AI and Machine Learning Extending Assistance to Corporate Travellers
Corporate travellers facing flight delays or unexpected changes will soon have on-the-spot assistance thanks to the latest developments in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) arena.
At Illuminate 2019, Australia’s largest corporate travel event, Flight Centre Travel Group’s Chief Experience Officer John Morhous presented an overview of how the company is using AI to overcome some of the challenges faced with disruptions to a travel schedule.
Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) has already introduced an AI-inspired online booking tool, Savi and smart assistant mobile application, Sam to the Australian travel market. Savi includes rich content, unique user modules and exclusive functionality that can’t be found elsewhere in the market.
Sam’s new on-the-spot booking functionality, powered by Savi, was also launched at Illuminate 2019, and will soon be available exclusively for customers of FCM Travel Solutions, Corporate Traveller and Stage and Screen Travel Services.
In the past year FCTG has made further investments in acquiring the remainder of Sam, a 10 per cent stake in Claire, an AI-based chat booking engine with operations in Silicon Valley and Thailand, and a 25 per cent stake in US business travel booking site, Upside.
John Morhous said that these investments will continue the integration of AI and machine learning components into the customer booking and travel experience from the initial steps in planning a trip through to completion of the trip itself.
“We’re already incorporating a lot of AI in the need to travel and booking phases, but we’re now investing heavily in completing the journey phase and looking at how obstacles such as rolling delays and cancellations can be managed based on a traveller’s itinerary demands and preferences,” Mr Morhous said.
“Some of the challenges for AI in solving complex travel situations include knowing what the traveller’s tolerance is for delays, what their cost tolerance is and what other realistic flights could be available for the traveller.
“More data and an understanding of your preferences over the lifetime of your trips allows machine learning to proactively look for and suggest alternatives based on your preferences.”
Illuminate 2019 was supported by Flight Centre Travel Group’s corporate businesses – FCM Travel Solutions, Corporate Traveller, cievents, Stage and Screen Travel Services and 4th Dimension Business Travel Consulting.