What autocomplete says about your airline preferences

Don’t you just love Google’s “autocomplete” — the feature that tries to guess what you want while you’re typing?

Autocomplete’s algorithm offers searches that might be similar to the one you’re entering. Here’s an explanation.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by MedjetAssist. Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. Elliott.org readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

After seeing this clever map of autocompleted states, I wondered: What does it say about travel?

A lot, actually.

For airlines, the results are telling. Hotels and car rental companies? Not so much. The algorithm tries to pair you with a location in your own area, which makes it difficult to tell what others are typing.

I need a job. Seems the unemployed, or at least those who wish they worked for an airline, are accounting for the bulk of the airline searches for several major airlines.

british airways careers

jetblue airways careers

southwest airlines careers

united airlines careers

Unemployment is high, so those results are understandable.

Where do I check in? The next-most popular category belongs to those who need information from their airline — a phone number or details on their flight status. Perhaps something for their web team to consider during their next upgrade.

american airlines phone number

airtran flight status

delta airlines check in

spirit airlines phone number

us airways check in

virgin atlantic flight status

I want a deal. Some airlines, on the other hand, just attract bargain-hunters.

allegiant air promo code

alaska airlines credit card

So here’s what the results tell me. People want one of three things from their airline: flight information, a bargain, or a job. If you think about it, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

I mean, people want to pay less for their flight — as little as possible — and yet they want to be employed by an airline?

OK, then.

This goes to the heart of what’s wrong with the airline industry today. Airlines know that we want deals, which is why they quote us a deceptive “base” fare that almost no one pays.

And at the same time, we want to work for an airline? Will someone please explain that?

Send this to a friend