Business and Consumer Solutions
Vacation season is here: How is artificial intelligence (AI) changing the way we travel?
June 10, 2019
Planning a vacation is exciting, but it raises a myriad of questions: Where to go? What to see? What’s the best way to do it all without going over budget?
Your customers are constantly probing websites, comparing prices and reading reviews. The research can be endless. What if there were an easier way? What if someone—or something—could make traveling more streamlined and less of a hassle?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is attempting to do just that.
5 ways AI is transforming travel
If your customers have tried to plan a vacation recently, chances are they’ve used some type of recommendation engine like Google, Amazon or Expedia. These popular services are clear examples of AI at work. When making a reservation or booking a flight through a travel site, that website will likely follow up with additional recommendations. These suggestions are delivered courtesy of AI to ensure that people don’t miss out on current deals or popular experiences in that area.
Customer care and personal assistants
The easiest place to find AI in full effect is customer support. The websites of online booking services, transportation hubs and hotels are now home to AI-powered chatbots that are taught and equipped to answer most, if not all, of someone’s travel questions and concerns. Granted, these bots won’t always be able to answer complex questions. However, when it comes to simpler topics, such as “how to cancel a flight,” a bot is capable of giving a clear answer in under 30 seconds, whereas reaching and speaking to a live travel agent could take 15 to 20 minutes.
For a more personalized touch, certain bots use natural language processing and can process conversational English (or any other language the bot is programmed to understand).
Going paperless with facial recognition
To travel anywhere these days, people must have accurate travel documents that are ready to present. Misplacing these important documents can bring a trip to a grinding halt. As a solution, AI proposes facial recognition technology accompanied by blockchain—a block of digital information stored in a public database—as a means to seamlessly move through customs, airports and immigration checkpoints without any paperwork. By doing so, AI creates an easy, reliable and trustworthy way to access traveler data, as well as complete transactions.
Predicting price changes
With so many travel sites available, it’s nearly impossible for someone to know they’ve found the best deal—but AI is working to change that. This technology’s advanced algorithms can gather data from millions of fare and hotel searches throughout the years to, in theory, find a pattern for spikes in prices and help travelers find the lowest fares. Traditionally, this would be far too much work for any one person, but not for a computer, which makes AI perfect for the job. This concept is already being implemented in popular travel apps like Hopper and FareBoom.
Fewer travel disruptions
Interruptions are always irritating, but when traveling, they’re even more of a headache. How can anyone predict vicious weather, flight delays or cancellations, or even the occasional airline strike? By using the available data on weather, current delays and other known interruptions, AI is able to predict these inconveniences at least a few days in advance. In addition to saving time and frustration, this knowledge can help travelers make adjustments to their travel plans ahead of time.
For more information on AI, including what solutions are available today and how they can benefit your customers, contact the experts at Ingram Micro.