Skyscanner has launched a Facebook Messenger bot allowing users to ask questions live while searching for flights.
Travellers will be able to interact with the bot to ask for live flight prices, as well as to ask Skyscanner for destination inspiration.
The bot, which is available to any Facebook Messenger user typing in English, has been designed to respond to travel queries in “a natural conversational manner”.
Users can then follow a link to the Skyscanner site to book.
The Messenger bot combines several components of the metasearch site’s technology.
In addition to its flights API data, the bot also returns ‘inspirational’ destination suggestions based on user search trends and cheapest pricing, similar to the ‘Everywhere’ functionality in its website and apps.
Users can type “not sure” when asked where they wish to go, and suggestions will appear.
Filip Filipov, director at Skyscanner, said: “The messaging economy and conversational search are areas which we believe are incredibly important evolutionary features for the travel industry.
“It has been a top priority for us to take a pioneering approach when it comes to building a bot for the Messenger platform.
“We want to make travel search as easily accessible as possible, and believe that the launch of our Messenger bot will allow more people to search for their travel in a fun and informative way.”
Earlier this year Skyscanner became the world’s first travel search brand to create a voice search skill for the Amazon Alexa voice service.
Users can search for ‘Skyscanner’ within Facebook Messenger.