Ever been put off from booking a vacation by the cost? Everyone has a dream destination, but finding reasonably priced transport can prove impossible without spending hours trawling through search engines and budget flight websites.
Luckily, the new Lufthansa Facebook bot aims to make life easier for jetsetters the world over. The bot, which goes by the name of Mildred, is designed to help users find and book cheap flights without ever leaving their iPhone. The bot is bilingual, speaking both English and German, and is extremely straightforward to use.
Simply open up the chat, select the appropriate language, and follow the instructions. Typing ‘how much is a flight from (place) to (place)’ will most likely yield a very quick response consisting of the closest airports, return dates within the next nine months (a week apart) and a price in the local currency of the origin airport. There is also a link to the Lufthansa website, where the flight can be booked within minutes.
For users who wish to be a little more specific, it’s possible to narrow the results to a specific month, weekday or date. Those who are used to travelling in style can also specify the booking class (Economy, Premium Economy or Business).
The bot also demonstrates an impressive knowledge of geography. Thanks to the Google Geolocation interface, Mildred will find the nearest airport even if you type in the name of a landmark or tourist attraction. Searching for flights from London Bridge to the Great Wall of China resulted in the suggestion of flights from London to Beijing at a very pleasing cost. In addition to this, the bot makes use of an API interface, which recognises international 3 letter codes such as FRA (France) or USA (take a guess).
Mildred is, at the moment, still in her infancy. Dr Torsten Wingenter, Head of Digital Innovations at Lufthansa, said, “The production depth of Mildred is already significant but it is important for us to launch a beta version to give her the chance to learn.” He stressed the importance of learning quickly and responding to customer feedback with new developments.
For now, Mildred does its job (finding cheap flights) extremely well. It’s simple, user-friendly and efficient. In future, budget travellers can look forward to the possible inclusion of more languages, and perhaps a more effective and detailed format. Still deliberating over that last-minute trip to Thailand? Mildred may have the answer.
Have you found cheap flight tickets with the Lufthansa Facebook bot, Mildred? Tell us in the comments!