Google Launches AI That Can Predict Whether Your Flight Will Be Delayed

James Felton

James Felton

Senior Staff Writer

clockFeb 1 2018, 13:17 UTC

Flight delays are always pretty irritating. One of the most annoying aspects is showing up at the airport, blissfully unaware of the delay that's about to hit you, and looking up at the board to find you aren't going to Magaluf for at least another three hours.

If only there was some way you could mentally prepare yourself for the disappointment. Well, now there is, thanks to machine-learning artificial intelligence (AI).


Google has launched a new feature on its site, which it says can predict flight delays with over 80 percent accuracy, long before the airlines let anyone know.

Artificial intelligence that can predict how bored you're likely to get at the airport on a scale from "security is taking a while" to "brace yourself, your flight is delayed for four hours". Google Flights

The tool is available on the website Google Flights, as well as on Google's Flights app. All you need to do is put in your flight number and it will tell you in the search results whether a delay is likely, and how long the delay is likely to be. It has already launched, and you can start using it right away.

So how does it work? It uses machine-learning algorithms to analyze historical flight status data. It also looks at weather patterns, other aircraft arriving late into the airport, and various other factors that might cause delays to your journey.


Once it is 80 percent sure that your flight will be delayed, that information will appear in your search results, along with a prediction of how delayed your flight will be. It'll share the reasons for those delays too, before the airline has even reported a delay.

However, there is a bit of a downside to the predictions.

"We still recommend getting to the airport with enough time to spare, but hope this information can manage expectations and prevent surprises," Google wrote in a blog post.


So you may know that your flight is going to be delayed thanks to futuristic machine-learning artificial intelligence, but you still have to show up to the airport and wait for your delayed plane like you're living in the days of the Wright brothers.

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