From the first to the fourth of July I have been in San Jose, CA and tested the Mission Control Service by Lufthansa Innovation Hub. With this service you are able to ask any travel related questions to a group of certified travel agents via Facebook Messenger and get the information you need almost instantaneously.
San Jose and the Silicon Valley itself is a popular destination to visit for a while now. Known for innovative technology entrepreneurship originally, it also draws more and more tourists to visit these days.
But whether you are a business traveler or a tech tourist on a photo-snapping-spree, you don’t know the area like the locals do and might run into challenges to discover the coolest places, without proper guidance. This is exactly where Mission Control can help you.
What does Mission Control do for you?
So when you’re facing a challenge during your travels, you might be lacking time to figure it all out on your own. Maybe you are also limited to a low bandwidth internet connection when abroad and can’t really research as well as you could do at home. If you use the Mission Control service you can ask your question to a global team of travel experts, available 24/7 via means that are familiar to you like the Facebook Messenger app.
How does it work?
In a only few steps you can get help from Mission Control. It’s really easy too!
- Open Messenger app (or look up via web browser on Facebook.com).
- Hit the search bar with “Mission Control – Business Travel Service“.
- Initiate a help chat by starting your message with “Hi Mission Control….”.
- Very shortly after, a human agent will respond to you.
- Travel agent will get you the information you need.
Who is this for?
I think that Mission Control is not suitable for all and for any queries. Not everything can be solved remotely, but there is a huge leverage in using the service for everything it excels at. Businesses can benefit from Mission Control by sourcing some of the coordination and communication from internals and third parties to a remotely supporting group, available directly to the travellers via most efficient means, that do not require too much tech wisdom. Therefore, if applicable to your business, there are potential savings to be made here.
Tourist users might also be benefiting from this service. I see a strong case for people who are not experienced in using technology to search for information and users who are somewhat introverted and would rather not like to interact with people around them. That might be a natural preference or that might be because they are not fluent in the local language. Personally I enjoyed using Mission Control. I could ask a question anytime and got immediate response and the right information usually within 10 minutes. If none of the above, some people might just enjoy the VIP feeling of getting to use a personal assistant.
What are the actual features?
There are different plans and options available for Mission Control users, but here’s the general overview of what you can get:
- Personal assistance when traveling
- Available everywhere and any time
- Booking support
- Vendor agnostic
- Cost transparency
- Compliant to data privacy laws
“The most important to me is that Mission Control really makes my life easier: I don’t have to take care of all the annoying things that come with traveling. The response time of your agents is top-notch, and I really appreciate the personal and friendly tone when communicating. That´s why we now use Mission Control instead of our travel agency.” – Steffi Brinkmann (Executive Assistant to CEO of Atlantic Labs)
Of course I tried out Mission Control myself on site in San Jose. This particular query is a little tricky but the travel agent managed to get me the exact information that I needed in only a few minutes time. The screenshot below comes directly from Facebook chat and I blacked out the agent name for privacy reasons. This conversation was not staged and happened just like shown below.
About the Lufthansa Innovation Hub
The Lufthansa Innovation Hub scouts and builds startups and digital companies with strong products for travel to jointly co-create innovative offers. A crew that combines the best of both worlds with multifaceted backgrounds and skillsets from startups and the Lufthansa Group. Our field proven advisory board constantly challenges our ideas, approaches and ventures. The Lufthansa Innovation Hub is based in the middle of Berlin, the vibrant european startup epicentre.
YouTube: Mission Control – Your Personal Travel Assistant (German)
Photo credit: Benjamin Horn / Lillian Vasquez
Source: Author tested service first-hand / LIH Mission Control web page
Editorial notice: The “about text” has been provided by the Lufthansa Innovation Hub on their web page.