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EasyJet's voice search feature takes flight

Customers can now speak into their smartphone when searching for trip options

EasyJet has introduced a new feature to its app that will allow customers to search for flights using voice recognition technology.

The search feature uses AI and Dialogflow, Google Cloud's natural language understanding tool for building conversational experiences, to support voice-based flight queries about destinations, dates and airports.

While typing a search query takes 12 taps, EasyJet said that with the vocal steps in Speak Now it could reduce this process to a few seconds.

Daniel Young, head of digital experience at EasyJet said the airline was aiming to improve the travel experience, including making booking flights more accessible, "especially for those who are visually impaired, and Speak Now helps us achieve this objective."

"We continue to place innovation at the heart of our industry-leading mobile travel app to give our customers the tools they need to have a smooth experience booking flights with us. Embracing this latest technology makes preparing for travel, easy and fun," he said.

Cormac Reilly, VP & global head of Travel Partners Solutions, who developed the technology for EasyJet at Travelport, said that this would make booking travel "as easy as possible, giving EasyJet customers a helpful digital experience".

"Conversational voice search is a great example of how we're using the latest technologies, including AI and Google Cloud's Dialogflow, to make the experience of buying and managing travel continually better for everyone," he added.

The voice search functionality will be available in English on iOS and follows other advances developed by the airline including a visual search tool using Instagram images (Look&Book), and a cabin bag-sizer tool, which includes augmented reality technology to enable passengers to check the size of their hand-luggage before heading to the airport.

The Speak Now feature will be launched on EasyJet's app in the coming weeks.

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