Image via AirPortr

APEX Insight: AirPortr plans to channel its latest round of funding into increasing visibility of the service on digital platforms, like airline websites and online travel agents, and expanding to new cities. According to AirPortr CEO Randel Darby, it will be cheaper for families traveling on select flights this summer to use the AirPortr service than to check in a single bag through the airline.

AirPortr announced today that it has secured a £5.3-million investment, following a £2-million investment from Stobart Group last October. Investors in the company’s most recent funding round included Stobart Group, Hargreave Hale VCTs and Force Over Mass Capital.

APEX Media has been following the evolution of AirPortr since it launched in 2016. The luggage concierge service allows passengers to check in their bags before heading to the airport, which eases passenger flow and reduces queues in the terminal. The company also offers a ‘City Delivery‘ service that gives passengers arriving in London the option to drop their luggage at the airport and have it delivered anywhere in the capital.

“The service enables travelers’ trips to start well before they make the journey to the airport” AirPortr CEO Randel Darby told APEX Media. “The customer is connected with the airline branded experience in their home, with baggage becoming a service instead of a function of air travel. They then travel to and through the airport without their bags, avoiding check-in entirely and heading straight to security. This helps our airport partners by reducing congestion in-terminal, particularly at busy times.”

AirPortr has experienced a “rapid growth of adoption” of its home bag check-in service with British Airways, according to Darby. BA’s OneWorld Alliance partner American Airlines is now also offering the service, initially for flights departing from London.

“You’ll be able to check in the whole family’s bags from home, for less than the cost of adding a single bag with your airline.” – Randel Darby, AirPortr CEO

“We’re working on a handful of initiatives with our existing airline partners this year to significantly increase visibility and availability of the product,” Darby said. “It’s important that we get the service offered to customers at the right time with rich content, so they can easily understand how it works and benefits them. We’re looking at NDC to help us achieve this – which, for example, could see our service for British Airways customers bookable via other channels such as Skyscanner”.

AirPortr is also adapting what is currently a premium added value service to appeal to a broader market. “We’re launching a value proposition before the summer peak, specifically for groups,” Darby revealed. “You’ll be able to check in the whole family’s bags from home, for less than the cost of adding a single bag with your airline.”