We've all been there; we get to the airport well in advance, check our bags, [hopefully] sail through the security screening process, and arrive our gate only to find that the flight has been delayed at the last minute. Sometimes it's an annoyance, but other times a cascading level of delays can cause some major headaches for your travel plans. Google, however, it looking to add a little bit more clarity for frequent travelers when it comes to flight delays – and even predict them.
The company has updated its Flights app with new machine learning algorithms that to find common patterns that could cause a flight delay (mechanical failure, weather, location, etc). While airlines already send you a notification when your flight has been delayed, Google's AI can show the actual reason for a flight delay and even predict when a delay might occur.
According to Google, it can make these predictions even if the information isn't available from the airlines. The company goes on to say that it will only offer its predictions to passengers if it is at least 80 percent confident in its assessment.
Google goes on to say that this new improvement to the Flights app will help travelers to "manage expectations and prevent surprises."
Another feature that has been added to Flights is the ability to decipher what airlines mean with regards to amenities when they add new classes like "basic economy". Google explains that these low-cost fare types can be "great for people traveling on a budget, but it can be confusing to understand whether important options— like overhead bin space, ability to select your seat, and baggage fees— are included in the fare."
It's a nice added touch, but this particular feature is only available for American, Delta and United.