I used to be solely with my journey agent for a couple of minutes earlier than I acquired an in depth itinerary for my upcoming trip to New York Metropolis. The schedule included not solely prompt actions throughout a mid-September weekend, equivalent to a stroll in Central Park and a go to to the Empire State Constructing, but in addition included flight instances from Nashville, Tennessee, the place I dwell.
“Can you help me book those flights?” I requested
“I’m sorry, but as an AI language model, I do not have the ability to book flights for you,” replied ChatGPT, a man-made intelligence pc program from OpenAI.
I used to be utilizing the time period “travel agent” loosely.
What’s ChatGPT?:All it is advisable find out about OpenAI’s free AI essay author and the way it works
be taught extra: best travel insurance
ChatGPT Takes on Actual Property:Brokers say AI may very well be a recreation changer within the trade
This was the primary of many obstacles I encountered throughout an experiment to see if I might use ChatGPT as a journey agent for a theoretical trip better than a human counterpart. This is what I realized:
ChatGPT’s journey planning capabilities are presently restricted
I began by asking ChatGPT about the most effective time to go to New York. I’ve lived there, so I could make that decision for myself, however I needed to verify its suggestions in opposition to my very own reminiscences of sweaty summer season subway rides and snowy winter strolls.
The schedule took under consideration a handful of seasonal components to contemplate, together with climate, crowds, and actions. Based mostly on these, I am leaning towards spring or fall, when ChatGPT stated there will likely be “mild temperatures, colorful leaves, and lots of outdoor activities.”
I selected a free weekend from September 15 to 17 — simply earlier than the official begin of fall — and requested what schedules: “Can you help me plan a trip from Nashville to New York City September 15-17?”
The itinerary it generated was thorough and diversified — full with a advice to “catch a Broadway show” and stroll throughout the Brooklyn Bridge — however its incapacity to assist me e-book flights to get there was irritating.
Nonetheless, this system empowered me to e-book by them myself by offering ideas for third-party reserving web sites.
OpenAI said last month It is going to additionally present entry to numerous plug-ins, together with third-party reserving websites Expedia and Kayak, “to study their real-world use, impact, and security and alignment challenges.”
Expedia Group tweeted a video It exhibits the consumer looking for flights by way of ChatGPT and the plug-in, which offers the choice to share the hyperlink to e-book on Expedia, amongst different options, as earlier than.
“While we will initially prioritize a small number of developers and ChatGPT Plus users, we plan to scale up access over time,” OpenAI stated in a weblog put up. (I used to be utilizing the free model of this system).
Once I requested which airline I ought to select, ChatGPT listed airways that fly nonstop between Nashville and New York.
Feeling like a comfort of types, ChatGPT additionally volunteered ideas. “When choosing an airline, you may want to consider factors such as ticket price, departure and arrival times, airline rewards programs and any additional fees or charges,” this system stated. “You may also want to read reviews from other travelers to get an idea of their experiences with each airline.”
I had the identical challenge after I tried to e-book a resort by this system, nevertheless ChatGPT equally advisable a number of motels, saying they’re “conveniently located and offer good value for your money, and sites to book them.
A travel agent had more resources than ChatGPT
As I navigate my way through an automated customer service phone menu after consulting ChatGPT, I found myself wondering what a real person would have to say.
I sent my travel dates to Geoffrey Millstone, owner of Clarksburg Travel Service, along with a few parameters: I asked for a nice but reasonable hotel in a convenient location and asked for suggestions for activities during my weekend in the Big Apple.
They sent me an itinerary with specific flights, a room at the Hyatt Grand Central New York Hotel — they chose it because it offered a good deal that met my criteria — and pricing information, totaling just over $1,240. For.
‘Not expecting much from economy class passengers’:Airline travelers prepare for major summer woes
They chose an early flight and a late flight to “maximize” my time there, and nonstop service to avoid disruptions.
Millstone said, “If the value is shut, and I’ve a nonstop flight, versus altering planes with at this time’s state of flights, I all the time go for the nonstop.”
Many of Millstone’s recommendations were also rooted in personal experiences, such as grabbing a corned beef or pastrami sandwich from a local deli in Manhattan—he gets half and half when he goes.
His other suggestions included a hop-on, hop-off bus tour, which he and his wife have used, and a carriage ride through Central Park. Conversations flowed more naturally than with an AI program (believe it or not), and they offered a streamlined way to make bookings as well as pass on a breadth of New York knowledge that ChatGPT might not have. Was.
Can I use ChatGPT as a travel agent?
If I was simply looking for advice on what to do and suggested ways to do it, ChatGPT served me well as an advisor while I considered my options. But based on my experience with the current iteration of the free program, a flesh-and-blood consultant may provide a more full-service experience with a travel agent who will not only make recommendations but also book my travel.
Nathan Diller is a consumer travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Nashville. You can contact him at [email protected].