Artificial Intelligence, better known as AI, has become extremely popular within the past few years—from Facebook’s image recognition, and Amazon’s shopping recommendations, to iPhone’s Siri, Amazon Alexa, and photo augmentation apps like Snapchat.
But that’s not all, AI is changing the travel industry as well, making booking tickets, checking in, and discovering new places as easy as pushing a button. But what will we encounter in the next few years? Let’s take a look at how AI will impact the future of travel.
AI has become huge for managing customer service, especially for businesses in the travel industry. The program is known as a chatbot, and although fairly new, it gives airlines the ability to answer their customer’s questions as soon as they request it. However, those bots have limited capabilities, unable to deliver the type of service that customers expect. But all that’s about to change.
Within a few years, chatbots are going to be smarter by personalizing the needs of the customer, and answering every question as though it has superhuman capabilities. For example, customers can upload a photo of a destination, the bot will scan the photo, and then display tickets to those destinations. It can even take it a step further and provide guides/ tours on what to do and see in that city. It’ll make a booking less daunting and stressful for the customer as well as the business.
Overbooking is an ongoing issue that airlines face every day. Reason being is they cannot precisely calculate how many passengers will show up for a flight. With AI, systems will be able to greatly reduce overbooking by analyzing the change in weather for particular plane routes, and historical passenger and frequent flyer information. As a result, staff would receive data about how many travelers will board the flight, which passengers tend to get upgrades more often, and how many airline employees will be on standby, averting the need to remove people from airplanes.
Airports are adopting AI technology quickly. For instance, Amazon Alexa and United Airlines have partnered to offer travelers information about their flight and the ability to check in through their phones. Delta Airlines has installed kiosks with facial recognition to confirm a passenger’s identity by matching the passport to the face scan. Moreover, there are airports such as Melbourne International and Singapore’s Changi that have installed biometric facial recognition kiosks at border control gates. This allows passengers to bypass the long lines and officers, and go straight through border control with a scan and a swipe. In a few years, we may see every airport around the world adopting facial recognition not only at border control but also at check-in, all the way through security to the gate. Can you see a future where we may no longer need passports? It’s a possibility, thanks to AI technology.