In June 2016, Expedia revealed a chatbot for Facebook Messenger geared toward helping travelers with narrow down their hotel options. Getting started with the Expedia bot is as easy as logging onto Messenger. From here, you can tell the Expedia Facebook bot information on where you would like to travel. We decided to give it a try and see how the Expedia bot could help us book our own trip.
The bot prompts you to type in the city you want to visit or hotel you want to stay in for your trip. We typed “San Francisco, CA,” as our destination. Right away, the bot gave us a list of dates available for check-in. We chose “Tomorrow,” and the bot asked us how many nights we would like to stay. After typing in “3,” the chatbot was off to the races.
Within less than 10 seconds, the Expedia bot was able to narrow down five different hotels with availability for tomorrow. There was also a “View All Hotels” link to see the full list. However, this opened the bot’s finding in a separate browser window, steering us away from the Facebook chat window.
Rather than feeling overwhelmed by looking at a slew of hotel options on Expedia’s official website, the chatbot did make the selection process seem easier. However, at the moment, you can’t avoid the actual booking and pay process on Expedia.com, which can be time-consuming.
David Fleischman, Vice President of Global Product, describes how the Expedia Facebook bot works: “The bot operates on a structured conversation flow: it analyzes information provided and prompts the user to input other relevant data points to complete a search.” Check out the video before for a full walkthrough of the Expedia Messenger bot experience.
Have you used Expedia’s bot yet? What do you think? How could the company improve on the chatbot? Share your experiences and thoughts with us in the comments below!