The enjoyment of travel is often equal to the stress of organizing it, but jet-setters rejoice: travel bots are emerging that make planning vacations a breeze. The systems function like travel agents, recommending deals on hotels, flagging discounted flights, and building itineraries.
Even the most experienced and prepared traveller is not immune to the accidental trauma of forgetting to pack your passport, or having to pull several outfits from an overweight suitcase. Enter Facebook bots, the new automated customer service technology introduced by Facebook on its Messenger service. The service allows businesses to pre-program responses and tailor customer experiences within the Messenger platform, meaning the solution to your latest travel snag could be just a quick message away. “This gives people an accessible avenue to find and discover the businesses they love,” says Sal Burns, who works in Global Business Marketing for Messenger. “Whether consumers are looking to book hotels, find travel inspiration or uncover a deal, Messenger is a one-stop shop for their travel needs.”
Here are five Facebook Messenger bots that are changing the way we plan and experience travel.
For years Calgary-based airline WestJet has been plucking on the heartstrings of Canadians with their holiday miracle videos. This year, they have taken their holiday help to a new level. Meet Juliet — their automated booking assistant available on Facebook Messenger. Juliet helps travellers explore new destinations and start booking a trip from within Messenger — and she’ll be sticking around into the new year as well.
Forget the days of endlessly scrolling through websites looking for deals. With SnapTravel’s Messenger solution, travellers can input their destination, dates and budget, and the bot will scour hundreds of sources to track down the perfect room at a special price.
If you have flexibility in your travel dates, and you speak French, FlyBot is the bot for you. This service offers Facebook Messenger users the chance to receive weekly updates on deals on flights and accommodations. FlyBot even tracks down the cheapest days of the month to travel. [Note du rédacteur : FlyBot fonctionne seulement en français]
Contiki are the reigning leaders in young adult travel, specializing in trips for travellers between the ages of 18 and 35, so it should come as no surprise that they already have a bot to assist their millennial and Gen Z clientele. Tiki, their automated assistant, poses questions to prospective travellers and responds with helpful information on Contiki trips.
Forget tracking Santa; track your friends and family instead! Instalocate helps you keep tabs on flight arrivals, sending updates on current location, flight duration and even offering users the chance to book a Lyft or Uber upon arriving at their destination.