SOURCE: Hipmunk

Hipmunk

June 23, 2016 08:30 ET

AI-Powered Travel Planning Assistant, Hello Hipmunk™, Smarter Than Ever

Feature Integrated Into Email, Slack, and Facebook Messenger

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - June 23, 2016) - Today Hipmunk leapt ahead in the race to use artificial intelligence to make travel planning as simple as possible. It announced that Hello Hipmunk™, the company's free personalized travel planning virtual assistant, is now out of beta testing and can answer more kinds of travel questions than any other travel AI. To make Hello Hipmunk even easier to use, the feature is now integrated into Facebook Messenger and Slack.

Hello Hipmunk launched in November of last year for use on email and calendars. The newest iteration of the virtual travel assistant is able to parse more complex questions posed in plain English and deliver more far-reaching results. Using Hello Hipmunk simplifies the travel planning process, taking out the agony. Now that the feature is also on Messenger and Slack, it lets users make travel plans from where they already are.

"The average traveler runs 20 searches when planning a trip. Hello Hipmunk shrinks that process to one simple conversation. It can process tons of information from flight pricing to room availability and synthesize it instantly," said Adam Goldstein, CEO and co-founder of Hipmunk.

With its expanded functionality, Hello Hipmunk now answers questions from travelers earlier in the planning process, ultimately speeding along travel planning. Rather than just providing flight and accommodation options when asked about specific dates and destinations, Hello Hipmunk can give advice and recommendations to undecided travelers by responding to questions like "What's the best time to go to Cancun from Chicago?"

"Running multiple searches to get advice and research options is inefficient and, eventually, will be a thing of the past. Now Hello Hipmunk lets travelers ask questions from where they're already talking, and deliver the answers there, too," said Nancy Hang, Vice President of Product at Hipmunk. "We want to make it easy for people to type something like 'I'd like to take a beach vacation from Minneapolis in March' and see options instantly."

Here is how Hello Hipmunk is simplifying travel planning:

Advice and Research

  • Travelers can ask things like "Show me the best flights from JFK to San Diego" or "I'd like to take a romantic vacation from Seattle in September." Then, Hello Hipmunk taps into its large dataset of itineraries, room inventory, and pricing to provide contextually relevant advice instantly.

Preferences and Alerts

  • Travelers can tell Hello how they like to travel by using phrases such as "show me non-stops only" or "I prefer United Airlines" or "I'd like the cheapest flight." Travelers can also request to receive price alerts based on their inquiries.

Personalization and Context

  • Hello Hipmunk understands the context of the conversation, just like a real life personal assistant. For example, if a traveler types "I'd like to fly to Portland from Chicago next weekend," Hello Hipmunk knows the dates for next weekend, remembers that the traveler is flying to Portland, and can show hotels for those same dates, too.

"The proliferation of travel sites has made it harder, not easier, for customers to have confidence when booking. That's why AI is so powerful in travel. We're taking the nuances of customers' needs -- in their own words -- and doing all the hard work in the background, searching across all those sites instantly. And as with other innovations, the pioneers in travel are going to set the template for how to do it right in other categories," said Adam Goldstein.

Users can find Hello Hipmunk on Messenger here: www.m.me/hipmunk, and on Slack here: www.hipmunk.com/hello/slack. To use it via email or Google calendars, see here.

SEE A LIVE DEMO AND GET MORE INFO

Hipmunk will be showing how the new Hello Hipmunk works during a live demonstration today at 10:00 a.m. PDT via Facebook Live. To watch a video and get more details see here.

ABOUT HIPMUNK

Hipmunk is the fastest, easiest way to plan travel. The site and mobile apps help save time and money by comparing top travel sites to show the perfect flight or hotel at the lowest price. Hipmunk offers the most comprehensive travel search, from commercial flights, trains, and charter flights to hotels and vacation rentals through Airbnb. The unique display makes it easy to visually compare results to choose the best option. Try Hipmunk's new AI powered personal travel assistant, Hello Hipmunk, to get instant planning and booking recommendations by sending an email to hello@hipmunk.com.

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