Skip the Lines, Order Ahead via Mobile at Most Starbucks Airport Locations!

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Skip the Lines, Order Ahead via Mobile at Most Starbucks Airport Locations!

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The longest lines at the airport this hectic holiday travel week might not be at security or bag drop: They're at Starbucks. But savvy travelers can skip the long wait for coffee: The Starbucks app allows you to place mobile orders ahead of time at Starbucks airport locations nationwide!

After years of complaints about long lines and lacking the ability to order ahead by mobile, Starbucks began testing it at select airports last year. Slowly but surely, it rolled out to more and more airports across the country until this spring, when Starbucks made it official. With few exceptions, it's a fixture at airports big and small nationwide now.

starbucks email about mobile order ahead 

Why not earn Delta SkyMiles on your Starbucks coffee order, too? Read our story to see how!

The ability to order coffee ahead and pick it up should help reduce notoriously long lines at airport Starbucks locations – especially in the mornings over the holidays, when travel (and coffee) demand is at its highest.

But why did this take so long?

Starbucks airport locations are not company-owned. Rather, they are operated by airport concession giant HMSHost, which, until recently, had an exclusive agreement to operate Starbucks' airport locations. That relationship hindered Starbucks' ability to integrate this feature at airports.

But as of April 2022, Starbucks said mobile ordering is now available at more than 230 stores located across 70 U.S. airports. Those numbers have only grown over the last six months.

Still, mobile ordering is not up and running at every single U.S. airport location. The easiest way to see which airports are available is to search via the Starbucks mobile app.

Check out the rest of our tips to survive the hectic holiday travel season!


How to Place a Starbucks Mobile Order at the Airport

First things first, you'll need to join the free Starbucks loyalty program – Starbucks Rewards – if you're not already a member.

Once you have an account, you can download the Starbucks mobile app in either the Apple App Store or Google Play and log in. You can easily search for airport locations by typing in the three-digit airport code of any location. If you've allowed the Starbucks app to use your location, it will show you options near you.

By doing a quick search of Seattle's airport (SEA), you can see multiple Starbucks locations offering mobile order-ahead. The app also makes very clear if the location is before security to help avoid blunders of ordering coffee before having to clear the TSA checkpoint.

starbucks mobile app SEA 

After an initial delay coming online at our home airport of Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), all three three main Starbucks storefronts throughout Terminal 1 currently have order ahead available, as does the Starbucks near Gate H5 in Terminal 2.

starbucks mobile order 

Once you've selected your location, you can press the “order here” button and proceed with your coffee order. As you complete your transaction, the app will estimate how long it should take for your drink to be ready, just like ordering via mobile from any Starbucks store.

Depending on how quick you can get through security with services like TSA PreCheck or CLEAR®, you might be able to place an order as you get to the airport, then immediately go grab it once you get through.

starbucks airport order ahead 

Ultimately, it should help reduce long lines and make it easier and much faster for Starbucks drinkers to get a beverage before heading to board their flight.


Bottom Line

There's one less line to wait in at many U.S. airports.

Starbucks has fairly quietly rolled out the ability to place mobile orders at hundreds of airport locations over the last year. This should help reduce – maybe even eliminate – the lengthy lines to get coffee before a flight. Search the Starbucks mobile app to see if it's an option at your go-to airport Starbucks!

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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