WhatsApp to facilitate bookings for Spirit

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Examples of screen grabs from a WhatsApp-Spirit conversation.
Examples of screen grabs from a WhatsApp-Spirit conversation.

LAS VEGAS -- Spirit customers will be able to book flights via WhatsApp beginning next month.

The new solution, which will be powered by the technology company LivePerson, will also enable flyers to do everything from get travel updates to add a bag to their reservation.

"We launched this service to better connect with our guests, both domestically and abroad, as many have told us they would rather communicate on a familiar and convenient service like WhatsApp," Bobby Schroeter, the airline's vice president and marketing and sales, said in a prepared statement Monday.

The carrier's CEO, Ted Christie, also revealed the new solution during the International Aviation Forecast Summit in Las Vegas Monday morning.

The solution features an artificial intelligence-powered bot, but also allows users to communicate with a live agent at any time they choose.

In an example conversation provided by Spirit, the bot starts the conversation by asking the user whether he or she needs help with baggage, an existing reservation, a new booking, flight information, special needs or some other general question. When the customer chooses the new booking option, the bot obtains introductory information, such as where and when the individual wants to travel. Then, when the time comes to complete the booking, a live agent joins the call.

The tool will be available in English as well as Spanish.

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