Brain Waves: the latest innovations from Avis, Qantas, Incheon Airport and more

Avis uses Amazon Echo for car rental bookings

Avis has now allowing customers to book and manage their car rental reservations using their voice on Amazon Echo devices. The company has integrated with Amazon Alexa, meaning that travellers will have voice-controlled access to the car rental booking process with such commands as “I need a car at La Guardia Airport at 9am this Friday”. The voice platform manages the booking process and recognised the customer’s Avis Preferred profile.

Incheon Airport employs robots

Seoul’s Incheon International Airport has started employing robots for customer service and cleaning. LG Electronics has provided an Airport Guide Robot to Incheon, which will roam the airport providing information and assistance to travellers in multiple languages. In addition, the new Airport Cleaning Robot will be on hand to keep the floors clean. Their deployment follows a successful six-month trial at Korea’s largest airport.

Qantas launches UK chatbot concierge

Qantas has a new chatbot aimed at providing passengers in the UK with travel inspiration. The new Qantas Concierge is a Facebook Messenger bot that provides the airline’s UK customers with fare and destination information in line with their interests. The new AI-backed service is designed to learn customer preferences and become more user-friendly over time. The launch of the Facebook chatbot in the UK follows a similar roll-out in Australia.

Cebu Pacific moves toward paperless cockpits

Cebu Pacific Air has started equipping its pilots with iPads as it moves towards a paperless cockpit environment. The tablets will contain the pilots’ Electronic Flight Bag (EFB), which includes all manuals, charts and weather data. By moving this data away from paper manuals, the airline is able to save weight on its flights and reduce fuel burn. Initially, 70 pilots aboard the airline’s fleet of ATR turboprop aircraft have been provided with iPads.

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