ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway
According to a 2015 study of Millennial and Gen X travel habits by Hipmunk, 53% of Millennial and 37% of Gen X travelers are looking to socially connect with fellow passengers.
Ment, a new airport-based social app, is jumping on this opportunity by connecting like-minded travelers in real-time, and thereby, changing the airport experience for young travelers.
Millennials are just five years shy of entering their peak traveling, earning and spending years, yet airports haven’t prepared for the onslaught, according to the Boston Consulting Group. By 2025, Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce, says a 2014 study by Deloitte. Hotels and travel companies are shifting their mentality to capture this emerging generation by creating social lobbies, valued-added amenities and free wifi throughout their properties.
“Airports weren’t designed with people in mind, we were a second thought,” said Rebecca Lima, CEO & Founder of Ment. “I’ve spent countless hours in airports, probably more time than I do at home and I’ve seen how people get through those frequently intolerable airport stays. We are conditioned to socially disconnect from everything and that never sat well with me. That’s why I created Ment: to connect people back to people.”
Millennials are naturally hyper connected and interested in socially connecting to people they are drawn to. Ment offers that unique experience that the younger generation craves. “There is something magical about meeting people while traveling without underlying romantic innuendos that other apps project,” said Lima.
Ment is incredibly easy to use. The user checks in to their departure or layover at the airport and the app takes care of the rest. The app displays a live feed of other Ment users in your airport. Once the user has found someone they’re interested in connecting with, they can chat via the app. Within a matter of minutes, Ment users can connect and meet up.
Launching in early July for iPhone, Lima hopes that Ment will change the status quo of airports. Her goal with Ment is to make air travel social. “My vision is that one day people will actually enjoy their airport experience because of Ment.”