KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, who celebrates their 100th birthday in 2019, has become the world’s first airline to offer an inspirational service via the Amazon Alexa smart speaker. In conversation with the KLM bot, users will be advised on suitable destinations, using a combination of images and spoken text. Users will also immediately be informed of the ticket price.
As of now, all Alexa users will be able to go in search of the KLM destination best suited to their wishes. KLM’s Travel Guide offers inspiration as well as personal advice in terms of flight duration, budget, travel dates and specifications, such as a “city trip” or “beach holiday”. Based on this information, KLM suggests the destination that best fulfils the passenger’s wishes, along with the ticket price and a short description. This KLM service will be available on all speakers running the Alexa operating system, with or without a screen.
The Dutch pioneering spirit that is so characteristic of KLM is reflected in their use of innovative technology, such as voice-activated systems. The technology itself is not of prime importance, but rather the extent to which it makes life easier for passengers before, during and after their flight. By experimenting with the possibilities, KLM aims to remain an innovative leader offering the very best passenger experience.
“We want to be where our customers are. Amazon is an important player in voice technology, both in the US and internationally. For us, it is a logical step to develop a voice service for Amazon Alexa as well,” says Pieter Groeneveld, Senior Vice President Digital Air France-KLM.
KLM Innovative leader
In keeping with KLM’s aim to offer its customers the ultimate travel experience using digital innovation, the airline launched four services for Dutch-speaking customers on Google Home in 2018. Two services being completely new and compliment two existing KLM voice services, all of which were developed using artificial intelligence and KLM technology.
· Travel guide – The first service helps travellers find a suitable travel destination based on the flight duration, budget, travel date, and travel theme they want. Based on a short dialogue, KLM offers customers three suitable destinations, including a brief description of each one. Following that, customers immediately receive the current ticket prices via a link on their mobile phones.
· Departure planner- Using the second service, KLM tells customers at what time they have to be at Schiphol before departure. This uses a technical connection to Schiphol’s systems (API). The departure planner also advises customers about what time they should leave home, whether by car or public transport.
· Searching for flights and help with packing – One of the existing KLM voice services on Google Home helps customers search for and book flights. Furthermore, KLM already provides its customers with personal advice about how to pack their baggage based on their destination, trip duration, and the local weather forecast.
“Consumers are finding and using more and more voice-activated systems in their daily lives. Smart speakers are conquering the world even faster than smartphones. In keeping with our pioneer spirit, we are presenting the latest advances in voice control to remain at the forefront of service worldwide and make travel as easy as possible for our customers,” Groeneveld adds.
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