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Virgin Trains becomes the first travel company in the world to sell tickets through Amazon Alexa

Posted: 3rd May 2018
  • From today, customers with an Amazon Echo device can book Virgin Trains Advance Single tickets via Alexa using the Amazon Pay service
  • Anyone called Alexa travelling on Virgin Trains West Coast routes between 3rd May – 15th June 2018 will also receive a free First Class upgrade

In a global first, Virgin Trains today becomes the first travel operator worldwide to sell tickets through Amazon Alexa. With the launch of this innovative collaboration, customers can now book Virgin Trains Advance Single tickets using just their voice, via Alexa-enabled Amazon devices, including Amazon Echo.


The new functionality enables users to book tickets with Alexa using Amazon Pay in one simple voice-based transaction, making Virgin Trains the first travel company in the world to sell tickets this way. The launch follows the unveiling of the Virgin Trains skill for Amazon Alexa in November last year, which allows customers to enquire about rail information by asking Alexa.

To mark this moment, Virgin Trains on the West Coast is offering free First Class upgrades to any passengers named Alexa travelling on their routes between 3rd May- 15th June 2018.

The skill for Alexa is part of Virgin Trains’ ambition to work in a digital railway and is one of a range of innovations introduced to increase customer satisfaction before and after journeys, as well as on board. This includes industry firsts such as mobile ticketing, automatic compensation for delays3and free on-demand entertainment app BEAM. The Virgin Trains skill for Amazon Alexa is part of a host of digital projects that will offer Virgin Trains passengers the most innovative and forward-looking customer experience, whilst providing a comfortable and smooth journey from beginning to end.

John Sullivan, Virgin Trains CIO said: “We’re very excited to be the first travel company in the world to sell tickets for both Virgin Trains on the East Coast and West Coast through Amazon Alexa; it’s just another example of Virgin Trains leading the way in digital innovation within the rail industry. From finding train times online, to arriving at your destination, we want to make every journey with Virgin Trains amazing, and our collaboration with Amazon is a great example of this commitment to putting the customer first.”

“We’re thrilled to work with Virgin Trains to offer customers a completely new way to buy train tickets,” said Giulio Montemagno, Director, Amazon Pay EU. “With Alexa and Amazon Pay, Virgin Trains customers can now search, select and buy train tickets entirely through voice. This is a first-of-a-kind service that will make it easier than ever to find and book the ticket you want, even when you’re busy doing something else—all you need to do is ask Alexa.”

To celebrate this launch, Facebook fans of Virgin Trains on the West Coast will be in with a chance to bag themselves an Amazon Echo device4. From 3rd to 5th May, Virgin Trains will be sending Alexa to a range of destinations along the West Coast route; fans will be challenged to guess the destination from a series of clues, which will be revealed in three Facebook videos.

Both East Coast and West Coast customers who book train travel via the Virgin Trains skill for Amazon Echo between 3rd May and 23rd May will also be entered into a prize draw to win an all-inclusive Virgin Holiday for four in Antigua.

Customers can book East and West Coast Advance Single tickets on the Virgin Trains skill for Amazon Alexa. Examples fares include:

  • London – Edinburgh £42
  • London – York £29
  • London-Birmingham £11
  • London-Manchester £27

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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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