In this era of instant connectivity and high-speed air travel, it’s becoming easier and easier to just jet off to the other side of the world on a whim. Cheap flights are becoming more abundant, and thanks to a range of flight-seeking companies such as Kayak it’s now possible to sift through the best deals in a matter of seconds from wherever you are.
Now, with a new cross-platform chatbot, Kayak has made it even easier to find the quickest and most cost efficient way to get to your destination. The chatbot comes packed with features, making the process of planning, budgeting for, and managing trips a breeze.
Users simply load up their preferred messaging service (the bot is available on Facebook Messenger, Slack, and as an Alexa Skill) and tell the bot where they would like to go. If they aren’t sure, it’s possible to be ‘inspired’ with a random location.
The chatbot also provides a cost estimate for the selected time period, and generates links to the Kayak website for booking. But the bot doesn’t stop there. It can also provide ideas for things to do, and even find deals on car hires in the user’s destination for their duration of their stay.
Asking the bot “where can I go for $X” prompts it to throw up a list of locations that lie within the specified budget, which can be a useful option for those struggling to think of a way to spend a few free days. It also suggests the best times to travel to particular destinations.
As far as the character of the bot goes, it isn’t brimming with personality, and takes a more direct and business-like approach to communication. However, this feels right, and seems to suit the function of the bot as a direct and no-nonsense tool of convenience. It’s hardly over-serious – just don’t expect much in the way of eccentric banter and quirky jokes.
For Kayak, the bot presents a way of making their service more accessible to the consumer and making travel even easier. When on the move it can be tough to find a WiFi hotspot, rig up a laptop, and work through numerous different websites to work out your journey.
With this chatbot, the process is simplified, and many different aspects of the trip can be dealt with from a smartphone in a short amount of time. According to Kayak’s Chief Scientist, Matthias Keller, the idea is to “put a travel agent in your pocket.”
The chatbot currently works in three languages: English, Portuguese, and German, and could well expand to even more platforms in the future. Its range of features is already impressive, and the future looks promising for a bot that has already revolutionised to budget airline niche.
Have you used the Kayak bot to book a trip? Tell us how you liked the experience in the comments below.