AirportDigital That being said, we specialize in passenger experience via digital platforms and our current solutions include from web and mobile development, indoor maps, flight information display systems, real-time surveys, and Personal Concierge (our new AI/chatbot solution).
We always recognized that users do not like to download travel apps, including airport and airline apps. Airline websites are particularly daunting to navigate and the booking process is long and leaves you feeling like you’re missing out on a better deal. Booking a ticket from a mobile device is particularly painful for even the most tech-savvy, loyal customers.
What it does
We set out to create a product that would solve these problems. Particularly for this hackathon, we wanted to focus on how to create a product that would allow airberlin's business/corporate travelers to book/modify a flight as well as add tremendous value to their airport experience by providing them with anything from directions to the gate, as well as the option to purchase goods.
Although for this hackathon we focused on the business customer/airline side of the challenge, Personal Concierge is a technology that enhances the passengers experience from purchase all the way through the airport experience as well.
The result is a solution that allows it's users to do anything from booking a flight to finding their way around the airport.
How we built it
Lots of R&D has gone into the Personal Concierge platform—our team has been working on this initiative full steam for almost a year now.
After months of iterating and developing our core product along our current clients, we are happy to have a very robust platform that integrates Artificial Intelligence (Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning technologies) with our own proprietary technology specifically built to suit the needs of the travel industry.
The current airberlin prototype you’ll see today includes a smart integration with our existing partner, Amadeus, for flights search as well as an integration with XapiX for part of the data.
Items like inspirational searches, check-in, cancellations, reacommodations, and boarding pass generation can be integrated at a later stage directly with airberlin’s data or via a more complex XapiX integration (if supported).
Challenges we ran into
Our main challenge were (from more broad to more specific): How do we radically simplify the user experience and bring incredibly complex user processes into a simple and easy to use channel (messaging platforms)? How to design automated conversations that guides the users, yet feels natural (like you’re talking to a friend). How to teach our bot to recognize complex requests, and be able to process them successfully. How to manage escalation to live agents. How to integrate with XapiX to bring data from airberlin’s test server.
In general, AI/bots are a very new thing, and you will not find “experts” that can help you out. We realize that the work we do is something that hasn’t been done before, therefore we’re constantly thinking outside the box and really focusing on how we can build a better product that moves the air travel industry (and the digital industry as well) forward.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud of having been able to create a working prototype for airberlin connected to XapiX. The solution right now will allow users to test the flight purchase flow (see attached video), as well as ask a small variety of questions (places at the airport, trigger surveys, and change language). Next step would be to add more content so that the app can really reply to almost any question. This is custom content, tough, provided by client.
The result of our work until now has also resulted in multiple sales of our product that are currently under implementation. We are so proud to have created a product that companies are interested in because they see the great value behind it.
What we learned
It’s been a never-ending learning experience to create the Personal Concierge product, especially for airlines. We would, therefore, limit it to three:
- We learned our way into creating a complete solution with all the necessary components.
- All users are different and behave in very different ways. Our product needs to be able to understand them.
- We confirmed that this is what we love and are most passionate about.
What's next for Personal Concierge by AirportDigital
We will soon be launching our airport solution into production with multiple clients, which will allow us to learn, grow, and improve the platform with real user data.
Regarding the airberlin prototype, it will take more AI training to make it more responsive to requests and actual data to become a tool that can go to production.
Facebook does not allow the testing of bots by non-authorized personnel. In order to test the bot on Facebook, you will need to use the following test credentials to access it:
User: email@example.com Password: AirportDigital