Interview met de CTO van de Frequent Traveller tool Awardwallet.com

1 van de sprekers/sponsors tijdens het Travelmagic 2013 event was Alexi Vereschaga. Alexi is co-founder en huidig CTO (chief technical officer) van de online tool Awardwallet.com.

Daar ik altijd mijn ogen blijf openhouden voor interessant materiaal voor het schrijven van blogposts, ben ik direct naar Alexi gegaan om de eerste contacten te leggen en afgelopen dagen per mail wat vragen te stellen over deze online tool voor frequent travellers.

Kort gezegd kan je met awardwallet.com al je vliegtuig/hotel programma’s overzichtelijk gaan beheren en kijken hoeveel miles/punten je waar hebt en of ze misschien gaan vervallen.

awardwallet

Q: Hello Alexi, Can you give a quick introduction from yourself and your role in awardwallet?
Alexi: I think this about page of awardwallet.com sums it all up. I’m basically the co-founder and co-owner of AwardWallet. At this moment I have the function of CTO at Awardwallet.
alexi travelmagic 2013

Q: Can you give some numbers about Awardwallet.com?
Alexi: You can find the actual (dynamic) figures also on the about page of awardwallet.com.

At this moment we have +178.000 active users on awardwallet with a total of 38 billion managed miles/points (38.000.000.000!!) representing $760 million in value.

  • Total award program accounts managed: 1,186,703
  • Total number of travel reservations managed: 1,068,481

The team behind awardwallet.com has at this moment 15 full-time employees and 5 part-time contractors to manage and expand the whole platform.

Q: From a technical point of view. Which technology is behind the whole platform?
Alexi: The awardwallet platform is hosted in the AWS Amazon Cloud with a total of 20 Linux servers. The used technology behin the platform is a total mix, but mostly good old open source stuff.

Q: The unique point is the monetizing strategy of Awardwallet.com?
Alexi: On the B2C front we sell AwardWallet Plus and AwardWallet OneCards (see example below), we do award bookings for the users and have a minimal advertising revenue.

As you can see we don’t sell any userdata on our platform.

On the B2B front we sell APIs (data retrieval) to corporate businesses and partners like Points.com. This B2B monetizing part is what pays the bills for awardwallet.com.
awardwallet one card

Q: Big news for your users last augustus was the deal with American Airlines (see statement on website AA.com)?
Alexi: The previous decision from the AAdvantage milesprogram to block us hurts everyone: it hurts the most loyal and frequent flyers, it hurts the airline as users become less engaged and become more irritated with the airline and it hurts AwardWallet.

There are no winners for the programs that block the data retrieval by awardwallet.com.

American Airlines realized that. I sent them a quick email one day to see if they changed their mind and they said that they did. I never asked why but I suspect they realized that there are no winners if they kept blocking us.

Delta, United and Southwest are still blocking our data retrieval service. Hopefully they will see this the same way after they read this online petition from awardwallet users.

Q: In your presentation, you also mentioned another special feature to track miles from programs that block awardwallet. How is this working?
Alexi: This works by forwarding your email statements with your earned miles to your personal inbox at AwardWallet. You can find all information in your account, when you’re logged in.

delta awardwallet

Q: Are their any big things on the roadmap for awardwallet for the next months/years?
Alexi: Yes, we are working on a totally new version of AwardWallet. This will have both a facelift and new functionality. At this moment, We’re probably at least 6 months away from releasing it to our users.

Gratis Awardwallet upgrades

Alexi was zeer tevreden van zijn aanwezigheid als spreker/sponsor op Travelmagic 2013. Speciaal voor de lezers van deze blogpost (en alle Belgische Frequent flyers) heb ik volgende vouchers van hem gekregen:

  • 30 AwardWallet Plus 6 month upgrades (die ook voor reeds bestaande gebruikers werken)
  • 20 AwardWallet OneCard coupons (waarmee je dus een fysieke kaart kan bestellen met al je accountnummers op geprint)

Wat moet je daarvoor doen?
Laat in de comments even na welke reisplannen je in het vooruitzicht heb en dan mail ik de voucher door. De dailybits-lezers, die ingeschreven zijn op de Dailybits emaillijst hebben trouwens 24u. voorrang voor deze vouchers, dus inschrijven op de Dailybits emaillijst geeft je volgende keer ook voorrang. Enja sharing is caring… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Je kan de gekregen coupon ingeven via de menuoptie “upgrade using a coupon”.
upgrade

alexi travelmagic


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