Jet-setting with AI: How generative AI is setting new standards for customer service in travel

Jet-setting with AI: How generative AI is setting new standards for customer service in travel

Until the early 2000s, booking a holiday required a trip to a travel agent, a flick through a brochure, and a few calls to secure flights and accommodation. But not anymore: today, holidaymakers can plan and book an entire trip within a number of clicks. Speed and efficiency are now expected across all travelers’ brand interactions, with desired outcomes and resolutions

As such, it is unsurprising that a recent study revealed that more than a third of travelers are now relying on chatbots for comparing travel options and making plans and 37 percent actually prefer to deal with an intelligent chatbot. It’s a reflection of the digital era in which instant gratification is sought after and convenience is prioritized.

AI-first travel concierge for customers

In the past, chatbots and other automated tools were only programmed to respond to simple questions with scripted answers. However, advances in large language models (LLM) and artificial intelligence (AI) have changed the landscape. Today’s LLM-powered dynamic AI agents have the ability to provide speed, accuracy, and personalization and are becoming indispensable tools for travelers and travel brands alike. Everyone from aviation companies to companies providing local tours is able to benefit from advanced LLM-powered AI agents.

AI-powered solutions can provide automated assistance for customers throughout an entire travel booking process, from itinerary planning to post-booking inquiries. Travelers can also receive up-to-the-minute updates on flight statuses, gate changes, and even local events at their destination. Customers can experience levels of service that are unmatched by just human capability. AI agents can be available 24 hours a day; they can respond quickly and they can provide support in multiple languages and dialects – something critical for customers in a region as diverse as Southeast Asia.

From a brand perspective, dynamic AI agents minimize human involvement, therefore reducing operational costs. They can also handle high volumes of inquiries and automate multiple manual tasks, providing a better return on investment for travel businesses and freeing human agents for more high-value tasks.

However, dynamic AI agent benefits extend far beyond just costs. These LLM-powered AI agents are built to understand a customer’s unique profile, behavior, and preferences based on the brand’s first-party data. Through deep integration with the customer data platform, AI agents can offer highly targeted travel recommendations, deals, and discounts to customers that pertain to their personal interests —a feature highly valued by consumers. In fact, 56 percent of customers expect retailers to remember their preferences and purchase history to deliver a personalized shopping experience. Additionally, 77 percent of shoppers express a desire for more personalized discount offers. Achieving this has become easier with AI-first customer service automation solutions, enhancing the overall customer experience and, therefore, their brand loyalty.

Singapore Airlines-owned travel experience platform Pelago, for example, deployed automated assistance to provide recommendations across its channels. The brand successfully leveraged user preferences and historical data to suggest destinations, accommodations, and activities tailored to individual travelers’ tastes. However, more crucially, all interactions were carried out in a human-like manner, thereby enabling natural and intuitive interactions with customers while still maintaining efficiency.

Bringing seamless omnichannel support to customers

To successfully incorporate AI-first customer service solutions into an overall business strategy, they must seamlessly link customer experiences across multiple channels. Just as travelers enjoy smooth airline transfers, they are always looking for an easy transition between digital channels: websites, mobile applications, and social media.

For instance, a customer may be drawn to a destination from a particularly eye-catching Instagram post from a travel booking company or airline. A dynamic AI agent can help them easily access the booking website, check packages and prices, and then help the customer book their adventure on WhatsApp. The customer is able to book their trip quickly and easily in a seamless and unfragmented experience.

On the other side, AI-powered ticketing systems help their human counterparts navigate across multiple communication platforms and handle complex customer inquiries from a single window. AI agents provide human customer service representatives with quick access to customer backgrounds and summaries of past conversations, giving them insights to personalize their interactions, through AI-powered automated response suggestions. Essentially, they give agents complete context about a customer’s query to deliver more accurate resolutions, which improves both customer satisfaction and, therefore, brand retention.

Today’s LLM-powered dynamic AI agents are revolutionizing the travel industry by enhancing customer experience and operational efficiency. Integrated AI-first automation creates seamless travel experiences, leveraging both human and machine strengths. As AI continues to advance, adopting AI-first strategies becomes crucial for travel brands aiming to remain competitive in an increasingly digital landscape. This approach not only delivers unparalleled convenience and satisfaction to travelers worldwide but also sets new standards in the industry.

KT Prasad is the Chief Revenue Officer – International Region,, a global leader in generative AI-powered customer service automation.

KT leads the Go-to-Market teams across the International Region, including India, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. His focus is on formulating and implementing strategies aimed at expanding’s international business across all customer segments and optimizing the customer experience.

With over 25 years of experience, KT has successfully led high-performing teams in his previous roles at leading organizations such as Zendesk, Stripe, and Hewlett Packard, among others, driving substantial revenue generation and contributing to their growth trajectories.

On the personal front, KT is settled in Bangalore with his wife and two daughters. When he is not chasing numbers, KT enjoys traveling the world with his family.

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