Hi there,

We have had quite an eventful week. Here some highlights:

On Wednesday, our latest startup sector analysis for Travel and Mobility Tech was exclusively published in business magazine Handelsblatt, see here (only in German). No worries, the English version will follow soon with a comprehensive Q3 update on investment trends in this very newsletter.

We also contributed to this year's World Aviation Festival with three sessions:

  • A keynote on "Where startup investments in Travel and Mobility Tech are going post-Covid" 
  • Myself participating in an investor and incubator panel on "What the long-term impact of startup investments following the crisis will be"
  • And my colleagues Ly and Kolin presenting "How travel providers can navigate through this crisis with new, unconventional data indicators"
All of this content is free to watch for airline and airport employees. Simply register here and find our video sessions in the content library.

All others, don't be sad. As always, we have lots of free (and funny) insights to share with you today. Scroll down and enjoy.

And before I forget, we hid 5 of our team's all-time favorite songs somewhere in today's edition below. Reach out if you find them.

Today's specs: 744 words or close to 3 minutes of reading time.

Lennart Dobravsky
Director Research & Intelligence, Lufthansa Innovation Hub

 Social Media 

The rage in airline reviews

In our previous newsletter edition, we presented our latest research study in which we analyzed more than 15,000 airline reviews on Tripadvisor. 

We learned about air travelers’ biggest pain and gain points and what airlines should (urgently) do about them. If you missed the piece, check it out here.

What we also learned while running the analysis and reading through hundreds of posts was that online reviews can be full of anger and rage. 

And they provide an untapped source of very fine literature, we think. 

Here are our three favorites. We keep airline names disguised to not offend any of our loyal readers from these carriers.
Ouch. It seems like consolidation in the airline industry is not only something airline analysts hope for. 

If that sounded like a frustrating travel experience, listen to what this passenger had to go through:
They seem to have some very intense security procedures over there (we don't know the specific airport if you're wondering).

Interesting side note, this review nicely illustrates one of the major misconceptions we spotted while analyzing all those reviews. Quite a few travelers associate a lot more with an airline than just the booking procedure or onboard experience.

Many believe that processes at airports, for instance, security checks, are also managed and controlled by airlines. This is obviously not the case.

But back to the reviews.

This passenger apparently did also not get the customer service she expected. And then, it escalated quickly.
Now, it’s important to keep in mind that these examples represent the very extreme end of the type of customer feedback that is shared on review sites such as Tripadvisor.

The average review is a lot more subtle and thoughtful. In fact, about 40% of Tripadvisor posts are actually positive reviews, praising airlines for their services.

However, what we realized in our analysis is that most negative reviews are not asking for any kind of overly luxurious add-ons or goodies. Instead, air travelers are asking airlines to fix the very basics.

Like timely and transparent communication surrounding delays, cancellations, and baggage tracking.

Helpful and friendly staff.

A minimum selection in terms of food options.

And in our belief, digital means, for instance, easy-to-use self-service features in an airline’s mobile app can play a crucial role in addressing these issues.

Imagine if this passenger had been informed transparently, real-time through an email or mobile notification, and offered possible solutions with a compensation offer...
For more concrete action steps on how airlines can increase customer satisfaction, turn to our full analysis, especially the lower half of the article.
Read in full

How travel startups are adapting to survive in the pandemic

As one of the hardest-hit industries, we wanted to shed light on how travel startups have coped with the immediate impact of Covid-19 and how they have been pivoting their businesses to prepare for a volatile future.

To learn more about their experiences during this transformative crisis, we partnered with global venture capital firm GGV and interviewed seven leading Southeast Asia-based travel startups.

Read about their key learnings and strategies to build up resilience and better position themselves for the future.
Read in full
 Press Picks 

Our recommended must reads 

ELECTRIC FEEL – Some say hydrogen is the only real alternative to fossil fuels when it comes to air travel. The team behind Swedish startup Heart Aerospace don’t agree. They think they can build an all-electric aircraft.
 Read more in Sifted  
FLY AWAY – Volocopter, the German air-taxi manufacturer eager to launch commercial urban-air mobility services within the next 2 - 3 years, is now opening up ticket reservations for their first piloted rides.
 Read more by Volocopter
STAY WITH ME – Airbnb, which shifted its model in April to focus on long-term stays, says it’s continuing to see an increase in digital nomads booking long-term stays as well as in hosts offering those types of stays.
 Read more in Phocuswire
CHANGES – The future of corporate HQs is more uncertain than ever as coporation after corporation has announced that they won’t be reopening their offices until mid-2021, at least.
 Read more in HBR
U CAN'T TOUCH THIS – With Covid-19 creating new safety priorities for transport hubs, airports have accelerated a long-awaited transition to touchless technologies. What are some of the most promising contact-free applications and the airports pioneering them?
 Read more by Airport Technology
 Deal Tracker 

Most recent Venture Capital deals

 = Exit Alert (startup listed at the stock exchange or got acquired)

 = Unicorn Alert (post-deal company valuation at >$1B) 

WM Motors – the Shanghai-based electric vehicle developer raised $1.47B from Shanghai city, SAIC Motor, Lighthouse Capital, and further investors. 

Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group – the EV unit of the Chinese property developer group raised $516M from Tencent and Didi. 

LandSpace – the Chinese private-space launch company raised $172M from Sequoia Capital, MatrixPartners China, and further investors. 

StayNTouch – the New York-based hotel operator was acquired by MCR Development LLC for $46M.

Airmeet – the Indian virtual events platform raised $12M from Sequoia Capital India, Redpoint Ventures, and further investors. 

BookingKit – the Berlin-based SAAS tool for tours and activities raised $5.86M from High-Tech Gruenderfonds and further investors. 

Holidu – the Munich-based vacation rental search engine raised $4.7M from former CEO Kees Koolen. 

Exoticca – the Barcelona-based tour package platform is about to close a funding round of $5.84M from undisclosed investors. 

Rocketrip – the New York-based corporate travel management tool was acquired by Mondee Holdings for an undisclosed amount. 

Feedback, thoughts, ideas? Contact us:

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