Adult avatars and chatbots
In addition to giving you the ability to type a destination, departure airport, and dates to search for flights, it also give you ideas on the cheapest destinations from your nearest airport.The bot is conversational and very quick to respond.In some ways, though, these bots just offer users a different interface for doing the same thing (check out the comparison below of a hotel search on Expedia’s website versus the same hotel search through Expedia’s Facebook Messenger bot).With either interface, users have to input the same information, and it’s often more time-consuming to hold the conversation with the chatbot.Once you’ve finished your booking, you’ll get a message in Messenger with a link to your itinerary.Send a Facebook Messenger message to Skyscanner, chat with the bot, and it will help you search for flights.Users simply need to open Facebook Messenger (on the web or on a smartphone) and type in Expedia or @Expedia into the “To:” field.
The interface is attractive, with comment bubbles and a friendly female avatar who looks happy to help (a bit flirty even).When you enter a destination, the bot breaks down flights into categories: cheapest, shortest, and best. For flights, the bot will return the average cheapest flight, and you are directed to the Cheap Flights website to book.You can also type “anywhere” to get some interesting suggestions. Once you indicate your date and location for a hotel search, you can search by price range.While the female avatars that greet you on the Copa and Amtrak websites can help with basic customer service questions, the rash of chatbots being developed for use through Facebook Messenger and Slack (a messenging app for workplace communication) offer a different experience.The Facebook and Slack travel bots are generally for travel search companies such as Expedia and Skyscanner, and these chatbots are a bit smarter, in the sense that they actually help you book travel through conversation—rather than just showing you where to go on a website to book.