Travelers Open to Human Interaction When Scheduling Travel and Other Activities
As AI continues to evolve and transform how everyday tasks are completed, a new survey reveals travelers appear to have an open mind when utilizing the technology to assist with booking travel. A national survey of 2000 Americans commissioned by justfly.com sought insight from U.S. travelers about their level of confidence in booking online travel and their openness to using AI when booking travel. The research shows that all generations (more than 90% of those surveyed) are comfortable utilizing online platforms to book travel, but in different ways. Gen Z showed the greatest preference for having human interaction when scheduling travel and other related activities—most likely because they lack experience in this arena not because they lack online savvy.
Awareness about AI Involvement in Travel
When asked about the overall awareness of AI’s involvement in travel, only 19% had any knowledge of AI when booking their most recent travel. However, 44% of those surveyed said they would be open to exploring AI’s capabilities on future trips. Around half of Gen Z (51%) and Millennial travelers (52%) are happy to turn to AI for assistance.
“It is no secret; AI is the future. AI is becoming more and more critical to almost everything we do day-to-day, planning and booking travel is no different. AI is becoming a critical tool in our industry. Justfly.com is committed to leveraging advancing technology to improve our customer’s experience and enable them to create affordable itineraries based on their needs,” said Henri Chelhot, CEO of justfly.com.”
A Source of Controversy, Lack of Trust
As more is discovered about AI and its capabilities, AI remains a source of controversy and uncertainty for some. Those who said they would turn to AI for help with booking travel look forward to discoveries and the potential for greater efficiency. Those who would not are skeptical of its capabilities and concerned about data security, but most importantly they don’t want to lose the fun part of the travel experience: planning and booking their trip and activities.
Among those open to using AI, 59% said they like the idea of using AI to make discoveries they wouldn’t have found otherwise and 49% said AI could make annoying, menial tasks more efficient. Nearly half (49%) of those surveyed admitted to being skeptical of what AI can do in terms of planning travel. Forty-two percent said they don’t want to give their personal information to AI. Mistrust is greatest among older travelers, 45% of Baby Boomers and 42% of Gen X say they would not at all trust AI to plan their trip. Millennials are the most open with 16% expressing complete trust.
Human Interaction Remains Important
While a great deal of travel booking does take place digitally, most of those surveyed, regardless of generation, said having human interaction remains an important aspect of the overall travel booking experience. Nearly 90% said human interaction is important, specifically when it comes to needing assistance and being able to contact customer support. In terms of flight and hotel booking, 35% said human interaction is very important and 29% said itinerary planning needs were best met when speaking to a live customer service agent. When broken down by generation, 44% of Gen Z said having access to a person was very important and 54% of Baby Boomers agreed.
“At justfly.com, we pride ourselves in providing our customers with a positive experience, whether they decide to complete their travel plans exclusively online or speak to one of our well-trained customer service agents. In a world that has largely gone digital, we have to remember that you can’t put a price tag on being able to interact on a human-to-human basis,” Chelhot stated. “We are prepared to embrace AI while ensuring our customers’ needs are met.”