Technology

The Google Flight Schedule App Now Uses Machine Learning To Predict Delays

Google Flight Schedule  Machine Learning
Image source: Google

The Google Flight schedule application has been updated with new features that should help travelers anticipate potential flight delays.

Google Flight Schedule

The new updates to the Google flight schedule capability leverages machine learning in order to predict potential delays, and the second feature gives users information about what amenities are included and which are omitted for travelers in the “basic economy” class.

Having the Google flight schedule information with new machine learning is probably the most notable of these two new features, and it will help weary travelers predict and plan their trip around potential delays and rescheduled flights. The Google flight schedule pulls off of historical data, according to Google, and takes into account factors such as location, weather, and aircrafts typically arriving late. Once the machine learning capability believes it has a prediction with at least 80% accuracy, it displays information in the search results when travelers look up their flight number, routes, or airlines.

The company does warn, however, that the Google flight schedule information should be taken with a grain of thought and caution rather than relied on totally for travel plans. While the machine learning capability is robust, looking at historical data isn’t often enough to give a 100% accurate picture. With an 80% accuracy, the Google flight schedule has a 1 in 5 chance of being wrong at its worst (assuming the information it gathered from turns out to be somewhat accurate.) However, with the Google flight schedule warnings, you’ll at least get a sense of a possible delay and be able to plan around it.

Flight Amenities

The second feature, as mentioned above, is the ability of the Google flight schedule app to inform users about the amenities (or lack thereof) on the basic tier of airline flights. In an effort to maximize profits, many airlines have been ditching amenities that were previously standard on the majority of flights. Sometimes information like baggage allowance, or even in-flight snacks, may be enough to warrant an upgrade to a higher class or even a decision to fly with another airline entirely. While not every airline is included with this feature of the Google flight schedule app, a handful of major airlines including Delta, American Airlines, and United Airlines will have information displayed regarding their most spartan class.

While in an ideal world we wouldn’t have a need for the features coming in the update to the Google flight schedule app, the fact remains that airline schedules are anything but perfect. By being able to somewhat reliably predict flight delays, the app offers users more control over their own schedules and the ability to prepare for potential late flights and layovers. The problem in the app comes with the lack of reliability, but 80% accuracy is a pretty good amount for the feature’s initial implementation. We anticipate that as time goes on, the Google Flights app will only become better at anticipating flight delays due to more historical data for the machine learning technology to pore over.