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Flying home for Christmas? Google Assistant predicts delays before the airlines

The Google Assistant will soon pipe up when it believes your flight will be delayed, while travellers can also proactively ask the artificially-intelligent tool for an update.

The company’s flight delay predictions tool will now notify users on their phones if they can expect a longer wait at the airport, but can also say “Hey Google, is my flight on time” or “Hey Google, what’s the status of the American Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Denver?”

Google says when users search for their flight status, it is 85% confident delay predictions will eventually be borne out. The algorithms use historic flight status data, combined with machine learning techniques, enabling the firm to make predictions before the airline.

Front view of a black Epson TW9400 proojector standing on a white background

The company says it will take a few weeks for the proactive notifications to begin rolling out, but once they do, Assistant will also offer a reason why the flight may be delayed.

Users may see notifications explaining: “Due to a delayed incoming flight there is a good chance that it will be delayed by at least 30 minutes. You should still plan to be on time though.”

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The predictions only come through when Google’s algorithm is at least 80% confident, while the company isn’t in the business of telling people to delay their journey to the airport off the back of this information. The tool initially arrived back in January within Google Search itself, but the arrival within Assistant will make the flight delay predictions far more useful.

Google also touts some of its other travel-friends features in today’s blog post. Recently, Google has added a new Maps feature enabling users to swipe up on an explore tab at the bottom of the screen in order to get ideas of what to do. Today’s blog post also offers assistance with planning a much-needed holiday once the Christmas season is over.

Have you used Google’s flight delay predictions tools? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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