Smartair Raises $6 Million for Dynamic Packaging Tech: Travel Startup Funding This Week

Skift | August 30, 2019

This week, travel startups announced more than $46 million in funding.We reported on Thursday that Mews Systems had raised a $33 million Series B round led by Battery Ventures.Smartair, a search engine for flights and vacation packages, has raised a $6 million Series A round.Travel agency Talma Travel and Tours led the round along with Alpha Capital.Smartair and Talma plan to create a company that helps run and market tourism websites in Israel and overseas, using the system built by Smartair. The startup lets travelers put together flights and hotels via so-called dynamic packaging.In Africa, Smartair wants to accelerate the move from traditional retail travel agencies to online travel services. It’s setting up websites led by locals, replicating a model it has used in some Middle Eastern countries.

Spotlight

So it is time for travel marketers to acknowledge this growing group of travelers.  These women are more educated, affluent, adventurous and curious about life.  They want real experiences that are intellectually stimulating.  And they would like the marketing to speak to them and their needs – not the happy empty nester couple or the nuclear family.

Spotlight

So it is time for travel marketers to acknowledge this growing group of travelers.  These women are more educated, affluent, adventurous and curious about life.  They want real experiences that are intellectually stimulating.  And they would like the marketing to speak to them and their needs – not the happy empty nester couple or the nuclear family.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

VeriFLY by Daon Expands Capabilities to Streamline Access to Travel Documents

Daon | September 28, 2022

Daon, the Digital Identity Trust Company, announced expanded usage of its VeriFLY™ digital travel app to allow users to save required travel or event documents directly to their digital itinerary, providing one-point access for retrieval. VeriFLY is the world’s first widely adopted digital travel app to help travelers and event attendees quickly and safely meet their destination’s and event’s health and identity requirements.VeriFLY is the first mobile app service of its kind to support multiple airlines (codeshare, interline) and any number of countries’ travel requirements. It applies health certificates and related documents to multiple travel legs with similar entry/transit requirements. Its newest capability is now available in over 65 countries. “Daon VeriFLY continues to provide customers with the best user experience while traveling due to its ability to adapt quickly and effectively to the travel industry’s changing requirements, This new expanded capability removes the added stress of travel restrictions, providing travelers with health document credentials throughout their entire travel journey, including multiple leg trips, outbound and inbound travel, codeshares, interline and more.” -Tom Grissen, CEO of Daon Previously, VeriFLY users could only access necessary documents for point-to-point travel, but this new capability allows customers to use VeriFLY for multi-leg travel, even if there are different airlines within the complete itinerary to help federate across the VeriFLY ecosystem. This creates a seamless user experience more aligned to the airline web and app experience that travelers expect. VeriFLY gives travelers the benefits of a faster, smoother process – while enabling the carriers to deliver more on-time flights, faster boarding times, less counter transaction time, lower ground handling costs, fewer inadmissible passengers and related fines, better audit trails, all while promoting higher passenger usage of online check-in and self-service. Travelers worldwide have widely adopted VeriFLY and continue to utilize the mobile app for their ongoing travel experiences. VeriFLY is used by major airlines, cruise lines, hotels, and other businesses, including American Airlines, British Airways, Aer Lingus, Japan Airlines, Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Viking Cruises, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, and many others. VeriFLY recently reached the milestone of more than 12M travelers serviced, and recently over 1 million Carnival Cruise guests have used VeriFLY for a seamless travel experience. The VeriFLY travel app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Users can create a secure profile and input flight information, upload crucial travel related documents, and any other essential identity and health documentation. Visit Daon at World Aviation Festival in Amsterdam (booth 12.561) on October 4-6, 2022, to learn how VeriFLY is defining the future of seamless travel. About Daon Daon, the Digital Identity Trust company, enables market-leading organizations worldwide to easily and accurately proof, verify, authenticate and secure customer identities at every trust point across the entire customer lifecycle. With industry-leading identity proofing and biometric authentication technologies at its core, Daon’s technology ensures that customer identities are accurately verified, easily asserted and safely recovered. By mitigating fraud, reducing friction, and ensuring regulatory compliance, Daon help businesses deliver a seamless customer experience, increase customer satisfaction and reduce cost. Daon delivers these solutions through its AI and ML-powered IdentityX® platform, chosen by leading companies in financial services, telcos, travel & hospitality and other industries to secure and process hundreds of millions of digital identity transactions daily. Learn more at www.daon.com.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY, AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

T-Mobile Expands In-flight Coverage to United Airlines

T-Mobile | September 26, 2022

Airplane mode has a whole new meaning for T-Mobile customers flying United. Starting eligible T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) customers now get free in-flight Wi-Fi and streaming, where available, on select domestic and short-haul international United flights. As the newest addition to Coverage Beyond — T-Mobile’s latest Un-carrier move — United joins American, Alaska and Delta airlines in providing Un-carrier customers with the ability to text, email, search and stream all flight long where available, now on four of the biggest U.S. airlines.“Now, T-Mobile customers can stay connected from takeoff to landing and beyond on hundreds more flights, now including United Airlines!” said Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile. “This latest expansion of Coverage Beyond is all part of our goal to keep customers connected even outside the signal of our network, and we’re on a nonstop mission to find new ways to make that happen.” After one of the biggest summer travel seasons in recent years, the trend is expected to continue this fall and through the holiday season, with more than a third of Americans planning to take a trip in the next three months. And T-Mobile will take the hassle and worry out of customers’ travel plans, keeping them connected on the road, in the air and overseas. “Whether it’s for business or leisure, we know staying connected in the air is important, and we’re excited many of T-Mobile’s customers will experience our free inflight Wi-Fi on their phones when flying United,” said Grant Milstead, United’s Vice President of Digital Technology. “With the free in-flight coverage, customers can take advantage of Wi-Fi to text their family and friends or browse their favorite sites and apps.” T-Mobile’s industry-leading travel benefits are just part of what makes now the best time to be a T-Mobile customer. In addition to free Wi-Fi where available and high-speed data abroad, Magenta MAX customers also get Apple TV+ on Us, Netflix on Us, a free year of AAA on Us, Scam Shield Premium and more that adds up to $225 in free perks every month for families – and that’s just a bonus on top of getting access to the nation’s largest, fastest and most reliable 5G network. At T-Mobile, customers come for the service and stay for the perks – and the Un-carrier won’t stop finding new extras to give them. As part of Coverage Beyond, customers also get 5GB of free high-speed data each month in 215+ countries and destinations on Magenta MAX, Business Unlimited Ultimate and equivalent Sprint plans. And yes, that includes up to 5G speeds where available. Customers will also get unlimited 256kbps connectivity in all those places, plus free connection all flight long on four eligible flights of their choice per year, with a free hour for every eligible flight after that on Magenta, Business Unlimited Advanced and equivalent Sprint plans. The bottom line? Everyone wins. And this is all in addition to 5GB of high-speed data every month and free calling and texting for Magenta, Magenta MAX and eligible T-Mobile for Business customers in Mexico and Canada. Coverage Beyond launches on United’s 737s, MAX8s, MAX9s, select 757-300s and select A319s with Wi-Fi supported by Viasat and Thales InFlyt Experience with more flights and Wi-Fi partners to be added soon. To learn more about T-Mobile’s travel benefits, visit t-mobile.com/travel. For more information on T-Mobile for Business travel benefits, head to http://t-mobile.com/business/plans/travel-benefits. Follow T-Mobile’s Official Twitter Newsroom @TMobileNews to stay up to date with the latest company news. International Roaming in Simple Global Destinations: Up to 5GB of high-speed data per month with MAX plans; available in 11 European countries with Magenta plans. In-flight Wi-Fi: Unlimited where available on select U.S. airlines with MAX plans; 4 full-flight sessions per year with Magenta plans. 5G: Capable device required; coverage not available in some areas. Some uses may require certain plan or feature; see T-Mobile.com. Fastest: Based on median, overall combined 5G speeds according to analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data 5G download speeds for Q2 2022. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission. Most Reliable: According to an audit report conducted by independent third-party umlaut containing crowdsourced data for user experience including task completion collected from November 2021 to May 2022. Full details at: www.umlaut.com/en/benchmarking/USA. About T-Mobile T-Mobile US, Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) is America’s supercharged Un-carrier, delivering an advanced 4G LTE and transformative nationwide 5G network that will offer reliable connectivity for all. T-Mobile’s customers benefit from its unmatched combination of value and quality, unwavering obsession with offering them the best possible service experience and undisputable drive for disruption that creates competition and innovation in wireless and beyond. Based in Bellevue, Wash., T-Mobile provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile and Sprint. For more information please visit: https://www.t-mobile.com.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Agilysys to Reveal New Digital and Mobile Software Approaches to Overcoming Hospitality Staff Shortages

Agilysys | September 19, 2022

The global gaming industry saw record revenue in 2021 and is expected to do so again in 2022, with industry analysts revising expected revenues upward to $876 billion from a previous estimate of $747.9 billion according to the Global Gaming Industry study posted by ReportLinker in July. However, as patrons return in record numbers, owners, operators and management teams are struggling to staff enough positions to serve them.About 6.2 million U.S. hospitality workers lost their jobs in 2020 due to pandemic shutdowns, and many of these workers have left the industry permanently or retired. According to a survey by job search site Joblist, half of U.S. hospitality workers surveyed said they would not be returning to the same jobs they held before the shutdowns, and one-third said they are no longer considering working in hospitality. The combination of continued staff shortages and increased guest demand is accelerating the development of inventive and quick-to-deploy technology solutions to close this gap. At the G2E (Global Gaming Expo), Agilysys hospitality experts will host an Innovation Lab session on Tuesday, October 11 at 2:00 p.m. that will reveal real-world examples of new mobile, on-demand and kiosk-based software solutions that casino resorts and other properties are deploying with immediate guest-pleasing and revenue-driving results. G2E is the largest gaming and entertainment event in North America. The event will be held at The Venetian Expo in Las Vegas October 10-13, and will host hospitality industry professionals from all over the world. In addition to its Innovation Lab session, Agilysys also will showcase its software Experience Enhancers™ Collections that extend Agilysys’ property management systems (PMS), point-of-sale (POS) solutions, and Inventory and Procurement (I&P) solutions to amplify Return on Experience (ROE) for both guests and staff. ROE measures how technology creates more engaged and empowered staff members as well as guests that return more often, spend more, and leave stronger reviews. ROE covers longer-term returns gained by ensuring every experience at every touchpoint avoids disappointment and creates a champion. Built to improve ROE through a variety of staff and guest experiences, Agilysys’ Experience Enhancers Collections enable property operators, management companies and owners to maximize the emotional and empirical returns derived from unifying advanced technology across their operations. “As those of us who serve or work in this industry know, hospitality is a zero-disappointment business Even one negative experience among a dozen positive ones can provoke a patron to leave a negative review or tell others about their disappointment. That is why we collaborate with our customers and other thought leaders in hospitality and gaming to continuously understand what guests and employees value most so we can design and deliver software that optimizes those experiences across a property and over time. We are finding that new digital, mobile and self-service technologies are proving to be game-changers for many properties, elevating guest satisfaction and revenue while reducing employee stress,” -Ramesh Srinivasan, president and CEO for Agilysys. Casinos and resorts interested in actions they can take to elevate guest service despite staffing constraints can see demonstrations in Agilysys’ G2E Booth #3800 and learn more in the Agilysys Innovation Lab session on Tuesday, October 11 at 2:00 p.m. Those who participate in booth demonstrations will have the chance to win a $250 Amazon gift card. To schedule a meeting with an Agilysys hospitality expert, please click here. About Global Gaming Expo Global Gaming Expo (G2E) is the world's premier gathering of commercial and tribal gaming professionals. For more than 20 years, G2E has convened the global gaming industry to discover cutting-edge technology, connect with peers and industry experts, and access expert education. For more information, please visit https://www.globalgamingexpo.com/en-us.html. About Agilysys Agilysys is well known for its long heritage of hospitality-focused technology innovation. The Company delivers modular and integrated software solutions and expertise to businesses seeking to maximize Return on Experience (ROE) through hospitality encounters that are both personal and profitable. Over time, customers achieve High Return Hospitality by consistently delighting guests, retaining staff and growing margins. Customers around the world include: branded and independent hotels; multi-amenity resort properties; casinos; property, hotel and resort management companies; cruise lines; corporate dining providers; higher education campus dining providers; food service management companies; hospitals; lifestyle communities; senior living facilities; stadiums; and theme parks. The Agilysys Hospitality Cloud™ combines core operational systems for property management (PMS), point of sale (POS), and inventory and procurement (I&P) with Experience Enhancers™ that meaningfully improve interactions for guests and for employees across dimensions such as digital access, mobile convenience, self-service control, personal choice, payment options, service coverage and real-time insights to improve decisions. Core solutions and Experience Enhancers are selectively combined in Hospitality Solution Studios™ tailored to specific hospitality settings and business needs. www.Agilysys.com

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