Why The Line At Your Airport Starbucks Just Got Shorter

If you're a fan of caffeine, then chances are you've sipped a Starbucks drink or two in your day. The coffee mega chain that got its start in Seattle, Washington way back in 1971 has come a long way from its original Pike Place Market storefront, having ballooned to more than 30,000 locations worldwide. With an expansive menu that spans iced drinks to hot drinks to pastries and sandwiches, Starbucks has become a destination for so much more than its wildly popular Frappuccinos.

While plenty of people head to Starbucks to hang out, many coffee sippers grab their drinks to go before heading to work — or, very commonly, before traveling. Who among us doesn't hit up an airport Starbucks counter before boarding a redeye? With about 400 locations in airports across the U.S. as of 2020 (via flyertalk), the chain is a convenient option for many travelers. And now, the coffee giant is upping that convenience factor, offering users of its mobile app a way to get their cappuccinos much faster when flying.

App users can place their order ahead of time and skip the line

According to USA Today, Starbucks fans grabbing a coffee at some U.S. airports will now be able to waste a lot less time on line. The outlet reports that many of the chain's customers use its mobile app to order drinks ahead and then pick them up quickly at retail locations — to the tune of one in four transactions, according to sales data. But in the past, the option hasn't been available to rushed travelers; Because Starbucks airport locations are operated by concessionaires with their own rules, ordering ahead through the app hasn't been possible.

That's all about to change, with USA Today sharing that as of March 1, the order-ahead option on the app is now available at more than 230 licensed locations at 70 U.S. airports. These include airports in cities like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Orlando.

Interested in taking advantage of this new feature? If you have the Starbucks app, you can open the "order" page and look for the airport you'll be flying out of (or landing at). If it offers the order-ahead option, the keyword "airside" will appear in the information. This is welcome news for travelers like Jasmine Stafford, who recently used the app to skip the line at a Starbucks location past security in the Tampa International Airport. "I'm like, 'Oh, snap, this is a game-changer,'" she told USA Today.