Reuters, citing public records and a person familiar with the strategy, reported that Amazon is looking at U.S. airports as new locations for Amazon Go, which relies on advanced technology to avoid having to pay at a cash register upon checkout. “The lead for Amazon Go requested a meeting,” said a June 27 email from a technology adviser who supports Los Angeles International to a concessions official, reported Reuters. “Interested?” “Yes. Thanks!” the concessions official replied. Meanwhile, Reuters reported that an account manager at Amazon’s cloud unit requested a meeting with San Jose International Airport, noting that Amazon Go, among other topics, could be discussed. The report noted that after the June meeting with Los Angeles International in which Amazon Go was discussed, an airport IT manager wrote: “I am looking forward to moving forward with the Amazon Go technology at the airport.”
Officials from both airports told Reuters they haven’t had any more discussions with Amazon about Amazon Go and that the eCommerce giant would have to take part in a competitive bid process to become a concessionaire in the airport. As for the cloud unit, the officials said they were in touch for other reasons.
A person familiar with the strategy told Reuters that Amazon is looking at how to get the cashierless stores into airports and that it assigned a business development employee for the job. “Think about how you can expose your brand,” the person familiar with the matter told Reuters. “You’ll be able to build broad awareness just being in a dozen of the best airports.” As it stands, more than 350 million people boarded flights from the 12 largest airports in the U.S. in 2017. For Amazon, it may be a little more difficult because employees need clearance to work beyond security checkpoints and it can be expensive to lease square footage in certain areas of the airport.