TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,HOSPITALITY TRENDS
Sabre Corporation and Plug and Play | July 07, 2022
Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), a leading software and technology company powering the global travel industry, announced its partnership with Plug and Play's Travel & Hospitality program headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley.
Plug and Play is a global innovation platform that brings together the best startups with the world's largest corporations. Through this partnership, Sabre will enhance its visibility and gain early access to the global startup community.
"Over the past years, we have accelerated our focus on innovation, both internally and together with strong partners, Our collaboration with Plug and Play is another milestone on this journey and we are very excited to engage with their world-class community of forward-thinking, driven entrepreneurs to shape the future of travel."
-Sundar Narasimhan, President Sabre Labs & Product Strategy.
Plug and Play's Travel & Hospitality program launched in 2016 and has since expanded to six locations around the world. Since its inception, the Travel program has accelerated over 250 startups and worked with some of the most innovative corporations in the industry. With this partnership, Plug and Play's goal is to complement Sabre's innovation roadmap through vetted introductions to promising travel technologies that will seek to ultimately translate to a faster recovery for the industry while improving the traveler's overall journey.
"When it comes to insights regarding the entire travel ecosystem, Sabre has demonstrated their commitment to diverse and in-depth products that touch many of our travel and hospitality partners and their customers," Sabre's commitment to digital transformation is exemplified by the innovative work coming out of Sabre Labs, their support in the startup community as well as their work with forward-thinking partners both inside and outside of travel. This partnership came into fruition at a perfect inflection point for the travel industry's recovery."
-Saeed Amidi, CEO & Founder, Plug and Play.
About Plug and Play
Plug and Play is the leading innovation platform, connecting startups, corporations, venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we're present in 35+ locations across five continents. We offer corporate innovation programs and help our corporate partners in every stage of their innovation journey, from education to execution. We also organize startup acceleration programs and have built an in-house VC to drive innovation across multiple industries where we've invested in hundreds of successful companies including Dropbox, Guardant Health, Honey, Lending Club, N26, PayPal, and Rappi. For more information, visit https://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com/
About Sabre Corporation
Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveller experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre's technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world. For more information visit www.sabre.com.
TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,HOSPITALITY TRENDS
Spirit Airlines | July 14, 2022
Spirit Airlines (NYSE: SAVE) has completed yet another groundbreaking investment in the Guest experience. Guests can now binge their favorite shows via Spirit Wi-Fi on flights operated by its Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft. The major milestone marks the first time a U.S.-based ultra-low fare airline has offered high-speed Wi-Fi.
Spirit partnered with Thales to install the high-speed connectivity solution FlytLIVE to cover Spirit's network across the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. This state-of-the-art system offers access to internet services. Guests can enjoy an at-home level of experience in the air while viewing video from their streaming services, playing games and connecting on social media with their personal devices. As another major milestone, Spirit expects to provide the fastest Wi-Fi service of any U.S.-based airline when all FlytLIVE-enabled planes are connected to the new, very high-throughput SES-17 satellite by September 2022.
"This is a real groundbreaking moment in the industry as Spirit adds in-flight amenities and product options that have previously not been available on ultra-low fare carriers, We're continuing to deliver the best value in the sky by providing options that are important to our Guests, like our high-speed Wi-Fi service, while keeping our focus on affordable fares to provide our Guests with More Go."
-Matt Klein, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for Spirit Airlines.
At Thales, we are proud to partner with Spirit Airlines in their mission to enhance the Guest experience and are truly excited to have 100% of their A320 & A321 fleet equipped with FlytLIVE. The system's reliability and performance is getting rave reviews from Spirit's passengers who can now stream to their heart's content," said TK Kallenbach, CEO Thales InFlyt Experience.
Spirit is the leader in providing customizable travel options that allow Guests to pay only for the options they choose like bags, seat assignments, refreshments, and now, Wi-Fi service will be part of this À La Smarte approach to travel. In addition to purchasing Wi-Fi on the flight, Guests can pre-purchase Wi-Fi at the time of booking on spirit.com effective July 13, 2022, and on the mobile app effective August 10, 2022, for flights on or after August 24, 2022. The voucher codes received from the pre-purchase option are for entry in the online Wi-Fi portal on the plane.
Wi-Fi Your Way
Browsing: browse the web and stay in touch via email, chat, and social media starting at $2.99
Streaming: stream, browse, and chat on board with high-speed internet that's 20x faster than our browsing option starting at $5.99
How To Connect
Turn on your device's Wi-Fi and choose "Spirit_WiFi"
Open your web browser and visit SpiritWiFi.com
Choose the plan, enter your payment or voucher code information, and enjoy Spirit Wi-Fi
The most advanced Ka-band high-throughput connectivity
FlytLIVE uses SES & Hughes next-generation aviation satellite network and technology
SES-17 satellite built to serve routes across the Americas and Atlantic with Ka-band coverage
SES-17 is SES's first satellite to have a totally digital payload, powered by a Thales advanced digital transparent processor (DTP), enabling greater flexibility and efficiency than previously available. Using Thales' FlytLIVE and SES-17, Spirit expects to offer the best availability in the Americas and will be faster than other airlines based on published data.
Additional program details:
In total, more than 80 percent of Spirit's fleet has Wi-Fi capability with system installations completed on Spirit's existing A320 and A321 sub-fleets. The expansion of Wi-Fi functionality to Spirit's existing A319 sub-fleet will be determined at a later date. Spirit plans to gain 24 brand new A320neo planes in 2022 for a projected fleet-wide total of 197 by the end of the year, and 33 more new planes projected for delivery in 2023.
The price of the Wi-Fi options is based on the duration of the flight. While inflight, Guests can enjoy complimentary access to Spirit.com—check your flight status on connecting flights, access your mobile boarding pass, and join Free Spirit to earn points from your flight. More information may be found on spirit.com/wifi.
Spirit continues to garner recognition for innovation in the Guest experience and its commitment to operational excellence. The carrier won "Best Airport Innovation" in the 2021 APEX/IFSA Awards for its groundbreaking self-bag drop system with biometric photo matching, which speeds up the check-in process and reduces face-to-face contact. Additionally, Spirit was recognized by Forbes as one of America's Best Employers for Diversity in 2022. Spirit also received the FAA's "Aviation Maintenance Technician Diamond Award of Excellence" for the fourth consecutive year.
About Spirit Airlines:
Spirit Airlines (NYSE: SAVE) is committed to delivering the best value in the sky. We are the leader in providing customizable travel options starting with an unbundled fare. This allows our Guests to pay only for the options they choose — like bags, seat assignments and refreshments — something we call À La Smarte®. We make it possible for our Guests to venture further and discover more than ever before. Our Fit Fleet® is one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient in the U.S. We serve destinations throughout the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean, and are dedicated to giving back and improving those communities. Come save with us at spirit.com.
Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global leader in advanced technologies, investing in digital and "deep tech" innovations – connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum computing – to build a confident future crucial for the development of our societies. The Group provides its customers – businesses, organisations and governments – in the defence, aeronautics, space, transport, and digital identity and security domains with solutions, services and products that help them fulfil their critical role, consideration for the individual being the driving force behind all decisions.
TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK
Trip.com | August 10, 2022
The global travel rebound continues apace this summer, with global air traffic reaching almost 70% of pre-pandemic levels in May and international hotel occupancy rates achieving the same in April. Yet, against the backdrop of an increased appetite for travel driven by more than two years of pent-up demand, getaways over the summer months are likely to be affected by supply chain issues at airlines and airports, fully booked hotels and rising costs of accommodation and car hire.In the UK, travel chaos has dominated the headlines since springtime, with flight cancellations and long wait times, passenger caps and even a suspension on short-haul ticket sales threatening the chance of a summer holiday. In the US and Europe, the picture is equally fraught, and in Asia, recovery is fractured, with Southeast Asia and the Middle East recovering well, where China and South Korea are recovering at just 15% of pre-pandemic levels due to travel restrictions and COVID-19 outbreaks alike. As such, when customers should be getting excited about quality time with friends or family, relaxation and culture, they are now braced for uncertainty.
At Trip.com Group, we are committed to helping our customers take the perfect trip, and this summer is no different. In a world where the travel landscape is increasingly complicated, our Trip.com platform has a range of products and partnerships in place to ease traveller concerns. Combined with our leading customer service, Trip.com aims to ensure everyone has a summer holiday to remember – for all the right reasons – this year.
Trip.com Group's Pre-Travel Protection and Cost-Saving Products
Earlier this year, Trip.com expanded on its travel insurance product offering in collaboration with AXA Partners. Made available to UK customers since September last year, this insurance product was extended to travellers across Europe earlier this year and can be easily selected when booking a flight on Trip.com. This travel insurance option provides a variety of benefits including medical, cancellation and baggage cover, as well as protection against cancellation and medical costs if a customer contracts COVID-19. With travel restrictions in place in many countries across Asia and beyond, this product is still incredibly useful in terms of providing ample traveller protection and peace of mind.
In mainland China, our Ctrip platform introduced its TripTour2Day upgrade service, offering free refunds on group tour products cancelled up to two days before departure. Users simply click on the order details page to obtain a one-click refund in as little as one minute on products with the TripTour2Day label.
A week after the TripTour2Day product was launched, sales exceeded 20 million, which proves how vital these products are in terms of offering customers total peace of mind. With many travellers in China harbouring concerns about whether COVID-19 measures would interfere with their plans, this allows users an increased level of flexibility when booking their next trip.
"The TripTour2Day service upgrade shortens the threshold of a free refund from seven days or longer to just two days, giving every Ctrip user a better experience in terms of both booking and opportunity to refund. You can customise your travel needs at your own pace and join a tour with peace of mind,"
-Trip.com Group Tour Business CEO Wen Jiang.
In addition to providing protection-based products, Trip.com is also helping guests to get the best value on their next getaway. As the costs of travel rapidly increase, customers are frequently looking for the best deals in order to maximise the return on their investment. By partnering with Hopper Price Freeze on our European and US sites, Trip.com is offering customers added protection against travel price volatility. For a small upfront fee, Trip.com users can freeze a flight price for up to 14 days, giving them the chance to confirm plans with their travel companions before booking without having to worry about an unnecessary price rise. Price Freeze ensures that customers never lose out, because if a Trip.com user freezes a flight and the prices go up, the difference is covered up to a set amount. If the price goes down, the user pays that lower price.
Yudong Tan, CEO of the Flight Business Group, Trip.com Group commented, At Trip.com Group we are constantly seeking out ways to bring benefits to travellers. With this new Price Freeze feature, powered by Hopper, we are giving our customers more ways to save money when they book flights.
Dedicated Customer Service
Since the beginning of 2020, Trip.com's Customer Service team has been put through its paces, handling complex requests to support our users during some of the most testing times - and we continue to develop tech-focused Customer Service solutions today.
Our intelligent storage auto-expansion technology has been upgraded to allow our systems to manage call levels more than 10 times higher than our average, and we developed an AI-centric mechanism to recognise and prioritise the most urgent customer cases, directing these calls to a staff member as quickly as possible. While speaking with a Customer Service agent, our assistant tool helps agents by automatically labelling and categorising requests in real time, saving customers time and energy while solving problems quicker than ever before.
Our chatbot service also makes use of AI technology to automatically identify trending information in real time based on the most up to date COVID-19 policies and frequently asked questions, updating the FAQs on a daily basis and allowing customers to self-solve over 70% problems without having to hold for a Customer Service agent. The chatbot can also route requests directly to your hotel or airline, helping customers do everything from requesting a confirmation email to rescheduling a flight in the event of extreme weather conditions.
In addition, Trip.com also launched its Customer Service Pledge in November 2021, committing to six key pillars including 24/7 support and free in-app calls. Grace Ding, Head of Trip.com's Global Customer Support Centre commented We are proud to see one of our companies make a pledge towards maintaining an incredible level of service to ensure people can continue to travel stress-free.
With an average customer satisfaction rate of 90% in 2021, Trip.com is ready to support customers quickly and efficiently with any issues they face while travelling this summer.
Delayed Baggage Protection
As global lost luggage becomes a particularly problematic issue, Trip.com's Blue Ribbon Bags delayed baggage protection service also helps to remove the stress from summer travel. With this initiative, Trip.com users will be able to safeguard their checked luggage against any delays during transit.
Commenting on the new service, Lyrics Zhao, Director of Product and Business Development in the Flights Business at Trip.com said, "Trip.com strives to make travel worry-free and relaxing for all. We want the booking experience to be the beginning of a relaxing trip and to offer value added services to the passenger."
"Our service provides air travellers with confidence that if their checked-in baggage does not arrive at the destination airport, we will coordinate and expedite the swift return. Our clients should be able to enjoy their holiday or focus on their work trip while we locate and expedite the baggage,"
-CD Lazear, Senior Vice President of Blue Ribbon Bags.
Whatever this summer throws at you, Trip.com will be by your side to offer solutions. At every stage throughout your travel journey, from pre-booking to when you land in your chosen destination, Trip.com's supportive staff and customer-focused products are available to support you every step of the way and make sure your next trip offers all the relaxation, fun and good times you've been craving.