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Kayak hack lets you search for flights and hotels within Slack messages

Want to quickly search for a flight or hotel? If you’re Slack user, you and your collaborators can now search through Kayak’s listings from within a Slack box, simply by typing /kayak and the search details.

The Slack hack is useful if you’re planning a business trip with colleagues, for example. The concept is similar to the virtual travel assistant Hipmunk introduced late last year, where including Hipmunk’s A.I. software can help with travel planning simply by including it in an email conversation. After installing the Kayak app in Slack, in a Slack message, you can type, for example, “find me a flight between New York and London from Monday to Friday,” and Kayak will aggregate all its available data within a few seconds. You can search by using natural language, instead of specific search terminology. The process is like finding a GIF on Giphy, simply by typing /giphy and keyword.

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According to Kayak, the Slack tool is another way the company is experimenting with chat-based search support. Last December the travel site introduced Kayak Snap, a text-based service that lets you search via text messaging (SMS). To use Snap, a user simply had to send a query to KAYAK (52925) and interact with the A.I. in narrowing down travel options. The technologies come at a time when former Kayak founder, Paul English, and other Kayak engineers have launched Lola Travel app, which relies on actual human travel agents to plan itineraries in real-time.