Joanna Patterson of FlixBus – Next Gen Intercity Bus Service


FlixBusA mobility provider that has changed the way over 100 million people have traveled — FlixBus is now taking on the US…

Joanna Patterson, Head of Business Development for FlixBus (a unique combination of tech startup, e-commerce platform and sustainable transportation company) joins Marc Raco and Anthony DeRico.

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Taylor Culver and Michael McDowell of XenoDATA Partners – Entreprise Data Strategy


Data as a roadmap to innovation, development and customer success for enterprise companies in the travel industry with XenoDATA Partners…

Taylor Culver , Founder of XenoDATA Partners (a boutique management consulting firm partnering with you on making data strategy successful), and his associate Michael McDowell, join Marc Raco and Anthony DeRico in the MouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • A vertical agnostic company
  • Why travel has a special place in Taylor and Michael’s hearts – traveling 40-50 countries
  • Data is a strategic asset
  • Learning from working at Hertz on the corporate development team
  • Talent in work force is versed in data and can really able to ask the right questions
  • What needs help now with data in the travel space?
  • Enterprise issues in legacy systems
  • Transferring data back and forth to shape experiences downstream
  • Opportunities to utilize data points in during the experience, not just online – such as between the taking of ticket to the time you’e in the seat of a plane
  • The integrated nature of Hertz communication, customer feedback, and dynamic feedback
  • Genesis of the. company
  • Opportunity – enterprise customers get the most value out of their data
  • The $40B niche industry – car rentals, and opportunities to disrupt 

Aireen Omar of AirAsia Group – Flying into the Future with Startups and Unicorns

Aileen Omar

AirAsia has an eye on how technology innovation can disrupt the areas of the travel industry…

Aileen OmarWhen you’re the largest airline in a country, with more than 100 million passengers last year and ranked this year by Forbes the best low cost airline in Asia, you’re going to know a lot about what your customers need and want. 

You’ll know about their behavior throughout their journey with you, and how you can grow them as a customer and your brand as an ever increasingly relevant player.  In the travel industry. AirAsia Group is taking that experience and running—(or flying)—with it. With an eye on how technology innovation can disrupt the areas of the travel industry Air Asia is eyeing for expansion, and to be of value to other industry players  — (and even other industries).

Aireen Omar, AirAsia Deputy Group CEO (Technology and Digital), joins John Matson and Bess Chapman for a discussion on why the airline has made a meaningful play into venture funding and startups, a search for talent worldwide, and investing in unicorns. Recorded in the MouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser.

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Tripp Higgins and Andy Hakes of AireXpert – Solving Communication Gaps in Aviation Maintenance


AireXpertCollaborative technology to the global airline industry that enables its customers to improve the pace and quality of aircraft maintenance, leading to significant productivity gains, lowered costs and improved safety…

Tripp Higgins, VP of Business Development, and Andy Hakes, Founder/CEO, of AireXpert (tech ops event control), joins John Matson and Bess Chapman in theMouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser.

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Anthony Derico – Where Will Travel Go Next?


If you had an hour to sit with someone who helped build the fastest growing travel media company in the industry – what could you learn? From user-generated content, to the shift of the mobile-first environment and how trends have drastically shifted in travel, along with travel management companies, the joys of  traveling with family, and why not to take your eye off the ball in the travel industry…

AnthonyAnthony Derico, Business Mentor / Advisor for Quake Capital Partners and Business Consultant / Advisor to Voyager HQ,  and former VP/Head of Sales for Skift and Skift table, joins John Matson and Bess Chapman in the MouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • The move to mobile as the biggest travel shift
  • The next biggest shift?
  • The cellphone as a tool of travel
  • Skiplagged for finding cheap flights
  • Influencer content and maintaining an authentic voice, and how everyone is an influencer when they travel and share on social media
  • Making travel more accessible is a market share
  • Does travel have a homogeny problem to get that instagrammable moment?Anthony
  • The effect on business travel
  • Why people travel for business, the many layers of that decision making, and a possible game changer to focus on
  • Working for your snack
  • Creating amazing experiences as a brand, and really executing events that can leave an impression
  • The impact of the rise of startup culture on travel
  • Why travel as a benefit should be core to a business
  • How trade publications can get real stories in travel, and then thoughts on content that stands out
  • Inspiring children with meaningful travel destinations and experiences that make an impact

069 – James Nannos of Stay Wanderful – Surprise, Delight, Return

Stay Wanderful

Acquiring and retaining hospitality customers with surprise-and-delight rewards…

Stay WanderfulJames Nannos, Director of Hotel Sales & Partnerships for Stay Wanderful (a direct booking tool to increase guest conversion and provide surprise- and-delight rewards) joins John Matson and Bess Chapman in the MouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • How independent hospitality brands should think about retaining customers
  • Independent hospitality chains don’t have a powerful distribution network
  • Tangible guest rewards, differentiated experiences to guests, and then continuing conversation after the fact
  • How can independents get in there and make a difference
  • Most prefer experiences and benefits to points, most won’t get value out of points
  • Personalizing small but highly perceived value rewardsStay Wanderful
  • Most want to choose rewards
  • If Stay Wanderful is in many properties, how that helps still customers choose a specific property
  • Raising the bar of service won’t dilute the opportunity
  • Stay Wanderful makes it look like a hotel is giving you the rewards, like a white label solution for that hotel
  • The only business where customers are sleeping in palace of business—you must capture them while they are there
  • Independent properties fighting uphill battle
  • A fee-for-success model
  • The importance of fining out the real decision-maker of a hospitality property or brand
  • Why hotels are operating off of antiquating systems, integrating into an old tech stack
  • The helpfulness of the Cornell network
  • The impact of military methodology and experience on entrepreneurialism and how it connects with hotel business

068 – Kristen Vasan of Foursquare – Where People Go


Why the original travel app is partnered with so many brands and integrated into so much technology…

FoursquareKristen Vasan, Director of Strategic Platform Partnerships for Foursquare (a technology company that enriches consumer experiences and informs business decisions through a deep understanding of location intelligence), joins John Matson in the MouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • The state of personalization in the travel industry, gained some momentum
  • Foursquare was previously thought as a social networking app, but is a contextually aware location platform that sits on top of some of the biggest brands’ tech
  • Can build a contextually aware map of where people go
  • People comparing brands to one another are looking at how technological experiences compare to one another 
  • The risk of becoming the best tech company instead of best service
  • Going from the check in app for locations,  and how Foursquare  pivoted to become a huge player in the enterprise location space
  • How their API plays into geo-locations for images and social media
  • The goal to give marketers the ability to “bake” location tech, to know where you’ve stopped, see the venue where you are, and “tap you on the shoulder”
  • Giving people the ability to be present and enjoy life, and only use phone when it matters mostFoursquare
  • How Foursquare reached 1 billion consumers
  • Brands building loyalty, having an understanding of offline behavior, a lot is still left to be done in that space
  • How business travel is different than personal travel
  • Seeing location trails of consumers and telling stories about where they go
  • People look to Foursquare as the original travel app
  • Are travel startups able to use Foursquare’s SDK and try to iterate on it
  • Foursquare’s database of over 105M places globally you can ingest and share with world
  • And  — a volcano

067 – Filip Maksymilian Bloch and Daniel Flynn of Hotailors – Humanizing Travel with Technology


Organizing business trips 90% faster, 30% cheaper via AI with a human touch…

HotailorsFilip Maksymilian Bloch (CEO) and Daniel Flynn (Business Development Manager) of Hotailors (a next-gen AI-powered travel platform  allowing organization of corporate travel faster, at a lower cost) join John Matson in the MouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • What does Hotailors see changing in corporate travel bookings?
  • Hotailors wants to treat your employees right
  • Who’s driving the change in corporate travel?
  • Identifying and relating to the pain of being a traveler
  • Trimming down the “waste time” spent booking a trip
  • SMD vs Enterprise
  • Winning the market and becoming a unicorn
  • Sizing up the market
  • How Filip and Dan met
  • Narrow Domain Intelligence vs General Form Intelligence
  • Applying AI to the travel space
  • Where Filip sees AI succeeding and thriving 
  • How Artificial Intelligence will help travel be better, smarter, cheaper, faster, and more comfortable
  • The competition in the travel AI space
  • Hotailor’s hybrid approach to travel – Merging A.I. efficiency with human touch by employing a network of 3,000 travel agents across the globe
  • Building a product so good, customers won’t want to leave – the key is to be faster and more robust
  • Hotailor’s approach to product research and development
  • How Hotailor built a network of 3,000 travel agents across the globe
  • The early struggles and mistakes made while growing Hotailors
  • Where Filip believes AI will be used and where he wants to see it utilized
  • Filip’s upbringing running hotels with his parents

066 – Andrea Bonaiuto of Eurowings Group and Brussels Airlines – Exploration and Experiences

Andrea Bonaiuto

The growth of Brussels Airlines in the Americas..

Andrea BonaiutoAndrea Bonaiuto, Marketing Manager for The Americas with Eurowings Group, joins John Matson and Bess Chapman  in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • The most effective B-to-B and B-to-C channels for Brussels Airlines and Eurowings, depending on gaol and purpose
  • Having a smaller budget, acting in startup style in the Americas
  • Working two brands
  • Brussels has three points of departure in North America, but Eurowings has seven gateways in North America
  • Local targeted events, getting people who haven’t travelled to a destination before, acquiring new customers, strategic partnerships
  • Tomorrowland as the largest music festival in Belgium, seeking to create  a seamless customer journey experience and  related experiences, with live DJs at 30,000 ftAndrea Bonaiuto
  • A fun activation, working with United Airlines
  • Gate parties
  • Keeping customer loyalty when the customer may not be interacting directly with brand, consistency, quality service and experiences, and staying in front of customer
  • The deal with airline food, and how at 30,000 feet your taste buds change, t more he need to add more sodium
  • Business class menus created at a high culinary level
  • The “bleisure” markets
  • How promoting airlines is constantly changing with digital opportunities and new platforms
  • Virtual reality at a lot of events, experiencing what the inside of cabin and business class is like

065 – Dean Locke of Riskified – Enabling Ecommerce and Reducing Fraud in Travel


An eCommerce fraud protection solution that protects travel companies…

RiskifiedDean Locke, Head of Business Development at Riskified (the world’s leading eCommerce fraud-prevention company, trusted by hundreds of global brands – from luxury fashion houses and retail chains, to gift card and ticket marketplaces), joins John Matson and Bess Chapman  in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • Travel as a high-ticket item, attractive to fraudsters because they can sell per transaction
  • Smaller margins mean magnification of chargebacks
  • How fraud happens
  • Gift cards are highly targeted
  • When revenue streams must shut down due to fraud


  • A Cakeboss treat
  • Being received in the travel space
  • The shift to digital payment, and preparing for cryptocurrencies
  • Indicators of risky transactions
  • The tech scene in NYC