Singapore Airlines has become the latest airline to introduce an automated chatbot designed to provide customer assistance regarding pre-flight queries.

Named “Kris”, the new bot currently can be reached by going to the airline’s Facebook page and opening a private chat through Facebook Messenger. Singapore Airlines also has plans to roll out the bot to its website in future, though no date has been set.

At the moment, the artificially intelligent chatbot is only able to respond to queries in English regarding baggage, check-in, online booking and travelling with infants or children. Singapore Airlines used historical data regarding travellers most frequently searched queries on its website to inform the bot, which provides “conversational replies that can meet the needs of customers promptly and efficiently”, according to the airline.

While the bot is still technically in its beta phase, meaning development is ongoing, further expansion is expected, according to Marvin Tan, the airline’s senior vice president of customer services and operations.

“Kris will be under constant development as we further develop its knowledge library based on what our customers are most frequently reaching out to us for,” he said.

Numerous airlines have unveiled chatbots over the past few years, including British Airways, Qantas, Finnair and KLM, among others.

“Customer preferences are changing and with Kris we are taking feedback into account by expanding our servicing platforms beyond traditional contact centre and email channels,” added Tan.

Despite their growing ubiquity among airlines, chatbots still seem to remain somewhat mysterious to travellers. In a recent Business Traveller poll asking whether travellers had used a chatbot before, 50 per cent of respondents admitted they did not know what a chatbot was. Only 3 per cent of respondents had ever used one before.

Have you used an online chatbot to book a flight or get a response to a query? Let us know in the comments section below.