WestJet expands its voice services

The airline is bringing its Juliet digital assistant to Google devices to help customers manage their travel journey.

WestJet is giving passengers more options to use conversational technology during their travels, bring its capabilities to Google devices.

The airline’s digital assistant, called Juliet, is now available on any device that is enabled with Google Assistant, such as Google Home speakers and mobile devices.

WestJet first launched Juliet last year on Facebook Messenger. While the Messenger version includes features geared toward helping customers choose their next travel destination, the Google Assistant version is more focused on those who have already booked; users can ask about the status of their flight, traveling with pets, required documents and options for changing a flight, as well as tools to determine any baggage fees or if a bag should be checked.

Alfredo C. Tan, WestJet’s chief digital and innovation officer, says WestJet has been focused on finding ways to make interacting with the airline more convenient during travel, echoing something he previously told strategy about its approach to using technology to address customer pain points. Not all of those solutions have been AI-powered, such as a smart nightlight developed with agency partner Rethink that used flight data to help people track a family member’s journey.

As Juliet utilizes AI, it will continue to improve the more it is used, with Tan saying it will add more personalized abilities to Juliet and expand it to more platforms in the future.

WestJet says it chose Google Assistant for the next platform based on user data and consumer research. Unlike other markets, Google Home devices have more penetration in Canada than Amazon Alexa, helped by a smaller price point and launching here six months earlier. Google Assistant also benefits from being available on connected devices like smart TVs, as well as Android and – as of this time last year – iOS mobile devices.