Since 2017, Sabre and Microsoft have been working on an A.I.-powered chatbot that explores how artificial intelligence can help travel agencies better serve travelers by fulfilling their most common service and support requests with smart technology. In developing the chatbot, Sabre leveraged Microsoft Bot Framework and a selection of Microsoft Cognitive Services, including Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS) which provides simple tools to build language models, allowing any application or bot to understand natural language commands and react accordingly.
Sabre Labs is piloting a white-label version of the virtual travel agent chatbot solution for travel management companies (TMCs). Initial pilot partners include Travel Services International USA (TSI) and Casto Travel. The bot is also available to Sabre’s North America-based employees. The TMCs have deployed the virtual agent chatbot with their corporate customers. Employees of those corporations can access the chatbot via Facebook Messenger—or via mobile web—to address common service and support requests related to existing flight reservations. Using the bot, travelers can ask trip-related questions; make voluntary changes to existing flight reservations; request a special meal; select and pay for a seat; and request an emailed copy of an itinerary. The fully automated chatbot diverts to a live travel agent if it is unable to fulfill a request. For travelers, the bot’s 24-hour-a-day availability enhances self-service convenience. TMCs are able to augment the productivity of their live agents by having the bot handle routine requests.