There are a handful of new services and apps on the market making travel a little easier for the tired, lonely worker. CNN caught up with some of the people behind them at the recent Business Travel Show in London.
The virtual valet service DUFL launched last May. “We’re getting rid of luggage,” declares George Meek, EMEA Managing Director. “We ship, clean and store your business attire” as well as shoes, accessories, full-size toiletries, hairdryers and whatever travelers need to feel their usual sleek selves — allowing them to “travel bag-free” and pick up freshly laundered clothes at their destination.
Networking app Jambo launched at the end of last year, and is currently invitation only, with a testing base of 300 users. CEO and founder Laura Stembridge came up with “a platform that’s essentially LinkedIn on the go” after one too many work trip evenings that ended with “room service, dinner for one, date with my Kindle.”
Finding somewhere to stay
Latecomers will find every hotel in the area booked solid and that’s where MagicEvent comes in. It’s an Airbnb-style service aimed at business travelers, and partners with industry events to secure appropriate accommodation in business centers.The French start-up has around 20,000 apartments in 60 cities, mostly in Europe and the U.S., with some presence in South Africa and the UAE.
Rip-off rates and fees
Revolut is a global money app and debit card that promises to help users easily and transparently manage their money around the world. It launched in July 2015 and Revolut business analyst Gus Gould explains that it already supports 90 currencies, with no international transaction fees, no need for IBANs or frantic cash transfers to pay off outstanding debts.
Booking multi-leg trips
Italian start-up Beepry, which launched in November 2015, hopes to take on the big-name search engines with its flight meta search specializing in complex itineraries.
CEO and founder Salvatore Ambrosino says his company’s patent-pending algorithm gives it an edge, finding the best solution in terms of cost and efficiency “faster, cheaper and more relevant to the needs of the user.”
Beepry is currently targeting business corporations rather than individual users.
Booking efficient, economic ground travel
We’re “incorporating ride shares into the travel industry,” says Zachy Hamras, marketing manager at Flitways, which launched in 2014. Users can pre-book taxis, executive cars, ride-shares in the 140 cities Flitways covers. The most interesting part of the service is that users can pre-book an affordable ride-share, instead of having to wait until they land at the airport, hoping they find something affordable.
Your flight’s economy but your needs are premium
Android and iOS app Loungebuddy helps fliers locate, preview and book last-minute seats in airports around the world. So travelers in need of a work space, a shower, or a drink and a rest, no longer need to be part of the first-class club — and it quickly takes the stress out of long airport delays.