Google Flight Search
If you are anything like me, at any given time you probably have 3+ flights booked for sometime in the distant future.
Since I typically have quite a few upcoming trips, I rarely can remember the exact dates, times, and carriers I am flying. So typically after I book a flight and receive the email confirmation, I try to flag the email and move it to a travel folder in my inbox. Additionally, I will also forward the flight confirmation to TripIt, which I use to track and manage my existing itineraries.
While those 2 tools are great to track your itineraries, more often than not, I forget one or both of those steps and the email confirmation gets lost in my inbox.
For normal people this probably wouldn’t be an issue but if you are a frequent flyer, it can get a bit out of hand.
For example, I booked a flight out to Seattle for FTU in April and am planning to go a week early to visit my Cousin who lives out there. The other day, he asked me what day and time does my flight get into SEA.
I didn’t know off the top of my head, so I went into my inbox and tried to search for ‘British Airways’ (who I thought I was flying to SEA) and got 77 items returned with 20 of them being just from the last 5 months…
Of course, I couldn’t find my British Airways confirmation to SEA because it didn’t exist! After spending 10 minutes digging thru my inbox, I realized that I am flying Southwest to SEA…
Google To The Rescue
Unrelated to that SEA search, by accident the other day, I happened to be searching something like “Chicago Flight Delays” on Google and was extremely surprised when all my upcoming flight information showed up, including my ORD-SEA flight!
Apparently since last August, if you use Gmail, Google has been searching your inbox and has been adding some of the results to your everyday Google search. Of course, ONLY YOU (and the NSA) can see these personalized results.
Is it kind of creepy?
Just a bit BUT it is also awesome because simply by typing in your home airport, if you have Gmail, Google will now show you all your upcoming flights. No need to categorize emails or flag the flight confirmations! If it is in your inbox, Google will find it!
I was pretty impressed by this innovation, so I did a little research and found some other cool Google travel related tricks!
Check Your Flight Status
If you search “What’s My Flight Status”, Google will automatically show you the flight status of your upcoming flights!
No more having to find your flight number and input it into FlightTracker or the airline’s website.
Additionally, if you are tracking someone else’s flight (like you have to pick them up from the airport), Google will show you in real time the status of the flight and how much longer it will be.
If you are curious, there are also a whole host of other useful features that Google has added to their search like tracking the status of your packages, giving you the name and address of your upcoming hotel stay, etc. More info on that can be found here.
While there certainly is a fine line between technology that is intuitive and technology that is just plain creepy, I think Google has really hit the nail on the head with this improvement.
The fact that I can now almost instantly look up and check the status of ANY of my upcoming flights is a huge time saver for me. Especially when the alternative is digging thru my inbox or having to login to the airline’s website.
So next time you need to check your flight status or see what time your flight is taking off, just ask Google!
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