up air passengers' baggage from their doorstep and checks it in for them at London airports Heathrow, Gatwick, and soon Luton.
The service started in partnership with British Airways, but has since teamed up with multiple airlines, including American Airlines, Finnair, and EasyJet.
Airportr, which raised £5 million ($6.6 million) earlier this year, is now branching out into trains, partnering with British train operator Go Ahead to create an integrated app where you can book baggage pick-up and train tickets in the same place.
A demo version of the app will launch in the coming months. It will help users of Thameslink and Southeastern trains, including the Gatwick Express between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria.
Airportr CEO Randel Darby told Business Insider he became interested in collaborating with a rail company when he noticed the effect his company was having on air passengers' travel habits.
He said almost 60% of customers were switching from taxis to trains because of home check-in services, and this inspired the decision to create a "joined-up experience for the customer" with a train network operator.
So the two companies are collaborating on producing an integrated app where you could book both your bag pick-up and your train tickets to the airport in one place.
Additionally, Darby said Airportr was working to include some route-planning functionality, alerting users to journey and flight times. Darby said some of Airportr's partner airlines had expressed an interest in getting on board.
Darby also said in the future Airportr's technology could be applied directly to rail travel. "We know that what this business does in aviation is transferable to kind of long-haul journeys as well," he said.
A Go Ahead spokesman also said the company is looking into integrating a subsidy offering whereby Go Ahead will cover some of the cost of the Airportr service if you buy it in the app.
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