Atlanta airport hackathon: Teams propose ideas to improve air travel

What do travelers need in an airport app? How can Delta Air Lines improve its handling of unaccompanied children and passengers in wheelchairs? And what would it take to get people to do their shopping at the airport?

Those are some of the questions that 22 teams of entrepreneurs tackled in a hackathon sponsored by Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and Delta. The program stretched over several weeks with an ideation lab, hackathon and pitch competition this month.

At the final pitch competition, one of the teams selected to develop their idea with the airport over the next 90 days is Flycart, which plans to deploy personal shoppers around the airport that can take orders for items from airport shops via an app and deliver the purchases to passengers at their gates.

The winning teams aren't paid, but in exchange for allowing use of their idea for free as a pilot project, they gain experience and keep the intellectual property.

Another winning team proposed an airport app that highlights the estimated wait time at security checkpoints, photos of airport restaurants' food selections and a button to request assistance for passengers in wheelchairs based on their location.

A team that proposed a system of tracking unaccompanied minors flying on Delta using digitally-connected wristbands will work with the airline on its ideas.

"If you think about unaccompanied minors or customers needing special assistance, these are things that make the news if you get it wrong," said Delta manager of airport customer service technology Jesse Adams.

And Goodr, a company that collects unused food from restaurants and events to donate and reduce waste, was selected to work with the airport on its proposal.


AJC Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi keeps you updated on the latest news about Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Delta Air Lines and the airline industry in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on, including these stories:

Never miss a minute of what's happening in local business news. Subscribe to

In other Airlines news:

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Travel

Monarchs in Mexico allow brush with fragile beauty
Monarchs in Mexico allow brush with fragile beauty

OCAMPO, Mexico — This is a story that must begin at the end. But oh, what an end. I stood on a forested mountaintop in Mexico in late February, mesmerized by monarch butterflies swirling around me, darting in and out of the trees and pockets of sunlight. They were high in the blue skies, clumped by the thousands on tree trunks and branches, clustered...
Trump's cheeseburger in Japan still drawing lines
Trump's cheeseburger in Japan still drawing lines

TOKYO (AP) — Haruyuki Sano traveled 1 ½ hours for a taste of the same cheeseburger U.S. President Donald Trump ate with Japan's prime minister during his visit last week.  "It tasted great, like steak," the pastry-maker said after savoring the 100 percent U.S. Angus beef Colby Jack Cheeseburger at Tokyo's tiny Munch's Burger...
Travel deals: Aer Lingus sale to Europe and Zambia bush camp special

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  Land   - Kilkea Castle, an Irish fortress dating to 1180, is offering a special package to celebrate its recent $30 million renovation. The Kilkea Castle deal costs $540 per person (normally $1,080) and includes two nights in a carriage house room, daily Irish breakfast, dinner at the...
If you can only eat three meals in Seattle, make sure they're here
If you can only eat three meals in Seattle, make sure they're here

While it's natural to gravitate to Seattle's main visitor draws, you'll discover the city's true charm by exploring its distinct neighborhoods. And in a city where people name-drop farmers and cheesemakers, you don't have to look far for crusty sourdough, sustainable seafood or local wines. The only difficulty is pacing yourself.  Breakfast ...
New security rules for fliers: Don’t plug up the line
New security rules for fliers: Don’t plug up the line

If you’re getting on a plane during the holidays, the rules for security have changed. Again. Here are some ground rules holiday fliers should know. Q: What’s up with electronics on domestic flights? A: You’ll find stricter screening of electronic devices at many airports, such as Los Angeles International Airport and Orange County&rsquo...
More Stories