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Customer Spotlight: How Bridge Labs partner Pilota prepares for disruption

19 December 2019
pilota

One of the groundbreaking startups we worked with this year was Pilota, which uses artificial intelligence to predict flight disruptions and rebook a new option. They’re remarkable in how much they achieved in such a short time.  

Pilota’s founders and leaders met just last year while pursuing their master’s degree at Cornell Tech. The entrepreneurs formed their idea around flight disruption at the beginning of 2019 and are on a mission to deliver a solution that will help travelers rebook their flights proactively. 

Using AI technology to predict flight delays and cancellations ahead of time allows travelers to protect themselves against flight disruptions with the Pilota protection plan. With this plan, Pilota continuously assesses the risk of disruption to the traveler’s flight and allow them to proactively rebook a new flight for free when their flight is at risk of being disrupted. That means travelers can avoid long hours waiting at the airport for the next flight. By knowing the probability of their flight being cancelled ahead of time, they can simply rebook the flight for free and update their plans.  


The formula for a successful takeoff 

Recent research shows that only 10 percent of new startups make it every year. From our first interaction, it was clear that Pilota has all the qualities of the successful startup: disruptive idea, well-defined market, and persistent and knowledgeable founders who take advantage of industry mentoring opportunities. 

In less than one year, Pilota took the stage at multiple prominent industry events, including ATPCO Elevate, the Phocuswright Summit, Hangar51’s Pitch Day, and the Future Travel Experience Global Startup Hub Live. That’s where they met their partners in the industry who can support them on this journey.  

“As a startup, it feels difficult at times because you feel as though your team is working alone to achieve your goals. But being a part of communities and accelerators like Bridge Labs allows us to connect with other startups in our industry and support each other in our goals. Having mentors who are experienced in the industry as part of these communities allows us to get candid feedback and advice, which is key to product iteration and quick progress.”  Saniya Shah, CEO and co-founder of Pilota


Getting there faster with Bridge Labs  

Pilota’s protection service is based on the flight details, disruption risk, and most importantly, the ticket fares. That’s where ATPCO comes in.

Working with ATPCO Bridge Labs enables Pilota to get access to the most complete, accurate, and timely retailing and pricing content via APIs.

Before working with Bridge Labs, Pilota’s founders spent endless hours searching the Internet for different fare datasets and slowly building up their understanding about the airfare pricing mechanism and the rules conditions that come with it. Like most entering this industry, Pilota quickly realized that building and maintaining that infrastructure is time-consuming and requires significant resources.

Working with Bridge Labs helped them to optimize their time to production and to make more informed decisions while simplifying their development process. They described that understanding fares and the fare rule system through ATPCO was one of the most valuable insights they found, and it was a critical piece to their successful takeoff. 

“ATPCO’s robust data has allowed us to ramp up on how airline pricing and retailing works, which is key to the accuracy of our AI underwriting. The resources that Bridge Labs provided us with were key to our rapid development and allowed us to focus on the development rather than looking for fragmented sources of data that we had to put together ourselves.”  Kulvinder Lotay, Head of R&D and co-founder of Pilota


Mentorships make for smooth landings 

There is something fascinating about working with startups and industry innovators, helping bring their brilliant ideas to life. Passionate to deliver new solutions fast, they are seeking advice from our experts, access to our data, and technology and marketing collaboration to help get their idea off the ground.

It has been another incredible year for ATPCO’s Bridge Labs, the place for early-stage startups, emerging companies, and technology innovators in travel industry. From meeting two to six new startups each week, to launching new solutions, to fully commercializing new products, ATPCO is proud to be a part of our Bridge Labs partners’ success.

To learn more about Bridge Labs, visit our website or contact us at letsconnect@atpco.net

By Ulyana Uebersezig

Product Marketing Manager

Ulyana leads strategic projects and go-to-market strategies for NDC and Distribution portfolios. She joined ATPCO nearly five years ago and has more than 10 years of experience in multiple marketing functions, business development, and data analysis across the travel and hospitality industries. Ulyana is an active participant and contributor to Lead from the Front, ATPCO’s women in technology program.