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Google Assistant will now let you know if your flight might be delayed

This is all possible thanks to Google Flights and machine learning.

Man standing at airport looking at travel directions
Image: Unsplash

It’s the holidays again which means snow, omnipresent Christmas songs, and a couple of weeks off school for your kids.

For millions of you, that also means a chance to escape the cold for warmer weather. Flying is stressful enough at the best of times, never mind during one of the busiest parts of the year. Google can’t get you to the airport on time, yet, but thanks to a new update to Google Assistant, it can tell you if your flight is likely to be delayed or not.

How it works

Google’s already been predicting flight delays since January, in its Google Flights app. Now, that same function is coming to Google Assistant, so fliers can simply ask “Hey Google, is my flight on time?” and the Assistant will search your inbox for your flight details, check on existing delays, and also predict if there will be a delay or not.

The machine learning behind it all takes historical data from all the flights worldwide and works out if a given flight is likely to be on time or not. If Google is 85% certain that your flight will have a delay, it’ll let you know.

You will not even need to search soon, as an update for the Assistant will proactively let you know if Google thinks your flight will be delayed.

This could be an improvement on previous systems

This might give Google a leg up against its rivals. Apple will send push notifications to the user if a digital boarding pass is in their Wallet, but only for existing delays. Most airlines also have their own apps to notify users, or they can email, SMS or call to let you know of the delays.

Google takes this one step further with predicting those delays, so you don’t have to keep refreshing services like FlightAware to check if your plane has landed yet.

What do you think? Will this update be beneficial to you? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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