Inspiration

Planning a team trip can be challenging. Team Flights bot lets you look up Air Berlin flights within your favourite team chat tool. Do this within Slack, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Facebook Messenger, or the web! Once you've found the flight you like, you can book right within the bot too!

What it does

Look for flight options from the city the team is in (or each team member) to the city everyone needs to get to. The app queries for flight combinations and returns the top options to the team without them leaving the tool they're already using to plan the trip.

Once you've found a flight you like, you can make the booking directly in the bot!

How I built it

The app is built with the Microsoft Bot Framework, LUIS.ai from Microsoft, the AirBerlin APIs, and NodeJs.

Challenges I ran into

The bot can use natural language processing as well as directed commands. Directed commands are relatively straight forward to manage, but natural language questions require lots of training data; figuring out all the ways someone might ask even a simple question is tricky!

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Microsoft Teams talks to the Bot Framework, the Bot Framework talks to LUIS for natural language processing, LUIS returns to the Bot, the Bot acts on the response which leads to a query on the Air Berlin API, the response from the API provides an answer to the user. Getting each of those components to talk to each other successfully is something I'm proud of!

What I learned

Bots need to be able to understand directed commands as well as natural language questions. Different users interact with the bot in their own way.

What's next for Air Berlin Team Flights

Add in specific dates for a query. This is a must!

Integrate a query to get airport codes for cities -- and for cities with multiple airports confirm the correct airport option. Expand on the natural language processing component, enabling the bot to understand more things the team wants to do, e.g. book a flight once it's selected, and enter specific dates for a flight search.

Try It Out

Try out Air Berlin Team Flights, ask the bot something like "let's plan a trip together" or ask for "help" to get more information on the bot. You can also quit during any search by typing 'goodbye'. Right now it only understands airport codes and not cities. Try LHR to PAR.

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