9 Chicago Travel Tech Companies Changing How We Get Around

Chicago is home to travel tech giants and innovative startups.

Written by Andreas Rekdal
Published on May. 28, 2024
9 Chicago Travel Tech Companies Changing How We Get Around
Underground passage connecting terminals of the Chicago O'Hare airport
Photo: Shutterstock

As a storied hub for travelers far and wide, Chicago has no shortage of innovation in the travel space. Orbitz, one of the world’s best known multi-airline online ticket booking platforms, calls the city home, and new startups constantly pop up to change how people book and manage travel — both for business and for pleasure.

Top Chicago Travel Companies

  • TravelPerk
  • Rocketmiles
  • Airfordable
  • AXUS


SpotHero solves a constant urban pain point with software that allows drivers to reserve and pay for parking spots ahead of time, without cash. The company’s platform functions like a digital marketplace, where users can locate and select a spot they want, make a reservation and pay for it. Upon arrival, drivers can simply park and go. SpotHero partners with a network of parking lots, garages and valet counters in order to provide diverse options in many locations. 


Intelsat runs a network of satellites to provide connectivity services. Satellite connectivity can offer connection in aerospace contexts, so government bodies and the aviation industry turn to Intelsat to power in-flight internet for commercial planes, business jets and government aeronautics. Client bases include government and military organizations, internet service providers, aviation companies and telecom companies.  


TravelPerk is a corporate travel management platform. Founded in 2015, the company’s all-in-one platform is a space for account holders or their companies to book, manage and report on business travel. It boasts a vast travel inventory alongside 24/7 customer support, group booking and consumer-grade design. 


Travelers have grown accustomed to getting frequent flier miles for their airline tickets, but Rocketmiles wants you to get miles for your hotel stays, too. Working with many of the world’s biggest airline operators, the company offers a range of different rewards to suit every kind of traveler. 


Once a traveler has arrived and settled into their hotel, Cloud5 ensures their stay runs smoothly by providing telephony solutions and internet connectivity for guests. The company works with the hospitality industry to reduce costs, increase revenue and simplify operations.


Saving up money for a major vacation can take months, but putting off purchasing tickets isn’t likely to make the trip any cheaper. Airfordable lets travelers put down a deposit for a flight sometime in the future, and pay down the rest in bi-weekly recurring payments as the trip draws nearer.


Good travel agents provide their clients with comprehensive itineraries to ensure that their trips pan out as planned. But with all the moving parts involved in multi-day trip planning, some aspects of that itinerary are always subject to change. AXUS lets travel agents provide interactive itineraries for their clients and communicate directly with them through the app. That way, travelers have a single-stop destination for details and updates about every aspect of their trip.


For independent tour and travel activity operators, managing bookings and schedules can be a lot like a second job. TRYTN lets operators set up a simple online booking solution that manages availability and handles payments for them, leaving more time to focus on the passion project that brought them to the industry in the first place.


Although the explosion of online booking platforms has made it easier for vacation property owners to reach their customers, the lack of a single hub means that managers need to simultaneously operate listings on several marketplaces at once. VacayHome Connect distributes their property listings across a number of booking sites, optimizing the listing for each site. The company also lets vacation rental property operators partake in a number of popular travel rewards and loyalty programs.

This article was originally published in 2016. Sara B.T. Thiel and Margo Steines contributed reporting to this story.

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