Digital agency delivers industry first with chatbots for airport passengers

Glasgow International Airport

Stockport-based digital agency, KMP Digitata, has delivered a natural language processing (NLP) chatbot on multiple platforms for Scotland’s second busiest airport.

The bot, currently available via Amazon Alexa or Google Nest devices, is part of a wider strategy to deliver a world-class passenger experience within AGS group airports.

Key to the bot’s usefulness is the ability to deliver live information on specific departing and arriving flights at Glasgow International Airport.

In addition to this there are a range of other uses including querying live lost property information so travellers can be reunited more easily with items that have been misplaced at the airport, up to the minute security wait times and COVID-19-specific information to help ease passengers’ journeys through the airport.

Following KMP Digitata’s human-first approach to digital, each of the initial routes delivered through the chatbot are grounded in a deep understanding of passenger needs and behaviour.

The app has been delivered at pace by a cross-function team from AGS Airports and KMP Digitata working together to create, test, refine and release the app to the public to help welcome more travellers back to the airport as travel restrictions are eased.

This is the first application of its kind to be released by a UK airport for the Google Assistant platform and the first Alexa Skill for a UK airport that offers the user more than just live flight information.

It is part of a number of digital services and innovations that will help Glasgow Airport create a world-class digital experience for passengers.

The applications make use of a number of technologies, including Microsoft Azure Bot Service and Language Understanding (LUIS) and are integrated with content and data from the airport’s Umbraco content-managed website and other data feeds to help the user with accurate, real-time information.

In uncertain times, with many disruptions to travel plans and information changing all the time, it’s important to give users access to information they can count on in a format that is convenient for them to access.

As well as voice-controlled smart speaker devices, the application will soon be able to be accessed using text-based interfaces on Facebook Messenger, WeChat and through the airport website’s live chat.

KMP Digitata has been working with AGS Airports since December 2014 and has delivered multiple projects for Glasgow Airport and the two other airports in the group, Aberdeen and Southampton Airports.

Once usage data has been collected from the new NLP chatbot applications, this data will be used to make improvements and then expand the offering to both Aberdeen and Southampton.

Fraser Ralston, ecommerce and digital manager, AGS Airports, said: “I’m really pleased with the launch of this new chat bot service for Glasgow Airport. It incorporates some really nice functionality but importantly, it’ll help our passengers to have a better travel experience.

“Our ambition is to deliver a world-class, frictionless digital passenger experience and this project is yet another step towards achieving this.”

Simon Haven, KMP Digitata managing director, said: “What the team have delivered here is something exceptional – a deceptively simple, useful, cross platform chatbot that integrates with Umbraco content management system and is something which we hope will make a passenger’s journey through Glasgow Airport easier and stress free.

“I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved at such pace, and this is just the beginning.”