This is the year that “chat bots” will take off. Powered by artificial intelligence, cyber helpers are popping up on websites across the travel industry – from Radisson Blu Edwardian’s concierge “Edward”to Lufthansa’s “Mildred”, who will help you to find the cheapest flight.
Chat bots speak to you via instant messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger. KLM’s will tell you when it’s time to check-in, ping you a boarding pass and change your seat if you ask nicely.
The tech isn’t perfect yet – Marriott’s first chat bot, launched in March last year, was killed after it started private-messaging people to ask if they wanted to book a hotel. It has since been disciplined and given a job in the Marriott Rewards department. Other companies employing chat bots include Aeromexico, Booking.com, BA, Expedia, Hyatt, Icelandair and Skyscanner.