I disagree with your arguments regarding obtaining travel arrangements. It’s not true that self-serve is less costly. Quite the reverse — I can pay a visit to my local travel agency and they’ll most likely be able to offer me a cheaper deal than I’d be able to find on my own, using online resources. Travel agencies are able to do that because they have access to better resources than I have (promo deals, discounts on volume transactions, god knows what else).
So if that’s the case, why am I not doing precisely that instead of agonizing over the self-serve chores? The reason is simple — convenience. I intensely dislike dealing with agents of any kind. Not only do I have to interrupt my day and waste my time driving to their office and looking for affordable parking space, I can do it only within certain limited hours (they don’t operate 24/7).
Furthermore, their overall demeanour tends to irk me more often than not. Some of them are okay, but a lot of those agents grow jaded and abrasive being stuck in dead-end jobs like that. For that reason, having contact with agents tends to leave not only bad taste in my mouth, but often leaves me frustrated and vexed. Not a good overall experience.
To add to the non-flattering picture, a lot of people, including myself, are not fond of their garish sales tactics, cheesy advertising, offices that are at best eyesore; the list continues.
Instead, I’d rather spend time at home, hunting for travel deals, doing the dreaded self-serve, despite the fact that I know that I’ll be gauged by Expedia and other similar online services. That’s the price to pay for the convenience of doing things on my own time, from my own place.
Bots are going to change that because they’ll come equipped with all the knowhow of the best of the agents, plus they’ll be available around the clock, plus I won’t be expected to make a trip to their location.