Google is rolling out a few new features to its Google Flights search engine to help travellers tackle some of the more frustrating aspects of air travel – delays and the complexities of the cheaper, Basic Economy fares. With the regard to delays, Google Flights won’t just be pulling in information from the airlines directly, however – it will take advantage of its understanding of historical data and its machine learning algorithms to predict delays that haven’t yet been flagged by airlines themselves.
Explains Google, the combination of data and A.I. technologies means it can predict some delays in advance of any sort of official confirmation. Google says that it won’t actually flag these in the app until it’s at least 80 percent confident in the prediction, though. (Of course, you should still get to the airport on time, but at least you’ll know what you’re about to face once there.)
It will also provide reasons for the delays, like weather or an aircraft arriving late. You can track the status of your flight by searching for your flight number or the airline and flight route, notes Google. The delay information will then appear in the search results. The other new feature added today aims to help travellers make sense of what Basic Economy fares include and exclude with their ticket price. These low-cost fares are often the only option for travellers on a budget, but they have a number of restrictions that can vary by airline.