Many airlines have made technology upgrades to the in-flight passenger experience but backend upgrades are complex and sometime lag. It's clear that consumers can no longer wait patiently when there are major flight disruptions and some of these startups have swooped in to help with the slack.
This week we look at five startups keen on creating integrations where travelers need them most, such as connecting rewards miles tracking to flight bookings, flight savings to travel management companies and cancelled flights to insurance claims.
30k shows travelers how many rewards miles they can earn on any flight when booking through online travel agencies. It also shows which fares are upgradable with miles and how many miles you need to spend to upgrade.
>>SkiftTake: It’s a shame online travel agencies didn’t get on this game sooner but great that a startup has recognized changing consumer behavior trends.
FairFly helps travel management companies track airfares after they’ve booked a flight and automatically rebooks a traveler on a less expensive flight if one becomes available. FairFly charges tiered monthly service fees for its products. The company says it’s available in every country and is fully integrated with Sabre. FairFly said it’s been able to save clients an average of $254 a ticket on 26 percent of tickets processed through its system.
>>SkiftTake: FairFly is similar to business travel startup Rocketrip in that FairFly wants to help companies reduce their corporate travel budgets. But unlike Rocketrip, FairFly puts this problem — employees tasked with saving the most they possibly can on travel — and turns it over to travel management companies and automates the entire process. It is also more closely similar to Yapta, which likewise works with travel management companies to reduce air, and also hotel, spend. Travel management companies are very interesting in finding savings for their clients and FairFly hopes to help.
Biz Airlines combines airport transfers, airlines and private jets to deliver time and cost savings for business travelers. The company’s mobile app is a personal assistant with travelers able to message a human travel agent to book flights that suit their needs.
>>SkiftTake: Biz Airlines is geared toward executives rather than most business travelers There are definitely plenty of executives who would spring for this but will their companies and boards allow it?
Wingly connects private pilots and passengers in France, Germany and the UK. Pilots can add flights they’ve planned on Wingly’s website and potential passengers can book via its system. Most aircraft available for booking have between two and six seats.
>>SkiftTake: Wingly will likely find most of its clientele are interested in sightseeing flights, which it’s currently marketing and increasing inventory for. This could make it susceptible to market pressures and economic downturns because the purchase tends to be discretionary.
AirHelp helps air passengers get compensation from airlines if their flight is delayed, canceled or overbooked. These include travelers who are unsure of their rights or llack the time or the expertise to start the compensation-claims process independently. Passengers can log in to AirHelp with their Gmail, TripIt, Outlook or Yahoo accounts and search for past eligible flights or manually enter their flight details. The company lets them know within seconds if they qualify for compensation and helps them file a claim if they do.
>>SkiftTake: Recent global airline system outages put a spotlight on the opportunity for startups such as AirHelp to help make a disjointed-passenger experience less miserable.
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