Google Flights Just Made Finding Cheap Airfare Way Less Frustrating
Trying to find cheap airfare sucks: After sorting through a million options on 20 different airlines, it still feels like you're betting hard-earned cash on literal luck and really good timing. This will help: Google is releasing a new tool to help you more accurately compare fares on Google Flights.
The new feature addresses the confusing pricing of "basic economy" tickets. Basic economy, which has popped up in airlines ranging from Norwegian to United, is that new-ish classification that makes airfare seem inexpensive, but then tacks on fees for carry-on bags, checked bags, and seat selection, making it not so inexpensive in the end.
Now, Google Flights will highlight which prices are "basic economy" on flights with American, Delta, and United, and it will show what the prices jump to once the fees are included. By giving you the advantage of transparency when you're comparing prices across multiple airlines, it makes airfare shopping feel less like a gamble.
Google Flights rolled out a second feature as well that predicts delays in air traffic, sometimes before the airline does. By using historical data, it will alert you if it is 80 percent confident your flight will be delayed, so you don't show up to an annoying surprise at the airport—and a five-hour delay you could've waited out at home.
So when you're in the mood to start shopping for your much-needed summer getaway, let an algorithm be your travel planner. It can hack the system far better than you.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.