If you’ve ever wished for an extra set of hands at the airport, you’re in luck. SkySquad, a new concierge service, launched earlier this month at Dulles Airport to make it easier for families who have their hands full to navigate the airport.
SkySquad assistants can help with ticketing, preparing for security and pushing luggage, strollers and car seats to your gate. They can also watch your bags as you take the kids to the bathroom or grab something to eat before your flight, all for $39 an hour.
“Airport employees are so busy doing what they have to do, they generally don’t have extra time to help people on an individual level,” says Julie Melnick, founder of SkySquad. “This service allows us to help people one-on-one and just make their airport experience much better.”
When Melnick first conceived of SkySquad, she thought the service would appeal mostly to single moms traveling with little kids. To her surprise, many of her customers have been families with more than one child who simply need a helping hand.
So far, the response has been positive.
“People have said to us, ‘Listen, we aren’t sure if we’re going to book our trip unless you can help us,’” says Melnick. “I think that knowing they have an extra set of hands really gives them peace of mind, makes them feel less alone.”
Besides Melnick, who has been on the ground at Dulles Airport working with customers, SkySquad assistants are all off-duty Dulles employees. That means they’ve already been background checked, fingerprinted and badged by the airport to get through security. They also have childcare experience and are fluent in Spanish, Russian and Romanian.
Melnick plans to expand SkySquad one airport at a time, starting with Reagan National Airport, where she’s in the process of obtaining a permit.
“This has been a passion of mine for the past 10 years, when I started traveling coast to coast frequently with my baby and toddler,” says the Bethesda mom. “I am so excited to help the world travel happier — starting with DC.”
By PJ Feinstein