Taking a trip might become easier than ever before as airlines start utilitising Whatsapp as a hassle-free way for customers to book flights.
Oh, how we love a travel hack. From our best attempts to get a good night’s sleep on a long-haul flight to bagging a free first class upgrade, we’ll do anything we can to make our trip away that little bit better.
But most of all, we’re keen to try and make our flying experience less stressful.
In fact, we’d be tempted to say that sometimes the stress of flying can overshadow the joy of actually going on holiday (which is why we’re over the moon to hear that the liquids ban will soon be dropped in UK airports).
This is why some airlines have started working with Whatsapp to make booking your flights and getting quick customer service so much easier.
Some airlines are already using Whatsapp to provide passengers with easier to access information about their flight. For example, Malaysia Airlines sends notifications, flight confirmation and itineraries through the messaging app, but developments in AI could take this to a new level.
Travel expert, The Points Guy, reports that these advancements were discussed at the World Aviation Festival in London in the first week of September, where aviation app developer ASI Group explained that chatbots could be the future when it comes to booking travel.
Essentially a chatbot is a robot that speaks to you like a human. You’ve probably come across one before, for example when you look on some websites a window may appear at the bottom of your screen with a message asking if you need any help.
By using chatbots in Whatsapp, it could mean that airline customers can simply talk to the sophisticated AI like a person on a help desk and ask for advice on booking a budget-friendly flight, explaining what time and date they’re looking for, before being presented with flight options.
It is thought that customers would be given a link to book the flight which would take them outside of Whatsapp, as the app wouldn’t be able to support the payment process. But the chatbot would still be on hand for any help needed afterwards.
Not only could this make life easier by removing the time and effort usually taken to find a flight, but it means you wouldn’t have to download the app for every airline you use to get access to your boarding pass and flight details, thus saving on faff and phone storage space – yay!
Although these developments are still being worked on, there are other ways you can make your trip away easier in the mean time, like picking a highly rated customer experience-friendly airport near you or bagging an earlier flight to avoid delays.