AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Star Alliance, SITA, NEC Collaborate to Expand Airport Biometric Tech

Star Alliance, SITA, NEC Corporation of America | June 17, 2021

The Star Alliance has signed an agreement to extend airport biometric processing technologies with airline IT supplier SITA and NEC Corp.

Members of any Star Alliance airline's frequent-flyer program will ultimately be able to access biometric touchpoints at participating airports under the terms of the agreement. SITA's Smart Path technology is already accessible at over 460 airports worldwide, and the addition of NEC to the alliance means they will be able to collaborate on biometric initiatives. NEC, for example, might incorporate its NEC I: Delight platform, which can detect tourists even when they are wearing masks.

"We can scale and expand this solution well beyond our original estimates to several additional collaborating airports and airlines," NEC SVP and chief experience officer Raffie Beroukhim said in a video announcement of the arrangement.

Spotlight

Thirty years ago, Prague was a mystery to travelers in Europe; now, however, it is one of the most popular destinations on the continent, drawing about 4 million visitors each year. Prague offers a compact city center, a fascinating centuries-long history with splendid examples of Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance and Art Nouveau architecture.

Spotlight

Thirty years ago, Prague was a mystery to travelers in Europe; now, however, it is one of the most popular destinations on the continent, drawing about 4 million visitors each year. Prague offers a compact city center, a fascinating centuries-long history with splendid examples of Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance and Art Nouveau architecture.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Skytours and Militaryfares Selects RocketFuel’s Disruptive Blockchain-Based Payment Technology for its One-Click Check-Out Payment Solution

Skytours | December 10, 2020

RocketFuel Blockchain, Inc., a developer of blockchain-based payment registration technologies, today declared that Skytours and Militaryfares, two significant travel organizations, have picked RocketFuel's troublesome blockchain-based payment technology for usage of its one-click check-out payment solution. The first segment of the usage will empower Skytours and Militaryfares to acknowledge digital currencies from its clients, consistently and frictionless. Their customers will profit by an advantageous registration in a 100% secure environment. The second part of the implementation will, other than the blockchain based payment infrastructure, include everything from booking passes to preparing bank payments. The implementation of RocketFuel's services will help abbreviate exchange time and reduce the measure of paperwork, all while guaranteeing transaction security.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Stasher, a Travel Tech Startup is Solving the Luggage Storage Problem Through Crowdsourcing

Stasher | July 09, 2021

Traveling is one of the most rewarding but also one of the most difficult activities. One challenge is storing things while traveling, but an English startup called Stasher is attempting to change the way people store their luggage. Stasher links travelers with hotels and shops that can keep luggage secure while users enjoy their time in a city. Wedderburn-Day developed Stasher as a happy accident when one of his pals wanted to store items with another friend. The friend jokingly suggested charging people for this service. An idea was conceived. They created a platform where people could store items in their homes. The model has subsequently developed, but the fundamental concept has not changed. “Storage in cities is a real issue,” Wedderburn-Day said. “If you remember, and this is still the case, Airbnb had gone from an interesting concept to a household brand at the time, and everyone was beginning to do it. It was also generating a larger potential in this space.” What started as a joke is now in over 250 towns worldwide, but they took a hit during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Hotels and businesses advertise their storage space on the site, and tourists can store their things in a safe place. Dandashy, a former concierge, recognized the need for tourists to keep stuff while on the travel. “The idea has a sort of simplicity to it that makes it great,” Wedderburn-Day said. “It is not reinventing anything, and it is using the sharing-economy concept that has proven to be so successful with taxis and rentals. It is simply making use of existing space.”

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

MakeMyTrip Limited Announces Partnership with Leading AI-Enabled Travel Booking App Hopper

MakeMyTrip | October 18, 2021

MakeMyTrip Limited, India’s leading online travel company, today announced its partnership with Hopper, one of the top travel booking apps for flights, hotels and car rentals, to help travelers save money with personalized recommendations and flexible booking capabilities. Through this partnership, MakeMyTrip aims to further enhance the flight booking experience by boosting its recently launched Price Lock feature. Hopper's Price Freeze technology will power MakeMyTrip’s Price Lock feature and enable customers to lock in flight fares for up to seven days while they are in the process of firming up their travel plans. Since its launch this year, the feature has seen increased adoption amongst flyers as the need for flexible travel has risen sharply post-pandemic. As travel bounces back, the company hopes to see travelers across India actively opting for and benefitting from Price Lock feature. By partnering with Hopper, MakeMyTrip plans to leverage its Price Freeze technology that has proven to drive conversions and increase revenue while offering transparency and flexibility to its customers. “Flexibility is the future of travel – it is how we want to build back demand and put consumer confidence back in booking travel freely, just as they did before the pandemic. As we double down in our efforts to enrich the flight booking experience on the MakeMyTrip platform, we are partnering with Hopper to make use of its innovative technology and pass on the benefits of smart and prudent flight booking to travelers. We are thrilled to extend valuable benefits and bring home best global practices of predictive pricing through Hopper’s data-driven capabilities and AI-rich airfare forecasting tools for our customers.” Rajesh Magow, Co-founder & Group CEO, MakeMyTrip Expressing excitement at joining hands with MakeMyTrip, Frederic Lalonde, CEO and Co-Founder of Hopper, said, “Consumer expectations have changed over the past year and a half, and flexibility is a make-it or break-it factor for travelers. Hopper’s Price Freeze technology will empower MakeMyTrip customers to plan and book their trips with peace-of-mind. As travel continues to rebound, and even enters a travel supercycle, Hopper Cloud is providing the fintech solutions that drive conversions and revenue.” With the addition of Hopper’s predictive algorithms and AI-enabled dynamic pricing tools, MakeMyTrip will be able to protect travelers against airfare volatility. By offering an opportunity for users to lock in low fares before they rise, Hopper's Price Freeze algorithms also help solve one of the major dilemmas of travelers – when is the best time to book my trip? Hopper is powering this partnership as part of its B2B initiative, Hopper Cloud. About MakeMyTrip: MakeMyTrip Limited is India's leading online travel company. We own and operate well-recognized online brands, including MakeMyTrip, Goibibo and redBus. Through our primary websites, www.makemytrip.com, www.goibibo.com, www.redbus.in, and mobile platforms, travellers can research, plan and book a wide range of travel services and products in India as well as overseas. Our services and products include air ticketing, hotel and alternative accommodations bookings, holiday planning and packaging, rail ticketing, bus ticketing, car hire and ancillary travel requirements such as facilitating access to third-party travel insurance and visa processing. About Hopper: Hopper is the world’s fastest-growing mobile-first travel marketplace. By leveraging massive amounts of data and machine learning, the company has developed several unique fintech solutions that help customers save money and travel better. Through its B2B initiative, Hopper Cloud, the company is syndicating its fintech solutions, infrastructure, and agency content. Whether it’s pricing volatility or trip disruptions, Hopper’s proprietary suite of fintech solutions address every pain point in the customer journey while driving conversion, repeat purchases, and profitability.

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