Google Flights Will Now Show What’s Not Covered in Basic Economy Tickets

A family watches as airplanes take off for light and land at an airport.
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When comparing the cost of flights, travelers are often tripped up by one thing: basic economy tickets.

Several airlines — American, Delta and United — have rolled out this offering to passengers. A notch lower than regular economy class, basic economy tickets come at a lower cost but generally don’t include any extras, such as free carry-on bags, space in the overhead compartments or the ability to select your seat.

Don’t even expect any checked baggage.

Those options are available, but at an extra cost — making the deal you snagged not as inexpensive as you initially thought.

Thankfully Google is making things a bit more transparent by adding a new feature to its Google Flights application.

When users search for flights on Google, they’ll be able to see which are basic economy tickets without getting too far into the reservation process, the company announced Wednesday. They’ll receive information about what is included in the ticket price and how much any add-ons will cost.

For example, Google shows it could cost $39 more to upgrade from basic economy to a regular economy ticket on United, which includes overhead bin space and seat selection.

This information is only available for flights on American, Delta and United.

Travel and Leisure notes the the new feature doesn’t exactly “level the playing field” when it comes to quickly comparing airfare — passengers still have to do a little math if they’re adding on extras, like a carry-on bag. But the upfront transparency will help them make a more informed decision about their airfare purchase.

Once travelers have reserved their flights, Google will also share more detailed information on flight delays, the company also announced Wednesday. While Google Flights already lets users know when flights are delayed, now it will tell users why the flight won’t be arriving on time, and it will also predict (with up to 80% confidence) that a flight could end up being delayed.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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