In an effort to help its users truly understand what they’re getting when they book a flight, Google has added a couple of updates to their Google Flight app that are aimed at saving airline customers money.
After airlines like Delta and United started offering budget fares with surprise hidden fees, customers started pushing back and voicing their displeasure. “What’s the point?”, reasonable airline customers asked, if we’re being hit with hidden fees that dramatically raise the price of our tickets?
Or maybe you’ve purchased a basic economy ticket from United, Delta, or American and been surprised by a hidden carry-on baggage fee when you presented your bags to check-in personnel at the airport.
Google is hoping that their update to Google Flights will eliminate the hidden fee-related confusion for prospective airline customers who are searching for the perfect fare through their popular Flights application.
More specifically, Google Flights now tells you exactly what amenities are included — and what things aren’t included — when you buy a ticket from American Airlines, United, or Delta.
For example, if you’re thinking about buying United’s Basic Economy fare, you’ll know before you buy your ticket that you cannot select your in-flight seat, or that you’ll have to pay extra if your carry-on baggage exceeds a certain weight.
Learn About Cancellations and Delays Beforehand
There’s nothing worse than arriving a few hours early for your cross-country flight only to find out that your trip has been delayed or cancelled. Maybe you spent several hours driving to get to the airport nearest your home, and now you have to find expensive overnight accommodation because of a flight cancellation. Similarly, you might be traveling with young children and now you have to find ways to keep them occupied or entertained for a few hours until your delayed flight is ready for takeoff.
Thankfully, Google Flights will now send a text alert or an e-mail directly to your phone the exact moment an airline announces a delay or cancellation. Google Flights will also tell you based on the weather forecast or flight conditions whether or not your flight is likely to be delayed.
A spokesperson for Google Flights indicated that Google will only send these delay predictions to their customers when their computer algorithms are 80% certain that a delay may occur.