How Google Is The Biggest Competitor For All Airlines

When you think of booking a flight where do you turn to? For me, the answer is almost always Google Flights. Nowadays, travelling is as simple as putting in an origin and a destination. Google Flights will even go as far as telling you which dates are cheapest for your search. In a day and age where passengers are required to do extensive research to get from A-B, Google is instead trying to completely simplify the process.

How It Works

The process is really quite simple. You only need to type your origin and destination into google, and then the website does all of the rest. Let’s take London to Bangkok as an example. A quick search shows us that flights are available for as little as £275 one way on 28th November. This is a flight with Eurowings stopping in Dusseldorf.

The cheapest flights to Bangkok are available for £275. Image: Google

Now if we take a look at non-stop flights with national airlines British Airways and Thai, we are met with vastly more expensive flights on this date. British Airways flights come in at £1353, while Thai Airways comes in £418.21. Now while the British Airways flight is crazily expensive, even the Thai flight is 1.5x the cost of the flight that we’ve found.

Passengers can fly from London to Bangkok for only £275. The only catch? A 2 hour stop in Dusseldorf. Image: Google

Connecting Flights

While the Thai flight is 11 hours 25 minutes long, our £275 flight is only 3 hours 20 minutes longer. In fact, most of this extra time is a stopover in Dusseldorf. This is one of the ways in which Google flights excels at competing against airlines. With 47% of United States travellers travelling less than twice a year, the tool can be a boon. Instead of having to spend hours trawling through each carrier’s websites, the tool conveniently gives each of the cheapest options to passengers in a matter of minutes.

How Does This Work?

By allowing their platform to be used as a travel shop, Google is able to capture a wealth of data about passenger travel habits. This allows the company to tailor the information shown to the users of its website. As airlines are not typically privy to all of this information, they have to guess when delivering results. In addition to the tailored information, Google is also able to display a wealth of statistics that airlines can’t, or won’t show.

Firstly, Google is beginning to predict flight delays. The company is looking at historical flight data, in addition to running data through artificial intelligence. This, the company says, will allow them to predict flight delays in real time. The company has stated that when it’s flight delay algorithm reaches an 80% success rate, it will become available through Google Flights. Google is no stranger to predicting the future. In fact, the company started predicting the outcome of football matches in February of this year.

Google already uses similar technology to predict the outcome of football matches. Image: Google

The final way in which Google excels with flight bookings is in regards to baggage allowance. Many of the airlines don’t make their baggage allowance the easiest to find. When you take Ryanair for example, you have to select your flights before the airline will tell you how much you are permitted to take onboard. You then get bombarded with a wealth of information and different prices. A £10 flight will not allow you to use the overhead bins but for an extra £6 each way passengers can take a 10kg bag for the overhead bins. If passengers pay an extra £8 each, they can check in a 10kg bag. Finally, they can pay an extra £15 each for a 20kg bag. Google will tell you all of this information and more before you’ve even selected the flights.

Google quickly tells us that it will cost an extra £12 to travel with one bag in the overhead compartment. Image: Google

Will you use Google Flight next time you need to book travel? Do you think it is a useful tool? Let us know in the comments below!