Customized Smart Programs Improve Experiences

A recent story in Afar magazine predicts that travel will be easier and better in the near future thanks to AI advances in narrowing down itinerary recommendations and speeding airport and plane boarding.

AI will enable more nuanced searches, with the underlying support of data on the traveler, according to the story. For instance, a booking site might give you 1,000 options if you type New York in the search bar. An AI-based search engine, using your preferences, could narrow down the options to 15 that include hotels, but also local restaurants, car services and activities.

“Hyperpersonalization” could include both voice and facial recognition to speed you on your way to a smart hotel room with the right lighting and temperature and set up with your Netflix account. In China, both InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Marriott hotel chains are planning to work with Baidu to use the technology. Since the country already widely tracks its residents with facial recognition, the technology is already accepted to a greater degree than anywhere else in the world.

Airports, using the same tech, could choose the best flight for avoiding traffic and weather and speed you through the airport to your gate and onboard in minutes.

“British Airways, for example, is testing biometric boarding gates at LAX and Orlando International Airport. You simply look into a camera as you board, and a computer matches your face with the photo on your passport or driver’s license. The airline says the system has allowed it to board 240 passengers in just 10 minutes…”

AI travel assistants are already being used through an array of chatbots and apps available worldwide. According to Business Insider, travel agencies widely use chatbots to narrow down options for their clients., Skyscanner and Kayak are among the earlier chatbots to catch on. Facebook messenger works with travel companies to offer live help and customer service.

Hyatt Hotels, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and all currently have profiles on Messenger that let users perform a variety of tasks including asking general customer service inquiries, checking availability, check-in for flights, and confirm reservations.

Other services like Marsbot, a bot for Uber, and Assist, have been around for years to recommend restaurants and nightlife options.

Utrip, one of the most advanced personalized travel planning bots, relies heavily on AI to find the best itinerary for travelers, working on behalf of travel agents. The pro app allows travelers to fill out lengthy surveys to capture their preferences before doing its work via sophisticated algorithms.