28th February, 2023
Is ChatGPT of any value to a traveller, who is trying to close on a booking?
For anyone keen on booking trip essentials, let’s say an air ticket, the experience can be below-par.
Let’s assess few questions mostly around saving on money for air ticket (New Delhi-London) and underground tube transportation at the Heathrow Airport:
- When you conduct a “search” with a query – “What’s the cheapest fare for Aug 2023 for Delhi to London, direct flight?” – the result on ChatGPT interface is “As a language model, I don’t have access to real-time flight information or ticket prices”.
The response, however, includes information about the airlines that fly direct, a recommendation to search further in a private browsing mode to avoid cookies, and other generic information that most of the travellers are possibly going to be aware of.
- Question – Is there any direct flight in afternoon from Delhi to London? Again no specific answer, rather a recommendation to check directly with airlines since “flight schedules can change from time to time”.
3. Which airline offers the best meal going to from Delhi to London? Answer – “As a language model, I don’t have access to information about the specific meal options provided by each airline”.
4. Which payment method do you recommend while boarding a tube from Heathrow to Paddington station?
Answer here helped as the utility of a contactless card, or an Oyster card to pay for your Tube journey is worth knowing. It is also stated that cash to purchase a single fare ticket at the airport is more expensive than a contactless or Oyster card.
5. For how long one has to wait for luggage at Terminal 2 Heathrow on arrival?
Answer here is helpful, since the flight number or the time of the day wasn’t mentioned. It did say 20-30 minutes on an average, but better to “check with your airline to see if they offer any baggage tracking services or to confirm the baggage claim area”.
While the booking side isn’t ready, ChatGPT isn’t really offering drastically useful than a search engine like Google at the moment. One might say that a user has to go through search results on Google to read further, but it again depends on the user how they see ChatGPT vs. Google for planning at this stage.
What’s your verdict on the use of ChatGPT for trip planning and buying?
Also, how are travel brands’ chatbots that have been facilitating bookings, too, coming along?
By Ritesh Gupta,