Skyscanner brings travel search bot to Skype group chats

Travel search service Skyscanner has created what is one of the first bot-type search tools for mass-market messaging platform Skype.

The Microsoft-owned platform has worked with Skyscanner, initially through a hackathon, to develop a product that allows users to meet with colleagues or friends within a usual group Skype and then interact with the bot service.

It works in a similar way to the recent bots that Skyscanner has developed for Facebook Messenger and the Amazon Alexa voice recognition device, whereby natural language commands can be used and the system returns suggestions and results.

Any member of a group chat can ask the Skyscanner bot a question by using the “@skyscanner” as the head of a message (after adding the profile as a member of the group).

As usual, results are displayed within the chat profile and then a user (or users) can click off to the Skyscanner page to filter results further or alter the search.

Skyscanner head of bots and conversational search, David Low, argues that bots are a “revolutionary” move in travel search as they work within the platforms that consumers are using frequently.

“Travel is an inherently social activity, and so it seems completely fitting that we’ve worked with Skype – the world’s largest peer-to-peer communications platform and the first messaging platform to offer bots which can interact as part a group chat environment, to give users the ability to share the experience of finding the best flights together.”

Bots have certainly manage to get the development teams in the world of intermediaries rather excited in recent months.

Metasearch rival Cheapflights was first out of the blocks in June with a combined flight and hotel search bot for Facebook Messenger, ahead of a flight-only effort from Kayak and after Skyscanner’s own version in May.

The Skyscanner-Skype collaboration is currently is only for flights (but with hotels and car rental expected to follow) and English language-based searches.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.

 

Comments

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  1. James

    What about informing the way to add the Skyscanner bot?

     
  2. Dorian Harris

    Has anyone tried it? Does it work?

     
    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @dorian – yes, we did… generally pretty good, not perfect though… Early days.

       
 
 

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