During the COVID-19 pandemic we have been focused on supporting our current customer base in terms of responding to ‘machine learn’ new questions from passengers. Our initial learning and change in passenger questions can be found: Airport Crisis Communications COVID-19 Pandemic Learnings
We have also reviewed our technology to see where we can support and automate both airports and passengers.
AirChat New Functionality
Previous to COVID-19 passengers knew they were going from A to B on a specific date/time with a specific airline. The airline schedules were set, the passenger had their boarding pass, either physically or digitally and off they flew. They would register for updates and ask very various questions via our AirChat service.
Issues that arose during COVID-19
As the pandemic has progressed airports around the world have been challenged by reduced airline schedules, government-imposed travel restrictions and passenger uncertainty. Fortunately, AirChat was able to help and inform passengers of alternative routes in this time of crisis.
In turn, we have seen the way passengers need/request information change. Prior to the pandemic, they were looking for information about a specific flight e.g “flight AB1234 on the 12/02/2020”.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought a lot of uncertainty especially when airlines scheduled were effected, and when flights were being cancelled. We saw passengers started asking for “Flights to London”, “Flights to England” or “Flights to the U.K.”. In one extreme we say someone looking for “Flights to Europe”. The passenger’s requirements had changed from wanting a specific destination to a generic location and from a specific day to “the next available”.
In light of this, and using Machine Learning, AirChat was able to understand the passenger’s requirements and provide the passenger with a list of options available to them (based on real-time information from the airport flight feed). This enabled passengers to re-book flights allowing them to arrive at their destination as soon as possible.
Our main aim was to put passengers at ease and reduce panic, helping them get home safely on the next available flight. AirChat relieved pressure off customer service teams in airports, reducing wait times and more effectively solving issues that arose during the pandemic.