This week at CES 2019, Google released a flurry of updates to Google Assistant, many of which will streamline personal travel.
I have a love/hate relationship with travel. Like most people, I love visiting new places around the world, but getting there is another story.
Smartphones have made travel less painful with the ability to use different apps to help with booking hotels, using Google Maps to navigate around unfamiliar cities, and even checking in to flights using mobile boarding passes rather than checking in at a kiosk for the printed version (freeing us from the anxiety of losing our boarding passes between security and the gate!
Doesn’t it seem like, at some point, the travel process would get easier and more streamlined given all of these technological advances?
With the new updates that Google announced this week, it appears we are closer than ever to bringing this into reality.
Here’s what changing...
Check into your flight and book hotel rooms
So much has changed in how we check in for flights.
What started with waiting in line (for a very long time) to check in at an airline ticket counter has evolved to waiting in line to check in at a kiosk (so when you think about it, we’re still standing in line).
Keep in mind this does not shorten the security line. That is an inconvenience that we still don’t have a solution for.
So, how does it work?
While the capabilities are available on both Android or OS, at this time, the feature can only be used for United Airlines domestic flights. To check in, all you have to do is say, “Hey Google, check in to my flight.”
Google plans to roll out partnerships with more airlines, but until then, if you want to check into your flight using Google Assistant, you’ll have to fly United.
What about hotel rooms?
In addition to flight check-in capabilities, Google has partnered with Choice Hotels, AccorHotels, InterContinental Hotels Group, Priceline, Mirai and Travelclick to allow users to book hotel rooms over Google Assistant.
Unlike Google Assistant flight booking, the hotel booking functionality has a ways to go. As of now, this functionality will only work if you know the hotel you want to stay at and price comparison isn’t a priority.