051 – Travel Tech Infrastructure – Thinking Forward

A fireside chat on innovation between representatives of two of the most forward thinking travel groups…

Travel Disruption Summit
Photo credit: Eva Cruz, Crouching Tiger LLC

Rashesh Jethi (SVP Engineering for Americas & Head of Innovation for Airlines for the world’s largest GDS, Amadeus) and Bess Chapman (Operating Principal for JetBlue Technology Ventures) discuss travel tech infrastructure, innovation, and possibilities at the Travel Disruption Summit presented by Voyager HQ, and sponsored by Amadeus and Fareportal.

In this episode:

  • What AI means for the travel industry
  • How everything has changed with hyper-cheap hyper-computing
  • Used to depend on massive investments for AI, and now it simply requires a lot of data and smart people
  • How machine learning sit on top of that, what it means when airlines and other travel business starts really knowing customers
  • Machine learning is one discipline of AI, and it means you feed computer data, makes sense of data, make more personalized recommendations, much potential in marketing
  • How it is a challenge that many players are at different maturity in technology stacks
  • Many are moving to open APIs to encourage growth and innovation

    Travel Disruption Summit
    Photo credit: Eva Cruz, Crouching Tiger LLC
  • Regulation issues an inhibitor to innovation, but most regulation is to keep us safe
  • Be respectful of regulation that’s there
  • GDPR an example
  • What it means that not all travel providers can keep up with changes at the same pace
  • Antiquated innovation all around
  • The biggest white space for disruption in airports
  • Why airports will be the malls of the future
  • Airports can be an oasis of commerce and relaxation
  • Prescreening and biometrics, making screening fast track, frictionless
  • Identifying you as a traveler, then providing you a contextual experience and a reference to what is available around you
  • Amadeus believes in tapping into the creative energy of anyone, supporting innovation
  • Overhyped technology (personal opinion) is blockchain
  • Bags as a huge white space, RFID, and more
  • How NDC change Amadeus’ current setup, and the next evolution in standard with a lot of interest from customers
  • AR and VR in the travel space, ideal use-cases, and why they could just become another screen we get used to
  • Using VR to book trips and for in-flight entertainment, shopping, training – and what are the challenges?
  • A lot of opportunity for companies to help other companies make money
  • What is looked for by Amadeus venture fund

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