Created as a university research project, the travel startup Pilota now aims to add security to the flights booking process with health and safety measures in mind.
Saniya Shah is CEO and co-founder of Pilota where she gets to combine her technical skills with her love for travel. Saniya is a member of New York City Travel Massive and is also part of our list of 100 Inspiring Women Travel Founders.
Read on to learn more about how Pilota was created.
How did you get into the travel industry?
I’ve been flying since I was 6 months old and have been to over 50+ countries and 6 continents. I have an MBA from Cornell University and an undergraduate degree in Engineering from BU.
While my co-founders and I were in school, we started our company Pilota first just as a research project. We all love to travel and chose to work on a problem that we were excited about. It started as an experiment to see if we could predict flight delays with AI and has now turned into so much more.
Explain your startup in 50 words Pilota lets you add flexibility and security to your flights through a booking assistant that uses AI to predict flight information. You can add it as an extension to your browser and is compatible with your favorite sites and airlines.
What is unique about your product or service?
During the lockdown, we have created a free travel app called FlySafe (www.flypilota.com) to help travelers compare flights based on health and safety measures as they book on Google Flights, Expedia, etc.
Flysafe allows you to easily compare potential flights and see which airlines and flights are taking the precautions that you care about.
See how Flysafe works in this video:
The best part is, this travel app works directly with the search engines people are already using. It also allows you to save flights that you are browsing so that you can easily view the flight information the next time you resume your search.
How is your startup changing the future of travel?
We are providing users with the information they care most about right now. Travelers are worried about what health and safety precautions are going to be taken on their journey and are looking all over the internet for that information.
We are one of the first to provide this information directly to travelers and we provide it right at the point of booking.
What’s another travel company you admire and why?
We really admire the company Sherpa! Their team is really talented and they are solving an important problem. We have seen their team at a number of industry events and always look forward to hearing about what is new with them and where they are headed next.