Virgin Australia has announced it will be the first airline outside of North America to launch voice check-in with Alexa.
From next week those that have linked their Virgin Velocity Frequent Flier membership will be able to say “Alexa, ask Virgin Australia to check me in.” Their boarding pass will then be sent to their nominated mobile phone number. Passengers will also be able to obtain their flight departure time, Velocity number, flight number and booking reference all through Alexa.
Virgin Australia Chief Information Officer, Cameron Stone said: “Since Amazon Echo and Alexa-enabled devices launched in Australia, Virgin Australia has been exploring new ways to make it easier for our customers to travel with us through emerging technology.
“Allowing our passengers to check-in for their flight with Amazon Alexa is a very exciting addition to our existing skill in the Alexa Skills Store. Using technology to streamline the customer journey is a huge priority for us and we look forward to announcing some new initiatives in this space in the near future.”
— Suzan Delibasic (@suzandelibasic) October 5, 2018
Privacy experts have some concerns, however. Professor Leon Stirling, an artificial intelligence expert at Swinburne Univerity told The New Daily that technologies such as this make it easier for people, but there should be a debate on how the information is shared.
Dr Belinda Barnet, media and communications lecturer at Swinburne University also told The New Daily that she had strong concerns about data sharing. She said, “I want to know if Amazon has made a deal with Virgin Australia to share customer details,” and if so consent would need to be given by passengers.