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PANA LAUNCHES OUT OF BETA TO BRING HUMANITY BACK TO TRAVEL

DENVER, April 18, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today Pana, the raved-about app that gives everyone a personal team of travel experts, launches out of beta into the general market. Pana is the first to combine real humans with proprietary mobile technology to handle all aspects of your travel: from finding and booking the perfect flights, restaurants and accommodations, to handling problems and travel delays, all with a quick and simple text.

"We all have that friend we call or text who's the 'insider'—they know how to get the best flight & place to stay, can get you into the coolest undiscovered hot spots, or find tickets to a new show at the last minute," said Devon Tivona, Pana CEO and co-founder, "That's Pana. We're your savvy travel agent, local guide, industry insider, personal concierge, and travel emergency lifeline, bundled together in an app that makes it as easy as a text to get what you need done."
Social media giants like Facebook, market trend reports, and industry analysts are calling messaging services the next big thing. Pana is the first to take this "mega trend" to travel, marrying the convenience of chat with the best experts in the business to support travelers.

VIDEO How Pana Works: https://vimeo.com/160951232

How Pana Works
Travel tailored to you: First step, hop on a quick call with your personal travel expert to help them understand what makes you happy (or unhappy). Pana then watches flight prices for your next trip, and proactively reaches out (via the iPhone app, SMS, or email) when it's the best time to book.

Stay the night: For a place to stay, Pana searches their curated collection for options that fit your needs (and your budget) finding the best deal for you, not just the deal that a search engine may have partnered with. To make a booking, tap one button and you're done.

Explore like a local: In your destination, Pana becomes your personal concierge: need a dinner recommendation? Just send a text and your Pana team will send you their favorite picks for you.

Avoid the turbulence: In a travel delay, your Pana team alerts you to cancellations, rebooks arrangements, reaches the people or places you need to contact to get you back on track. They can even track down the misplaced laptop or ID you accidentally left at security.

Not a search engine. But not your father's travel agent, either: Pana's three co-founders realized that most automated apps and websites claiming to make travel easier had done the opposite. One recent survey of more than 2000 travelers worldwide found today's traveler spends an average of two hours, and up to five hours, arranging a trip. Which seems like a lot, until you consider the time spent clicking back and forth, comparing flights, lodging, destination price and logistics; And worst of all time spent on hold/wrestling with websites or apps because of a delay, an error, or an emergency (In 2015, 1 in 5 flights were delayed or canceled).

"Studies show that travel agents are coming back in vogue, especially with millennials who refuse to spend their time dealing with logistics instead of traveling. We want to marry that experience of feeling taken care of by a travel agent with the ease of intuitive technology, so that our users get the best of both worlds," said Lianne Haug, Pana CTO and co-founder.

A survey of Pana's users showed that saving time is a top priority: Nir Eyal, author of the business bestseller Hooked, noted, "I rarely endorse apps, but my Pana travel team has saved me countless hours of agony." (More of Nir's Pana story here.)

Who's Using Pana: Pana is for any traveler looking for simplicity and better service, so that they can focus on the experience of travel. Pana travel teams are currently supporting thousands of travelers and hundreds of companies, who save time, headache, and money. Here's more stories. While in beta, Pana worked with celebrities and their assistants in sports, tech and entertainment to better understand and apply their experience to all travelers.
"These past months in beta allowed us to get incredibly useful feedback from our testers, and to build our Board to emphasize service and not just technology," said Tivona. "One of our board members handles travel logistics for celebrities on tour, in fact. But the point of Pana is that celebrity service—feeling personally watched over, having someone to solve problems and save you time—shouldn't be just for the famous. With Pana anyone can get this insider level of service, for less than the price of one ticket change."

How Much Does It Cost? Today's announcement comes with special launch pricing. Experience the Pana difference with your first month for free—visit www.pana.com to sign up and learn more.

About The Name: In many South American cultures, Pana is used in reference to a close friend, buddy or pal. Your Pana happens to be focused entirely on taking the pain out of travel.

About Pana: Located in Denver, Colo., Pana introduced its new high-touch, personalized travel concierge service to a limited number of beta members in August of 2015. The company's $1.35 million in funding came from Techstars, 500 Startups, FG Angels, Flight.vc, and Galvanize Ventures, among others. Join the Pana community on Twitter @hellopana and Facebook https://pana.com/facebook and share the excitement with hashtag #TravelPana.

CONTACT: Kirsten Gurmendi Leap Public Relations 303-870-9953 kirsten@leappr.com Merredith Branscombe Leap Public Relations 720-235-7363 merredith@leappr.comSource: Pana