SeatAssignMate brings ancillary sales to your email inbox
One of the pioneering airline-sponsored startup incubators and accelerators is the Navigator programme, co-sponsored by JetBlue and Cockpit Innovation, the venture capital arm of El Al.
Cockpit Innovation just announced the five projects it has selected this year and, among them, there is one that caught my eye, perhaps because I have worked previously in some projects in this field, but also because of the smoothness and simplicity it aims to bring to ancillary sales.
SeatAssignMate is a US-based startup that is aiming to integrate into email the sale of airline ancillary services.
We all use email and for most of us it doubles as agenda, archive and many other things. Email is also where most people store all their travel itinerary details and booking references. Why not make it also the platform of choices for any further add-ons?
SeatAssignMate has started focusing in the indirect distribution channel, that is travel agents and GDS. In the indirect channel the sale of ancillary services, such as seat upgrades, extra baggage allowance and other similar services, is not as developed as in the airlines' own websites, so the opportunity for innovators such as SeatAssignMate is larger.
The beauty of their system is that they transform all your booking information into interactive content that is seating in your email. Any changes and upgrades to your reservation can be made directly in the body of your email.
There is no need to log into another website. The system recognizes the traveler's PNR (your booking code) and is able to manage comunications between the email and the reservation system, but all of this happens in the background, no need to exit your email client.
SeatAssignMate is covering some 100 airlines at the moment (it has their seat maps and service catalogue) and it claims several tens of travel agents are already using their technology daily. In the near future it plans to start working directly with airlines too.