It’s been a little over a year since we first launched our skill for Amazon Alexa. And now, we’re back at it again. Where previously you could ask Alexa to search for flights, hotels and rental cars via KAYAK – now, you can ask her to have KAYAK book you a hotel room using only your voice on your Alexa device.
We continue to see incredible potential in NLP (natural language processing), specifically voice-search, as a tool for travelers to both plan and manage their trip. In combining our love for Alexa with what we’ve already learned from launching the KAYAK skill, we decided that this was an awesome platform to take voice-enabled travel search to the next level.
To check it out, just sync or create a free KAYAK account, enable the KAYAK skill in the Alexa app, and link your account. Once your account is linked with Alexa, you can say things like:
“Alexa, ask KAYAK to book me a hotel room in Boston.” (We hear Cambridge is lovely this time of year.)
Alexa will give you a bookable option* and use your KAYAK account to confirm the reservation. Easy peasy.
“Just a minute,” you say, “I thought KAYAK was a travel search engine and not an online travel agency. How can you sell me a hotel room?”
Glad you asked.
While we are hooking you up with a seamless booking experience via Alexa, the actual booking transaction takes place with one of our partners (right now the Alexa-bookable inventory comes from our sister companies Booking.com and Priceline.com). They’ll be the ones to process your payment and handle customer service. You’ll see this clearly stated on your emailed booking confirmation.
But wait, there’s more.
When we dig into these projects, it’s hard to just stop there. Some other exciting updates to our skill are available to users who link their KAYAK account with Alexa:
- “Alexa, ask KAYAK, when is my next trip?”
- “Alexa, ask KAYAK, when is my next flight?”
- Search by flight cabin class: “Alexa, ask KAYAK how much is a business class ticket to…”
- Set up a Price Alert to track flight prices “Alexa, ask KAYAK how much is a flight to Miami next week” and Alexa will respond asking if you’d like to create a Price Alert
PS – you may soon be able to book a hotel using your Echo Show, stay tuned on that front.