Now Google Assistant will warn you if your flight is going to be delayed

Google Assistant now alerts users when a flight is expected to be delayed.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Google Assistant will now tell you when it predicts your flight will likely be delayed, informing users even before airlines confirm the delays.   

The new flight delay prediction feature for Google Assistant comes ahead of this year's holiday season when flights are more likely to be delayed. 

Users can ask Google Assistant, "Hey Google, is my flight on time?" or ask questions about a specific flight, such as "What's the status of the American Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Denver?"

In the next few weeks, presumably before the Christmas break begins, Google Assistant will proactively notify users of predicted flight delays and the reason if it knows the answer. So users could expect to see a message along the lines of: "Due to a delayed incoming flight, there is a good chance that it'll be delayed by at least 30 minutes."

So, you might be still madly rushing to the airport or sitting there waiting for your flight anyway, but at least you'll know there's a good chance it will be announced as delayed.      

Google only sends a flight delay alert if it's 85 percent confident that the flight will be delayed. It uses historical flight status data and machine learning to predict airline confirmations. 

SEE: How we learned to talk to computers, and how they learned to answer back (cover story PDF)

The flight delay notifications first came to Google Flights in January, but it had a lower threshold of 80 percent certainty for triggering a warning. 

Google also updated Maps for the holiday season with travel guide information containing suggested things to do when traveling in a new city. To access the information, users need to swipe up on the Explore tab.    

And the company has added new flight and price trend data about upcoming holidays and school breaks to its "Getaway with Google" trip planning tool.    

When it comes to scouring the web for flight ticket prices, Google Flights will now explain what's included in a ticket's price, such as whether it includes carrying-on luggage. There's also a filter to see only prices with carry-on luggage. For domestic US flights, users can select a filter to include checked bag fees.     


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