Google Flights now knows if a plane is delayed perhaps even before the airlines do. It just got an update so that it can predict the flight delays and give its users access to information relating to real-time delays and changes.
“Using historic flight status data, our machine learning algorithms can predict some delays even when this information isn’t available from airlines yet."
Google says the updates mean that Google Flights will use machine learning algorithms in combination with Google’s database to predict flight delays and provide accurate information. Google describes the new feature saying, “Using historic flight status data, our machine learning algorithms can predict some delays even when this information isn’t available from airlines yet— and delays are only flagged when we’re at least 80% confident in the prediction. We still recommend getting to the airport with enough time to spare, but hope this information helps manage expectations and prevent surprises.”
Budget ticket offers revealed
The updates to Google Flights also means passengers can get a clear picture of what airlines actually offer at each fare price point.
This is a handy tool to help compare flight prices knowing that your cheap seat might not actually allow you any luggage. Most airlines are now offering budget seating using a number of different names, but often what you are actually entitled to with the seat price is confusing. Google Flights aims to make the differences between these budget travel options clear.
Google Flights looks set to become a player in the flight comparison tool market. Last month it added price tracking and deals to its options as well as offering the ability to search for hotels. If you have ever looked for a good flights deal online, it’s likely you’ve used a search comparison site like Skyscanner or Momondo. These sites work by aggregating available information and presenting the user with the best possible deal. However, they have their downsides, usually when airlines refuse to share their information with them or if their data scoop isn’t wide enough. Each site has its benefits and downsides depending on the type of travel you are doing and where you are based.
AI makes its mark on aviation industry
Google isn’t the only one using AI in the aviation industry. According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), airline passenger traffic is expected to double over the next two decades and big airlines are turning to AI technology to help them become more efficient and improve customer experience. Airlines are adopting AI in a range of technologies from customer service bots to facial recognition.
American Airlines hosts an annual hackathon designed to create new apps and services that help both customers and employees. Last years winning app, dubbed “Team Avatar,” reportedly allows users to determine the size of their luggage before arriving at the airport or at a kiosk. The yet to be released app also allows prepaying for any potential additional expenses associated with their luggage. The airline's dedication to hosting the hackathon shows their determination in using cutting-edge technology to stay ahead of their competitors.
What Google Flights' next update will include remains to be seen, but we can only hope the integration of AI into such activities as flying means the experience just gets better and better.