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Facebook emojis might soon help you find your next travel destination
Mon, 20th Jun 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

It might just be possible to use Facebook Messenger, emoji searches weather and currency exchange search requests to help you book your next flight.

Cheapflights has launched Cheapflights Chat, which is an interactive bot that allows you to search for flights and then book them through the website. The bot uses APIs from the company and partner websites to quickly analyse language and gather the right deals for searchers.

Users can open a Facebook Messenger chat to Cheapflights and to start the conversations. The chat will ask where they want to go and provide flight details from thousands of global airlines, OTAs and travel partners.

Messenger users get all the standard search parameters like average cheapest return flights, one-way or return flights for certain dates and hotels within a certain price.

If users are browsing for travel locations, the "Inspire Me" function will show average cheapest return flights to places beyond what they might normally consider.

The bot will offer human responses, so if you want to see what words you can get away with - or if you want to test the bot's knowledge in a variety of areas, the bot will apparently have an answer.

Nielsen research says Messenger was 2015's fastest growing mobile app, with new development kits helping creators embrace 'The Great Bot Rush'.

“They can talk to us in the same way they'd talk to friends in Messenger, and will receive ‘human' replies. For example, as well as straightforward flight search, they will soon be able to ask Cheapflights Chat questions about travel like 'Where's hot right now?' and it will suggest some flights to a destination where the weather is warm. Or 'What is the currency in Thailand?', 'What's £5.50 in Euros?' and they'll receive an accurate conversion in reply. They'll even be able to use emoji, just like they might do when in Messenger talking to friends," says Nathan Graham, regional sales manager ANZ at Cheapflights.