EasyJet Holidays rolls out AI platform as bookings fly

easyjet2EasyJet Holidays is aiming to tap into Brits’ pent-up desire to get away from it all by implementing AI technology to deliver an enhanced personalised digital experience to its customers following a pilot which saw the firm achieve a 600:1 return on investment from the AI platform.

The standalone brand within the EasyJet Group was launched in 2019 and operates its own in-house team and standalone website, offering deals for contracted hotels in over 100 destinations.

As part of a strategy to enhance its website performance, the division briefed Frankfurt-based AI data specialist bd4travel to trial its personalisation technology. The results included a 5% higher click rate and uplifted booking revenue, resulting in an ROI of over 600:1.

The technology works by providing personalised recommendations based on real-time user data, combined with machine learning based on previous user experiences as well as over 800 ‘experience signals’ and intent classifications.

The platform enables EasyJet Holidays’ digital team to drill into all aspects of the search and booking journey to better understand customers and provide the most relevant and engaging holiday recommendations. Customers are presented with relevant holiday choices, matched to their needs and desires.

The two companies are now exploring the wider use of personalised holiday recommendations and content in other areas of the site, as well as further customer touchpoints.

The main EasyJet brand has been using AI technology since 2016, from managing its flights schedule to boosting its new Flight Club loyalty programme, as well as analysing the millions of searches on its website.

EasyJet Holidays director of digital Ian Chambers said: “Our digital team takes an agile approach to deployment, continually testing and revising the presentation of content and offers. Being data driven helps us optimise the online experience for our customers, and bd4travel’s technology allows us to react in real-time to individual users. The ability to reflect individualism and tailor content to each user is key in a competitive market place.”

Founded in 2013 by former Amadeus colleagues, bd4travel also works for the Emirates Group, Hilton Hotels, HolidayCheck, Expedia, TUI, TravelRepublic and Europcar. In December 2018, dnata – part of the Emirates Group – acquired a majority stake in the business.

bd4travel chief executive Andy Owen-Jones added: “The trial period proved to how easily our technology lets EasyJet display the right holiday to the right user at the right time. It’s not about averages or personas or segments, but individuals. Our technology drives relevant product displays in real-time, optimising the customer’s online experience and providing increased engagement and more bookings for online travel companies.”

Last month, EasyJet revealed that bookings for this summer with its holidays arm are up 250% on last year. However, in light of the latest Covid travel ban, EasyJet has also launched a “protection promise”, allowing customers to change their booking if their plans change.

This includes a refund guarantee for flights or holidays if they are cancelled, plus a full refund for holidays if a customer changes their mind up to 28 days before. With the travel ban protection, customers can also receive a refund for non-cancelled flights if plans are impacted by travel bans in a regional or national lockdown, the company insists.

All holidays are covered under EasyJet Holidays’ Covid commitments if holidays cannot go ahead or are impacted by restrictions.

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