Google Flights has announced that ‘Basic Economy’ tickets will now be clearly marked, which is good news for anyone using the online flight booking service to compare prices.
Finding air fare deals online has become more difficult with the recent introduction of “basic economy” fares, with extras such as assigned seating not always indicated. Airlines such as Spirit, WOW Air, Norwegian and, latterly, Delta, American and United, have added all sorts of fees and fare classes, making the choice even more complex.
In response, search engines are coming to the aid of consumers by providing them with clearer information. Playing its part, and as reported by the website site Travel and Leisure, Google Flights has announced additional features that will display “basic economy” information for American, Delta, and United flights, such as whether the price includes baggage, overhead space, or the ability to pick a seat.
Flight searches made easier
Google Flights search results will now show “Basic Economy” flights. When selecting the fare users will see the cost of additional options, such as, for example, a $39 charge to “upgrade” to regular economy, which would include overhead storage space and a pre-assigned seat.
Though travellers will still have to make the final comparisons themselves, Google’s new option is a significant improvement when it comes to providing consumers with an easier choice. As the wait for the perfect comparison site continues, flight search engines such as Hopper are working to make the whole process simpler. Hopper last year introduced an option to exclude basic economy from low fare searches and alerts.
AI at the service of travellers
The new version of Google Flights does more than just help travellers find the best-priced tickets. Using artificial intelligence, it also offers information on flight delays, including their causes and predicted duration.
“Using historic flight status data, our machine learning algorithms can predict some delays even when this information isn’t available from airlines yet,” said Google Flights. “And delays are only flagged when we’re at least 80% confident in the prediction.”
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