Lonely Planet Writer

Icelandair launches Facebook Messenger flight booking facility

Icelandair has clicked into the tech-savvy era by allowing flight booking on Facebook Messenger.

Icelandair has commenced using Facebook Messenger as a way of booking tickets this week
Icelandair has commenced using Facebook Messenger as a way of booking tickets this week Image by Oliver Halbauer / CC BY 2.0

The unique experiment by the airline seeks to facilitate passengers who increasingly do business on mobile devices.

According to Skift, Dutch carrier KLM has already opened the way for passengers to access boarding passes via their Messenger app.

However, Icelandair says it is the first airline that allows booking on the Facebook Messenger platform.

It introduced the new feature this week and though it’s not yet a slick process, Icelandair is confident that it will be a major success.

Their new approach is part of a growing gravitation within the travel industry towards messenger-compatible programme developments.

CheapFlights, Hyatt Hotel, Kayak and Expedia have concentrated on opening up more business tentacles through Messenger.

It ranges from the processing of bookings to simply replying to queries from potential customers.

Icelandair’s director of marketing and business development, Guðmundur Óskarsson, said it was his company’s way of directing services, including bookings, to places used by their customers.

He explained in an email that with their passengers using mobile devices more and more, it was a natural progression to open up business in these new channels.

However, it is not yet a straight forward process as customers have to initially message @icelandair. The carrier then checks to see if the messenger wants a one-way or round-trip fare.

There follows a number of queries regarding when and where the chosen destination is. The user must reply to each individual question with an exact format. If there is a breakdown, a customer can seek help from customer service but that can take some time.

Óskarsson accepts that it is not totally customer friendly yet but points out that they are on a pioneering excursion. And he promises that:“it’s going to get better.”