"Alexa, how delayed is my flight?" Heathrow's now using Amazon Echo to provide live arrival and departure updates

Rebecca Smith
The airport has developed an Alexa skill to provide live flight information
The airport has developed an Alexa skill to provide live flight information (Source: Heathrow)

Amazon Echo devices can already tell your child a bedroom story, and even answer any questions you have regarding insurance. Now Heathrow's using Alexa to offer flight information.

The airport has teamed up with The Voyage Team, a Piksel Company, to launch a new Amazon Alexa "skill" for the voice-activated speakers, which can give Heathrow customers in the UK the chance to ask for live status information, gate updates, and details on arrivals and departures.

To ask Alexa for information, people are told to say "flight" followed by the flight number, and will then be given the details, with Alexa providing the most recent status update for your flight.

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Amazon's cloud-based "intelligent personal assistant" Alexa can be used through Amazon's Echo devices. The various skills on offer can be found through the Amazon Alexa app, and enabled through there.

Heathrow said the project was easier said than done though, as it had to provide users of Alexa devices with access to information on around 1,300 aircraft movements a day, and the new skill needed to understand questions relating to numerous airlines.

The skill uses data within Heathrow's own flight information data hub, which compiles all flight schedule information. The airport said passengers can now use Alexa alongside its site and mobile app to access updated flight information throughout the day.

Stephen Glenfield, senior digital manager at Heathrow, said: “Delivering detailed flight information directly to customers within their homes is another fantastic milestone in improving our digital experience. Launching the first airport-specific Alexa skill in the UK ensures easy access to the latest flight information, helping passengers to plan their journey more effectively and improve their experience from start to finish.”

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