ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Travelers in a hurry to get through security and to their airport gates often walk right past some of their best food options, and find the picking slim once it's time to wait for the boarding call.
But that experience will change for fliers departing John F. Kennedy International Airport in October when a new terminal is unveiled. Terminal 5 is scheduled to re-open Oct. 1 after extensive remodeling, and in addition to 26 arrival and departure gates, it will also contain 250 touchscreen kiosks from Nextep Systems.
Nextep representatives demonstrated the system at the 2008 MICROS Users Conference, held Sept. 14-16 in Annapolis, Md. The software allows gate-bound travelers to choose food and drink items from multiple vendors, combining them into a single order. An option is offered to add a gratuity; the buyer then swipes a payment card, and delivery to the gate is scheduled, along with an estimated arrival time.
Tommy Wojick of Nextep said the program is part of the overall theme of Terminal 5 - dubbed "the T5 Experience" - which aims to make dining at the airport something travelers will look forward to rather than dread. The initiative also includes a focus on improved food quality, with local ingredients and a "farmer's market"-type ambiance.