UK: Virgin Trains has launched a ‘skill’ for Amazon Alexa virtual assistants which enables passengers with disabilities to book assistance for their journey using simple voice commands.

The JourneyCare service usually requires users to fill in an online form or call a helpline after booking, which involves repeating information which had already been provided to make the booking. Alexa can remember this data, halving the time needed to make a request to an average of 2 min, according to Virgin Trains.

‘Using JourneyCare on the Virgin Trains skill for Alexa is a fantastic asset’, said Chris Tomson, a wheelchair user who took part in testing. ‘It does a great job of combining the two processes, making the whole experience much easier. It also comes in handy if I have any pain in my arms and I am unable to use a computer, phone or tablet to book my journey.’

Virgin Trains began selling ticket through Alexa in May 2018, using SilverRail’s booking engine and Amazon Pay.