Meet Randel Darby, CEO and Founder at Airport Technology Company: Airportr

Randel Darby, CEO and Founder at Airport Technology Company: Airportr

Airportr is a digital platform built to improve the customer experience, make travel more connected, and optimise operational activities on the ground. Simply put, we’re turning baggage from being a pain point into a powerful solution for operators, which alleviates the bottlenecks and current inefficiencies found within airport logistics today.

In very simplistic terms, with Airportr products, baggage can be picked up from customers’ homes and seamlessly delivered directly to the plane, or vice versa on arrival.

Currently we work with airlines including British Airways, American Airlines and SWISS, providing the service to their customers flying to and from large hub airports, such as London Heathrow and Zurich Airport.


How did you come up with the idea for the company?

The idea was born out of my own frustrations with my travel experiences. I travelled a lot in my previous role, but the more I travelled, the more I realised that the bag I was carrying dictated the pace and ease with which I could get through the airport. I saw an opportunity to address those pain points – something which would allow passengers to seamlessly flow through the airport.

By separating either baggage check-in or delivery on arrival at the airport from the customer journey, and moving this process, off-airport, it was clear that this could fundamentally change not only the motion/movement through an airport, but ultimately in the future it could help the industry reimagine the infrastructure design.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

Our business model rapidly evolved during the first half of the pandemic to become a global B2B platform for smarter baggage management for the industry, with global ambitions. In 2020, we went from being a digital consumer business, that had been majorly disrupted by the pandemic, to being seen as a leading B2B provider of technology, with a scalable model and vision to transform the traditional aviation operating model. All in less than a year!

We evolved the model to work with large-scale global partners, able to handle the operational aspects of service delivery on the ground, whilst we provided the technology platform to sync everything together.

In 2021 we announced a strategic collaboration with Swissport, the world’s largest ground handler, with a presence in over 280 airports worldwide. This year, through that partnership, not only have we extended our reach to be able to service flights leaving Switzerland to anywhere in the world, but we have been able to offer our door-to-door product to passengers travelling between the UK and Switzerland.

As far as I am aware, and my knowledge of the baggage product arena runs quite deep now, we’re the first company to do ever unlock this. Not like shipping, which has been around for some time, but is slow, expensive, offers poor user experience and arguably doubles up your carbon footprint as a passenger. With our product, passengers can have their bags collected from home, delivered directly to their flight, cleared through Customs at the other end, and delivered to the address in destination, within hours. It’s a game-changer for the industry and for the customer experience.

What can we hope to see from Airportr in the future?

Travelling through an airport with baggage will increasingly seem outdated! As we scale the product into more territories globally, powered by partnerships like that we have with Swissport, you will see our product becoming available on more airline routes, and at both ends of the journey.

We’re continually working on a tonne of new features to enhance the product. Whether that’s end-to-end baggage tracking, Digital ID verification or building distribution via in-direct channels with new technologies (i.e. NDC). So, watch this space!