By Tarran Street, on June 8, 2016

Introducing Expedia bot for Facebook Messenger

Today we are excited to unveil the Expedia bot for Facebook Messenger—a convenient way for travelers to quickly see hotel options and move forward with a booking. Messenger has over 900 million users worldwide, and we believe offering an experience for travelers to interact with Expedia on this platform will make it easier for people book travel.

How to get started

  1. Download Messenger on your iOS or Android phone.
  2. To access Messenger on desktop, log into or through your web browser.
  3. Open a New Message and type Expedia or @Expedia into the “To:” field.
  4. From there, tell the bot a bit about the your hotel booking options. This could be things like the city you are going to and the date when you would like to check-in.
  5. The Expedia bot will respond with any follow-up questions to better answer your request.
  6. You can always restart the conversation with the Expedia bot by typing “restart.”

How to make a booking

Once the Expedia bot has enough information, it will present a few hotel options that match your request. You’ll have the option to click on any one of the hotels (which will take you directly to the Expedia page about that hotel with all your search information already entered) or you can choose an option to view more hotels, which will also take you directly to a search result page with the preferences you entered. Upon choosing a hotel that meets your needs, you can book it directly with Expedia. When your booking is completed, you’ll get an updated message in your Messenger window with a link to your itinerary.

From there, you’re ready to go! We are still in the early experimental stages with the Expedia bot for Messenger, but we’re excited about the opportunity to engage with travelers over this new medium. The Expedia bot is currently available to Messenger users worldwide, however it only supports English interaction for the time being. The Expedia bot will also send booking confirmation for bot conversation started from Messenger. We’re working to expand its availability and the ways you can interact with it in the coming months.

This is just the start for us. We’re in conversations with other companies and product offerings about similar ways to use some of our long-term work around Natural Language Processing to enhance voice- and chat-based search options. You can read more about our work in this space here.

What do you think—is there room for travel bookings to be addressed via a chat platform? Let us know in the comments!