EasyJet unveils voice recognition flight search

EasyJet is claiming a first by introducing voice recognition technology to enable passengers to search for flights.

The Speak Now feature will be offered on the budget airline’s app in the next few weeks.

The intuitive system, powered by Artificial Intelligence technology, uses DialogflowGoogle Cloud’s natural language understanding tool for building “conversational experiences”.

The technology will ask audible questions to determine the exact booking criteria customers require, making it easier to narrow down details such as destination, date and airports they want to fly from.

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Typing out a typical search query takes 12 taps, but the Speak Now vocal steps take just seconds, the carrier claimed.

The new voice search functionality will be available in English on iOS.

Head of digital experience Daniel Young said:“We are constantly on the search for ways to improve the travel experience we offer our customers when flying with us and this new technology is a perfect example of that.

“As part of this, we are continually striving to make booking a flight more accessible for customers, especially those who are visually impaired, and Speak Now helps us achieve this objective.

“We continue to place innovation at the heart of our industry-leading mobile travel app to give our customers the tools they need to have a smooth experience booking flights with us.”

Cormac Reilly, vice president and global head of travel partners solutions at Travelport, which developed the technology, added: “This is the latest in a series of innovative world first features that make booking travel as easy as possible, giving easyJet customers a helpful digital experience.

“Conversational voice search is a great example of how we’re using the latest technologies, including AI and Google Cloud’s Dialogflow, to make the experience of buying and managing travel continually better for everyone.”

Google Cloud manufacturing and transportation managing director Dominik Wee said:“Dialogflow makes it easy to build conversational agents that use natural language to answer questions or perform tasks.

“It’s exciting to see how easyJet has employed our technology to make booking travel as easy as it can possibly be.”

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