Air New Zealand Brings Airline’s “Chatbot” to U.S. Customers

The logo for "Oscar," Air New Zealand's
​​​​​"chatbot." // Photo courtesy of Air New Zealand 

Air New Zealand has announced that it is bringing "Oscar," the airline’s “chatbot,” to U.S. and Canadian customers.

Oscar was first piloted last year in the New Zealand and Australia markets to assist customers with frequently asked questions, saving them time and offering a more personalized experience. 

Just over a year on and Oscar’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology allows him to have more than 1,000 conversations each day and successfully answer 75 percent of questions asked – up from just seven percent on his first day.

“Artificial intelligence has not only given our customers another quick and convenient way for them to interact with us and get travel information, but Oscar has also freed up our customer service agents to focus on handling more complex queries,” said Avi Golan, Air New Zealand’s chief digital officer, in a written release. “Oscar has gone down well in 'Australasia' and we’re now excited to release him to North America. We’re hoping the Americans and Canadians find Oscar as useful as the Kiwis and Aussies have.”

In addition to assisting travelers Oscar can sing songs and tell jokes. Oscar’s full capabilities are available on the carrier’s website as well as on the Air New Zealand mobile app. 

Air New Zealand Upgrades Family-Friendly “Economy Skycouch”

Air New Zealand also recently announced that it has further developed its “Economy Skycouch,” introducing an infant harness and belt, allowing infants to remain lying down throughout the cruise phase of flight.  

Previously infants were required to be seated on a guardian’s lap when the seatbelt sign was on. A new infant pod also provides additional comfort and protection for the airline’s youngest Skycouch customers.

Aimed at parents and guardians traveling with infants, the Economy Skycouch, a row of three Economy seats that convert into a flat, flexible surface, was first introduced in 2011.


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