Google Flights Now Predicts Flight Delays and Explains Basic Economy

Basic Economy in Google Flights

Google has rolled out some cloud-side updates to their site, Google Flights.  The updates bring some clearer information about the new Basic Economy fare from United, American and Delta, as well as providing flight delay predictions based on historical data.

Basic Economy is something new for United, American, and Delta.  It is a very stripped down fare where everything is an extra charge, including bringing carry-on luggage with some of the carriers.  While great for those on a budget, these extra fees can rack up quickly if you aren’t careful.  Flights now gives you information on what is restricted when you are looking up potential flights on Basic Economy.  This is to help you avoid excess fees and to make an informed purchase.

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Google Trips Update Brings Ability to Manually Add Reservations

Google Trips

Google Trips has seen its second update this week, bringing two new features that users will appreciate.  First, you now have the ability to manually add hotel and airline reservations to a trip.  Previously, there was no way to do this and the only way to get reservations into a trip was by having it automatically added via Gmail.  Now when you go into a trip within the app, you will see a FAB (Floating Action Button) which will now let you add flight and hotel information.

The other big change in this update is that Google Trips will now watch your Gmail for bus and train travel and add those automatically to your trips.  This expands the apps ability in searching Gmail as previously only hotel and airline information was automatically added.

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Hilton HHonors Improves Fingerprint Authentication Support

If you are a member of Hilton HHonors and use their Android app, there is a nice update coming your way.  The latest build of the app, version 2.9.3 for those keeping score, brings a handful of improvements but likely the one that will get everyone’s attention is the improvements around Fingerprint Authentication.  For a while now the HHonors app has had fingerprint support but it was pretty much a one-and-done thing.  Once you signed in, it kept you signed in and you never really had to authenticate again.  Not very secure.

This update changes that.  Now you can enable the feature and you can enable a secondary feature to indicate how often you want to be required to authenticate.  You can choose to have it ask every time you fire up the app on your phone or after you have closed the app for 1 minute, 5 minutes or 10 minutes.

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American Airlines Partners With Uber In Latest App Update

American Airlines has released an update to their Android app that now allows you to seamlessly pinpoint your pick up point for Uber right from within the app.  The partnership between the two companies is new and while the Uber pick up isn’t in every location American flies, it will save you from having to fumble around through both apps to arrange your pick up location.  To do this, users need to go to the terminal maps in the app, which also have been significantly improved, and let the app leverage your location services to pinpoint you and get you an Uber.  There is even a $20 discount if you use the code RIDEAA for you first time Uber users.

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Chromebook Users Can Access GoGo InFlight

For those of you who have purchased a Chromebook in recent months, don’t forget that you have 12 free vouchers to use on GoGo Inflight while you travel domestically here in the United States.  The vouchers work on any airline and aircraft that is equipped with GoGo services but you have to make sure that you have claimed them to get them.  As a frequent traveler, I utilize GoGo almost every flight I’m on and while the service isn’t exactly outstanding from a speed perspective, it does keep you connected for things like email, web surfing and the like.

To make sure you have these vouchers, go to the Chromebook Goodies site at https://www.google.com/chrome/devices/goodies.html.  Then scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will see the section for GoGo and a button to bookmark the page.  Once you are on a flight, you will need to log into the service from your Chromebook – it will not work from your Android phone, tablet or a PC or Mac.  You will be prompted to confirm a passphrase and you will be online.  It’s a simple as that and the page will tell you how many of these vouchers you have remaining.

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