The future of travel means consumers will increasingly look to protect their trips and also, be better informed as to what that protection actually includes — specifically if they contract new variants of COVID-19 pre-trip or in-trip. In short, travelers will be more informed as they seek to make sure all aspects of their trip are protected, while being able to seek assistance 24/7.

As part of our series about “The Future Of Air Travel”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Elad Schaffer, Co-Founder & CEO, Faye.

Elad Schaffer is the Co-Founder & CEO of Faye, the leading disruptor providing person-first, whole-trip travel insurance, and a seasoned entrepreneur with 12 years of experience in building businesses. He previously co-founded Wikistrat, the world’s first crowdsourced consultancy platform, successfully growing it from a bootstrapped startup to a profitable enterprise relied on by Fortune 500 companies and generating millions per year in revenue. Elad has a background in intelligence having served in one of Israel’s most elite units, earning the country’s highest award for innovation in service.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was always fascinated by challenges that require multidisciplinary teams and creative problem solving, often leveraging technology, new methodologies and data. Prior to Faye, I co-founded a startup that built data models to help businesses and governments worldwide predict economic and political instability. Taking this interest in complex ecosystems and marrying it with a personal passion for travel led to the creation of Faye, the startup I just launched with Daniel Green, travel guru and my business partner for the last twelve years.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

My first startup was quite successful, reaching scale and profitability without raising external venture capital. I was naive to think that this alone would make raising capital for my next startup easy. It was quite a humbling — yet rewarding — experience to get many “nos” from investors in our early days, and in the process I learned to appreciate that fundraising, too, was a skill I needed to master.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? Can you share a story about that?

Being an entrepreneur or CEO can be pretty lonely, and it’s important to surround yourself with a network of support. For me, the most important pillars to that are your spouse and your co-founder (and the occasional confusion between the two!). They are often the ones who can truly understand you, be a sounding board, lift you up when needed and tell you when you are pushing yourself too hard. I am lucky to have a wonderful, superstar wife and a co-founder who compliment me in the best ways possible.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

That’s pretty easy — my business partner and cofounder Daniel Green. He’s been with me since the start of my entrepreneurial journey, sharing the highs and lows of the startup rollercoaster. Daniel is the most versatile CTO I’ve ever met, combining an unparalleled technical curiosity with strong business acumen, while being one of the most social people I know.

Thank you for that. Let’s jump to the core of our discussion. Can you share with our readers about the innovations that you are bringing to the travel and hospitality industries?

Our team recently launched Faye, whole-trip travel protection built to help things go right, rather than wait for things to go wrong. With top-notch protection that covers your health, your trip and your stuff, as well as 24/7 assistance and quick claims resolutions and reimbursements, Faye has entered the travel insurance ecosystem intent on setting a new standard by overdelivering in an industry oftentimes synonymous with doing the opposite.

We are taking a space largely dominated by legacy players and turning it on its head. Faye’s travel protection is a 100% digital, data-driven offering that boasts no paperwork — from getting covered to filing a claim, to receiving reimbursements via Faye Wallet, our easy-to-use, secure digital payments card that works like Apple Pay and Google Pay. Travelers can also quickly be reimbursed via Faye Wallet for travel inconveniences (such as lost bags and delayed flights) and instantly use funds to purchase what they need most rather than paying out of pocket. To put it simply, this time of reimbursement offering is unheard of in insurtech.

And our person-first travel protection couldn’t come at a more critical time, with 93% of Americans planning to take a trip in the next 12 months following two years of navigating a pandemic.

Which “pain point” are you trying to address by introducing this innovation?

There are many pain points in this ecosystem — it’s a space that has undergone little innovation.

Travel insurance tends to be chock-full of lengthy jargon-filled policies that leave travelers confused rather than well-informed. The claims process is slow and bureaucratic, requiring excessive paperwork and lengthy wait times. And there’s really no brand working to build strong connections with consumers, making travel insurance feel like a distant service that’s hard to reach.

We created Faye as a solution to these pain points. Our product is clear and holistic — you know what coverage you’re purchasing and how you’re protected pre-trip and in-trip. Faye is digital and quick — from getting covered to receiving assistance to filing claims. There’s absolutely no paperwork involved. And above all, we’re human and person-first. Our team of customer experience specialists is available 24/7 — working when travelers shouldn’t be to provide proactive trip assistance when it matters most. This, coupled with our proprietary technology which proactively monitors trip itineraries, means we assist our users when they’re away from home, making Faye the ultimate travel companion.

How do you envision that this might disrupt the status quo?

From the get-go, our entire approach has been to do things differently — a tough task in an outdated space. Above all, we firmly believe that the days of treating travel insurance solely as a reimbursement service are over. The role travel insurance should play is to protect and assist people when they are away from home. That’s why Faye extends beyond traditional travel insurance to be travelers’ first point of contact when things go wrong — their travel protector and companion. When things go sour, we’ll be there to assist — wherever, whenever.

As you know, COVID19 changed the world as we know it. Can you share 5 examples of how travel and hospitality companies will be adjusting over the next five years to the new ways that consumers will prefer to travel?

  1. The future of travel means consumers will increasingly look to protect their trips and also, be better informed as to what that protection actually includes — specifically if they contract new variants of COVID-19 pre-trip or in-trip. In short, travelers will be more informed as they seek to make sure all aspects of their trip are protected, while being able to seek assistance 24/7.
  2. Consumers are keen to travel more than ever before, booking far in advance to lock in their ideal lodging and flight preferences. With revenge travel on the rise — meaning consumers are looking to make up for moments lost during the pandemic — hospitality brands should be well aware that travelers will increasingly opt for flexible flight tickets and no prepayment accommodation booking options in order to secure vacations, knowing that they can potentially be nixed due to reasons outside of their control.
  3. With many booking in advance, they want peace of mind knowing they can cancel if they need to. That’s why we’ll see more travelers purchase Cancel For Any Reason travel insurance coverage within 14 days of your first trip deposit, in case you end up wanting to nix your plans. Some travel insurance companies, like Faye, can cover 75% of all non-refundable trip costs.
  4. Travel personas have shifted due to widespread remote working trends and the redistribution of living (escaping cities for more rural towns and many experimenting with living in new cities month over month). This means that hospitality brands will have to change how they connect with consumers while redefining their offering — for example, hotels need to be prepared for bliesure guests who want to work and play during their stays, outfitting rooms with comfortable working spaces and amenities (fast wifi and good lighting).
  5. Consumers have more questions while traveling amid a pandemic and are doing more research pre-trip than they ever have (destination requirements, etc). Brands must carefully balance being tech-forward with a human touch, and commit resources into the customer experience to put travelers at ease and answer their queries. That’s why Faye’s technology tracks trips and sends alerts in real-time, while providing a team of Customer Experience Specialists around-the-clock to proactively problem-solve on travelers’ behalf and act as their go-to companion while away from home.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

You can follow and engage with Faye on LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. And as for myself, feel free to shoot me a note on LinkedIn.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.