Travel Trends for 2019: How Big Data, AI Technology, and Personalization Will Impact the Future of Travel Forever

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Tech Experts, Analysts, and CEOs Give ExpertFlyer Insight About Trends Shaping Travel

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Kevin May, Editor-in-Chief, PhocusWire

Some brands are reporting up to two-thirds of their bookings are coming from a mobile device, and we see this trend continue to grow in 2019

They see you when you’re sleeping. They know when you’re awake. And, more than likely, they know where you live. Big Data, that is. So, it’s no wonder that the growing expectation among travelers is for a seamless and personalized travel experience in 2019. And thanks to Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, and savvy online marketing campaigns, consumers may get their wish, according to industry experts who went One-on-One with ExpertFlyer just before the holidays.

“Just selling a seat on a plane or putting a head in a bed is not enough today,” explains Gilad Berenstein, Founder and CEO of Utrip, which uses AI technology and personal data to create a custom travel experience. “People plan all the time, across all devices. Thus, trip planning needs to be more omnipresent and tools such as AI and personalization help keep travelers engaged throughout their entire planning process.”

While the experts have their own short list of trends for the coming year, they all agree that one trend that seems absolutely certain is maintaining “constant contact” with consumers through mobile connectivity and WiFi everywhere you go. "By 2020, there will be significant adoption of WiFi on planes that will work similar to hotels,” explains Patrick Sarkissian, CEO and Co-Founder of Raleigh & Drake, a millennial-focused travel tech company. “You will walk into the plane and immediately be online via your carrier, which will significantly change the way airlines will market to its customers.”

Kevin May, Editor-in-Chief at PhocusWire, concurs. “People are not just searching for travel using a mobile device but are now booking their trips with these devices. Some brands are reporting up to two-thirds of their bookings are coming from a mobile device, and we see this trend continue to grow in 2019, which is why the idea of ‘constant connectivity’ is so important.” Kevin offers an in-depth look at trends for 2019 during his podcast interview with ExpertFlyer.

This data continues to support what Chris Lopinto, president of ExpertFlyer, included in his list of trends for 2017 when he stated, “You will begin to see an expansion of business models where companies, such as Airbnb, will be getting into the ‘travel business,’ which will allow them to engage with clients for a longer period of time.”

While most experts agree that Big Data and AI technology will have an enormous impact on the travel experience for consumers in 2019, the use of Biometric technology at TSA check points at airports has also become a popular buzzword for the upcoming year.

According to Sherry Stein, senior manager of Projects & Innovation for SITA Lab, biometrics technology will continue to contribute to greater efficiency related to airport security bottlenecks. “SITA did a trial with Orlando International Airport and British Airways using biometric processing for boarding, and British Airways was able to board a 787, which holds approximately 240 – 260 passengers, in 10 minutes, which was very impressive.”

“While 2019 will be big for biometrics, I see the next five years more than doubling as AI continues to evolve and people become even more accustomed and familiar with the technology,” predicted Yossi Zekri, CEO of Acuant, an identity verification, document authentication and fraud prevention technology services provider.

According to Patrick Sarkissian at Raleigh &Drake, millennials and their over-indexing usage of social media and mobile are travel industry change agents responsible for the rise in transparent user-generated travel recommendation platforms, like TripAdvisor. “Unfortunately, that path is now threatened due to the rise in fake reviews,” Sarkissian explains. “In response to the use of social media by millennials, airlines like Delta partnered with The Infatuation to provide text-based restaurant recommendations and JetBlue is turning customer's Instagram into a live-booking platform for flights using AI. Lastly, companies like Handy are providing free phones for customers to use in hotels, which is due to the massive smart phone adoption led by millennials as well.”

To learn more about these experts’ thoughts about travel trends for 2019 and listen to the entire podcast featuring Kevin May at PhocusWire, visit ExpertFlyer’s blog.

About Utrip
Utrip is a data-driven destination discovery and travel planning platform that combines the best of local expertise, human experience and artificial intelligence to make trip planning easy, enjoyable and personal. Utrip PRO, our white-label product, enables destination marketing organizations, airlines, attractions and hospitality brands to offer customers a more personalized experience, thereby increasing engagement, loyalty, conversion rates and revenue. Our technology optimizes each itinerary based on a customer’s preferences, budget, geography and many other relevant factors, sorting through millions of destination options, such as must-see sights, activities, events and restaurants. We empower our partners to reimagine their customer relationships through every step of the travel lifecycle. For more information, please visit

About Raleigh & Drake
Driven by authenticity, Raleigh & Drake (RAD) delivers the world’s first influencer-driven discovery platform. RAD offers millennials instantly bookable, personalized recommendations and guides from a trusted global community of creatives, photographers, culinary experts and explorers from around the world. Their curation of exclusive content which merges travel with social impact is unparalleled in the industry. In addition to their authenticated insider’s guide, Raleigh & Drake’s supports the effort to alleviate poverty in local regions with each booking through their partnership with Kiva. For more information, visit

About PhocusWire
PhocusWire is a comprehensive daily news companion for the travel industry, powered by Phocuswright, the most respected travel research authority and events brand in the world.

About Acuant
Acuant is an identity verification, document authentication and fraud prevention technology services provider headquartered in Los Angeles, with engineering and development centers in New Hampshire and Israel.

About SITA Lab
Nearly every passenger flight relies on SITA technology. We work with our air transport owners and members to provide technology solutions that make a difference at a community level. We innovate collaboratively, while developing and managing solutions over the world's most extensive network – one that forms the ’communication backbone’ of the global air transport industry.

Each month, ExpertFlyer's One-on-One blog goes face-to-face with the travel industry's leading decision makers to discuss and address topics relevant to many of today's business and frequent travelers. was conceived and created by an eclectic team consisting of a veteran elite tier frequent flyer, an airline captain and corporate travel manager, and information technology professionals to deliver a 24/7 real time powerful air travel information service. The company provides its subscribers and corporate travel managers alike with a complete, concise and efficient way to access the ever-changing details of worldwide air travel information. For more information, please visit

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