Though bots have only been available to developers for a few months, more travel bots will likely come online as brands learn how consumers in travel and other industries use them.
Since major messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger and workplace-chat app Slack introduced bots earlier this year, four travel brands - Kayak, Skyscanner and most recently Expedia.com and Cheapflights - have launched bots of their own.
Bots are artificial intelligence platforms that use instant messaging as an application interface. Facebook Messenger and Slack users, for example, can add these bots to friends lists and send messages to bots just like they’d message one of their friends. But with bots, consumers are talking to a database or program and not actually communicating with a human.
Hyatt Hotels, which began using Facebook Messenger in November 2015 to answer guests’ queries, let them make reservations and check availability, uses its customer relations staff to help guests on the platform. Hyatt told Skift, “creating and deploying a Facebook Messenger bot is something that we will explore in the future.”
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Read also "Expedia’s first bot is for booking hotels", "Hotel booking using the Facebook messenger platform", and "Bots are the new apps: Microsoft reveals how artificial intelligence will book hotels"