Sam Meets Claire: FCM's Travel Assistant & 30SecondsToFly's Chatbot Integrate

FCM's mobile travel assistant, SAM, has integrated with artificial intelligence startup 30SecondsToFly's chatbot, Claire, according to FCM. FCM is piloting an AI-enhanced self-booking air and lodging capability via Claire on SAM with interested clients.

SAM will hand travelers who want to book their own flights or hotels to Claire, which will process text-based booking requests with natural language processing and recommend options based on those travelers' previous bookings, travel policies and preferred suppliers. The integration is available by corporate client request. FCM will add features and functionalities as clients provide feedback. FCM will promote the integration to more clients, specifically small and midsize enterprises, this year.

FCM and 30SecondsToFly are working out the revenue stream. "We have not really worked out the full commercial offering to customers just yet," said John Morhous, chief experience officer of FCM parent Flight Centre Travel Group, which invested last year in 30SecondsToFly through its Little Argas incubation fund. "We're more interested [in] getting them to use the tool and see how things work from their vantage point."

Morhous told BTN FCM also is piloting mobile booking capabilities from Amadeus, Serko and regional booking providers with Sam. "We have many more customers using those tools, so they are already in demand," he said.