Many of us will be taking flights in the coming days and weeks, whether across the country to visit family and friends, or to far-flung places for a complete change of scenery.
The trouble is, the extra pressure on the airlines’ busy schedules, coupled with the possibility of lousy weather, means some of those flights could face delays.
With that in mind, you might like to know that Google Assistant now welcomes your inquiries about any upcoming flight, making it easier than ever to get a quick update on its status.
Up until now, you had to hit Google Flights on the web or fire up an app to obtain the same information, but Google’s digital assistant is now happy to help.
“You can ask things like, ‘Hey Google, is my flight on time?’ or ‘Hey Google, what’s the status of the American Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Denver?'” Google’s Richard Holden wrote in a blog post outlining the new feature.
Even better, in the coming weeks, Google Assistant will soon have the smarts to alert you about a delay before you even ask. Using historical flight status data and machine learning, the service claims it can predict a flight delay before it’s been officially confirmed, giving you more time to restore some order to your disrupted day.
Holden said that Google Assistant will issue an alert when it’s at least “85 percent confident that the flight will eventually be delayed.” While you’d still want to wait for official confirmation, the forecast will at least serve as a warning of a potential problem regarding your trip schedule.
All in all, it should be a useful addition to Google Assistant, though at the same time it’s one feature that hopefully will never interrupt your day.
In other holiday-related updates, Google Maps recently added new information for folks looking for things to do during city breaks. You can find it by bringing up your location on Maps and then swiping up on the Explore tab at the bottom of the screen.