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Why Your Next Trip May Be Booked By AI

A survey of 2,000 Americans, commissioned by LivePerson, Inc. and conducted by OnePoll, found that nearly three-fourths of consumers (73%) prefer messaging to calls when making airline, hotel, or other travel-related reservations. Among 18- to 23-year-olds, the number reaches a whopping 90%. According to the April 2021 survey, messaging options — including SMS, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, and brand websites and apps — are viewed as a convenient, preferred method for travelers to engage with their favorite travel brands.  

Nearly as many (71%) are comfortable having their airline, hotel, or travel company reach out and text them directly, especially if deals or upgrades are on offer. This number increases to 80% among 18- to 23-year-olds, underscoring an advantage for brands that offer messaging to this coveted demographic and deliver on the type of services that will help future-proof the travel industry.

Additional findings from the survey include: 

  • 66% would like to have their airline, hotel, or travel company in their phone contacts, jumping to 81% among those 18 to 23. 
  • 58% would like to have a direct line to their airline, hotel, or travel company on social media, with those 18 to 23 landing at 68%. 
  • 66% would like the option to message when they go to their airline, hotel, or travel company’s website, reaching 76% among those 18 to 23.

Delta is a good example of a large travel company embracing this trend. They currently use messaging experiences for travelers on Apple Business Chat, SMS, the Fly Delta app, IVR deflection, and even QR codes within airports. Delta also uses conversational AI to support its agents and help more customers faster, as well as offering in-message payment capabilities to help customers book travel and make purchases without ever leaving the conversation.

“With 90% of young Americans reporting they prefer to message with travel companies, it’s clear that the future of travel will be dominated by brands that adopt and scale messaging experiences for sales, marketing, and customer care,” said Rob LoCascio, founder and CEO of LivePerson. “We’re proud to work with Delta and other leading travel companies to create continuous connections with customers in their preferred channels.”

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