New ‘Order SEA’ system features robot delivery of food directly to flight gate

SEATAC, Wash. — You will soon be able to order food at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport with just a few taps on a smartphone.

SEA has expanded its food service in the last few years and now includes a high-tech system with a robot server.

“I’m a Star Wars fan and the first thing I thought was R2D2,” said SEA traveler Steve Dittman.

In pop culture, robots have often performed some sort of task but they always seemed to be a far-off sci-fi dream.

Yet the robots have arrived: SEA has rolled out Gita the robot that can serve you food right now.

Order SEA is a mobile food ordering service that will deliver food right to your gate.

“I could charge my phone before I get on the flight and have my food delivered at the same time,” said SEA traveler Christine Dittman.

“When a guest sends us an order it goes right into our system, it prints a ticket in our kitchen, and it closes out the transaction,” director of operations at Concessions International Evan Ault said.

“We all hate lines. I hate lines. The fact is as the airport grows and gets more traffic, we’re looking at new ways to leverage tech,” Port of Seattle Commissioner Sam Cho said.

For now, most food delivery service will be done by humans, but some food will get to hungry travelers via robot Gita, right at their gate.

“Oftentimes when you travel, you are kind of limited to the restaurants around the gate you’re at. What this does is allow you to access any restaurant,” said Cho.

It was developed and launched during the COVID-19 pandemic and gives travelers another option that’s safer because it allows people to avoid lines and crowds.

“Just during the pandemic, having crowds, it would be nice to actually have it come to you,” said Christine Dittman.

Food service workers are already serving people through Order SEA, and Gita is ready to roll.

There are more than a dozen restaurants available on the system, which has already had a soft launch and processed more than 1,200 orders.