Image: Grab

APEX Insight: Grab-and-go dining at the airport is getting a little easier thanks to a partnership between food ordering platform Grab and Collinson, the loyalty company behind the Priority Pass lounge program.

The deal, announced at this week’s Future Travel Experience Global conference in Las Vegas, includes a significant financial investment by Collinson in the Grab operation. It will also see the ordering service integrated into the Priority Pass app, further reducing the friction associated with such transactions.

Grab’s app-based ordering platform has expanded rapidly since its launch in 2015, facilitating more than one million orders at airport restaurants in the US and UK. Travelers can order directly using Grab’s app or through integration into airline or airport apps. American Airlines and London’s Heathrow Airport are among of Grab’s existing partners.

Similarly, the Priority Pass program is expanding its reach to include numerous airport restaurants as its membership rolls grow faster than dedicated lounge spaces. Members can pay for meals, up to a negotiated threshold, with their membership card. Extending that transaction opportunity to app-based take away ordering could be a natural way to increase the volume of purchases and reduce out-of-pocket costs for travelers. Priority pass members with tight connections traveling through a selection UK and US airports will soon be able to benefit from Grab’s services, without stopping to sit in the lounge or restaurant.

“The partnership will allow us to extend and enhance the benefits and services we provide as part of our continued drive to discover opportunities to help today’s travelers,” – Colin Evans, Collinson Group

“The partnership will allow us to extend and enhance the benefits and services we provide as part of our continued drive to discover opportunities to help today’s travelers make the very best use of their limited time in airports and travel hubs worldwide,” said Colin Evans, founder and chairman of Collinson. “By developing and working with world-leading services, we continue to accelerate innovation and deliver the most compelling experiences to travelers around the world.”

Grab’s API allows for airport shopping and map services to be quickly integrated into an airport or airline app, furthering the value of this partnership. While the Priority Pass app is a natural first step, the two companies expect significantly broader growth opportunities on a global scale. Upon announcing the investment, Collinson said in a press release that it is already working with Grab to create “a market-leading joint loyalty proposition, building enhanced experiences for travellers to increase loyalty.”

Grab’s list of 250 merchants in 30 airports today is dwarfed by the 1,200+ merchants in 500 airports that Priority Pass manages. Collinson also brings a strong airline and airport loyalty background to the table, with airline, hotel, and payment networks as customers. Travelers should expect to see more app-based ordering at many more airports soon.