Google Flights app may find best travel deals

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE - -AP

SAN FRAN­CISCO: Google wants peo­ple to use its browser-based flight search and book­ing tool, called Flights, on their smart­phones more of­ten. The com­pany has in­te­grated other ho­tel book­ing op­tions in Flights and has in­cor­po­rated AI (ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence) to de­liver smarter sug­ges­tions to users. Flights is not a sep­a­rate app, but is built into the Chrome and Google apps for An­droid and iOS and can be ac­cessed by typ­ing "flights" in the search bar. It al­lows users to search, com­pare prices and book flight tick­ets.

To help users get the best prices, Flights is turn­ing to AI. Ac­cord­ing to Google, it will use ma­chine learn­ing and sta­tis­ti­cal anal­y­sis of his­tor­i­cal flights data to sug­gest the best dates in the year to book tick­ets to the same des­ti­na­tion. So if you are book­ing tick­ets to Dubai, Flights will pro­vide a com­ment on how ex­pen­sive or cheap the tick­ets are at that point com­pared to the usual prices. If the prices for a par­tic­u­lar des­ti­na­tion are un­likely to vary, it will tell users that wait­ing won't help and they can book the ticket when­ever they like. It picks the prices di­rectly from the air­line com­pa­nies.

Google now pro­vides users the op­tion to check out ho­tels from the Flights sec­tion. So if users are search­ing for flights to a par­tic­u­lar des­ti­na­tion and want to book a ho­tel im­me­di­ately, they can click on the Ho­tels sec­tion at the top of the page. Users won't have to en­ter the travel dates and des­ti­na­tion again, as the ho­tels sec­tion will au­to­mat­i­cally uti­lize the data en­tered in Flights to show avail­able ho­tels with their prices. The fea­ture also works the other way round, so if users are look­ing for ho­tels, they can ac­cess the flight op­tions form from the same page.

Flights will now pro­vide travel sug­ges­tions to users in the 'More Des­ti­na­tions' page. It will help them ex­plore week­end get­aways closer to their ex­ist­ing lo­ca­tion. The 'Your Trips' sec­tion will show all up­com­ing and past travel book­ings made by users on Flights or which in­volves Gmail.

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