Ireland Startups SXSW

Business Traveler? Here’s Why You Need To Join Sanctifly [sxsw]

Irish Startup Sanctifly Will Keep Business Travelers Fit

Karl Llewellyn was waiting for a flight at Chicago’s O’Hare airport four years ago, when his flight got delayed four hours. He didn’t want to shop, eat overpriced airport food or drink. What he really wanted to do was go to one of the airport hotels and workout and swim. He didn’t want to be that guy that snuck into the fitness room or pool, that got his wheels turning.

Four years later, his startup Sanctifly is available in 25 of the world’s biggest airports. Including O’Hare, JFK and Heathrow. What does it do?

Sanctifly connects business travelers to fitness rooms, gyms and pools at hotels close to the airports. The company has relationships with all the major brands including Hilton, Marriott and SPG.

Sanctifly-1 Business Traveler? Here's Why You Need To Join Sanctifly [sxsw]

Travelers join Sanctifly at and from there, when they are stuck at the airport they can use the mobile app and see what hotels nearby will allow them to use their facilities.  Travelers love it because it gives them a break from aimlessly spending time in airports.

Hotels love it because they are getting an upscale business traveler. That traveler may decide to book with that hotel later on. But more importantly they’re likely to visit the hotel restaurant or bar, use the business center or hold a meeting. All of these facilities at hotels are often underutilized and the extra traffic is only helpful.

For hotels Sanctifly is “the ideal revenue generator on hotels’ leisure facilities, bringing new footfall of high end corporate customers through the doors.” the company says.

Llewellyn wasn’t in the travel industry before this. “I’m a management consultant, I have a background in sitting on my ass in airports” he says.

The response has been more than he expected. There are a lot of travelers that found themselves in the same predicament he was, that day at O’Hare.

As we were recording the interview video above, the North East was getting massacred by a huge winter storm, delaying flights across the country. That would be an excellent opportunity for people to use Sanctifly.

Find out more here at