Artificial Intelligence: The Game-Changer in the Travel Industry

There is no denying that Artificial Intelligence has revolutionized all sectors of business, however, its presence has been significantly established in the Air Travel Industry. Although invisible to the naked eye, AI has been at the forefront in the industry – simplifying processes, streamlining operations, providing enhanced data insights among other things – all aimed at providing a seamless travel experience.  The potential and benefits that AI offers knows no limits. It is constantly learning and evolving. 

It is no secret that travelers are always on the lookout for the choicest airfares available in the market. However, the fares displayed are dependent on time, which can make it a hassle while looking for the best time to book an ideal flight. Just like how Netflix offers its viewers suggestions on what to watch next, based on their history, AI leveraged tools notify users on flight deals and their availability. 

Dynamic Pricing Tools, which make use of predictive and prescriptive analysis, not only provide users with flight deals that are available, but also anticipate travel deals based on the wealth of historical data that AI possesses. Additionally, these tools help determine what action is to be taken – book the available flight, or wait for a better deal which will be made available shortly. Thus, travel providers will be able to provide their customers with the best fares available in the market, leading to an enhanced customer experience.  

While AI’s function in the air travel industry is primarily customer-focused, travel businesses and provides also reaps its benefits. For example, dynamic pricing tools can also be leveraged by businesses in their ticketing and pricing strategy. According to IATA, nearly 3.7 billion people took to the skies in 2016 alone, amassing an abundance of data. However, data on its own amounts to little or nothing; it is the actions that arise based on the wealth of data that matters in the Travel Industry. Dynamic pricing tools utilize AI’s predictive analysis of historical and present data to forecast fare prices. Travel businesses and providers can modify their prices based on trends, seasonality and other factors as determined by dynamic pricing tools, making artificial intelligence a win-win technology for both, travelers, as well as travel providers.  

AI is making headway on its route to enhancing customer experience. It has elevated the ticketing and booking process through streamlining operations and improving customer support services. A new form of communication has been achieved in the industry, with Chatbots or conversational AI, which now have the ability to interact and assist travelers with their queries. Chatbots are designed to imitate human conversation, either through natural language text or voice methods. They scan keywords present in a query or request and respond by accessing answers with similar keywords stored in a database. Chatbots offer instant interactive communication, while doing away with the long hold times and time zone restrictions one might experience through conventional communication methods.  

Gartner states that by 2020, 85% of all engagement that a traveler makes with a company will be without human interaction. Travel giants like Expedia, Kayak, and have already begun experimenting with the new Facebook Messenger Bot to help passengers find the best fares for their travel. With Artificial Intelligence still in its infancy, one can only imagine the impact and revolution that it will have on the Travel Industry in the days to come.