Gatwick Airport has launched a chatbot on Facebook Messenger to provide passengers with flight information, flight specific notifications, and information on airport shops, restaurants and other facilities.
Called Gail, the AI-enabled chatbot provides access to information before and during a trip. For example, passengers can ask “Which restaurants have vegetarian options?” and Gail will present a list of options.
Gatwick developed the chatbot with other VINCI Airports and in particular Lyon-Saint Exupéry airport in France, which launched its chatbot in October 2017. This helped identify what the chatbot could be used for, questions passengers might ask and the value of features such as ‘quick response’.
At the moment, the Gatwick chatbot understands and answers about 80% of the questions it receives. Within a year the chatbots of both Lyon-Saint Exupéry and Gatwick are expected to understand around 95% of questions by actively learning from interactions with users.
Gatwick plans to enable the service on other chat platforms including WhatsApp and Apple Business Messenger in the future.
Abhi Chacko, Head of Innovation at Gatwick:
Our passengers are at the core of everything we do and the aim of this AI-enabled chatbot is to make it easy for them to get airport and flight related information. We have only just rolled this service out on Facebook Messenger but we expect that it will become popular and the chatbot will learn rapidly using artificial intelligence as an increasing number of our passengers use it.
“More globally, experience across VINCI Airports’ network of 46 airports in 12 countries demonstrates that well-designed chatbots successfully engage passengers and can satisfy many of their needs. We believe there is significant potential for chatbots to facilitate, personalise and enrich each passenger’s end-to-end experience across multiple touchpoints.
N.B. Image credit: Gatwick