Hack Horizon, the First TravelTech Hackathon, Launched in HK
Hack Horizon Takes to the Skies
Major industry players, including Hong Kong International, British Airways and MTR, come together to deliver the most innovative inflight travel hackathon to date
Hack Horizon, the first TravelTech hackathon onboard a British Airways commercial flight between Hong Kong and London, resulted in a range of exceptional products and digital platforms that could make travel simpler, safer and cheaper in the future.
Culminating last night with a pitch event at the London Transport Museum, the aim of Hack Horizon was to enable the brightest entrepreneurial minds to connect with travel industry leaders and develop new products and services that could go on to improve the end-to-end customer experience in travel. Global leaders in the industry, including British Airways, Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), Heathrow Airport, Travelport, Skyscanner, MTR and Regal Hotels, came together to deliver the most innovative inflight travel hackathon to date and push the boundaries travel technology.
Hack Horizon is the brainchild of Kostadin Kolev, Kristy Hart, Johannes Jaeger and Sandra Sobanska – four inquisitive globe-trotting millennials based in both London and Hong Kong. They first came together through their love of visiting the world and soon discovered they shared the belief that innovative technology could be better applied to streamline the traveller experience.
In just 72 hours, the eight teams built a diverse range of prototypes designed to solve the various pain points throughout the travel experience. Ideas included an end-to-end security luggage transfer service powered by blockchain, a smartwatch that leverages deep learning to personalise the passenger experience at airports, a digital service for parents to need to arrange for their children to travel internationally on their own and a chatbot so groups to collaborate on trips and bookings. But it was Destination, an In Flight Entertainment to mobile retail solution that allows passengers to book activities for their destination whilst on a flight that was crowned the winner by the esteemed panel of travel expert judges. LuxExpress, a global traveller network giving passengers access to best-priced luxury duty free, came in second place.
Richard Tams, British Airways’ executive vice president for China, said: “We are very excited to see so many talented people working towards ideas that may one day re-define the travel technology. British Airways is proud to be a partner to support this cross-continent collaboration that will benefit the industry as a whole.”