An "Ask Us Anything" on Reddit with the Google Flights team

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by ThatAdamGuy, Apr 7, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. ThatAdamGuy

    ThatAdamGuy Active Member

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    [Longtime lurker / premium member here; apologies for the former silence ;)]

    Dear fellow milepointers, and especially those very curious about flying / flights / Google Flights / anything else having to do with buying tube-in-a-can tickets,

    Along with a bunch of teammates, I'll be leading a Reddit iAMA next Thursday from 3-6pm ET and would love to have you asking us questions there.

    But since I'm posting here and you've read to the end here, I think it's only fair that I answer at least something from this thread, so if you have a burning question about Google Flights and don't feel like posting it to Reddit, you're welcome to share it here and I'll tackle a bit here immediately following the AMA :).

    P.S. -- As per Reddit AMA tradition, threads there generally don't live until 30 minutes prior to start time; accordingly I'll share the URL (if I'm able to given my <10 post status) at about 2:30pm ET Apr 16 :)
     
    Mikus33, anileze and viguera like this.
  2. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Are they making ita matrix worse to push traffic to flights?
     
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  3. ThatAdamGuy

    ThatAdamGuy Active Member

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    Nope :). We actually did a significant update of the Matrix backend recently (Matrix v3) and believe we've fully licked any new issues briefly introduced in the update.

    But happy to answer more specific questions about Matrix in the AMA if you'd like.
     
  4. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

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    Okay- what's an AMA
     
  5. ThatAdamGuy

    ThatAdamGuy Active Member

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    An AMA is an "Ask Me Anything" event on the popular community site called Reddit.

    It's often lead by famous people, like celebrities or prominent leaders who enjoy interacting directly with curious and often entertaining questioners.
    Sometimes it's led by teams or groups... including, in the past, several teams at Google like the Chromecast team, the Site Reliability Engineering group, the Crisis Response team, and others.

    When I chatted with folks from a couple of those groups, they told me they really enjoyed the AMAs and found them to be a good opportunity to get frank feedback (positive and negative) and tackle interesting (and sometimes amusingly wacky) questions. So as the Program Manager for Flights, I decided to lead an AMA, and my teammates were very excited about the idea. :)
     
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  6. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    I understand and appreciate there's been effort involved in upgrading to the v3, and certainly appreciate the improvements to it that have rolled out since the update, but from the user perspective the functionality is still worse. Yes, some of the boombox errors etc are gone, but the issues, especially on the frontend, are not fully licked (to be fair I would say that software issues are probably *never* fully licked).

    I pretty frequently hit glitches like this:
    upload_2015-4-14_15-50-8.png
    where the filter parameters chosen are clearly and obviously not applied. Other times the dropdowns for depart, arrive, etc go completely unresponsive, or the calendar inputs on the main page. It is extremely frustrating, shows up in multiple browsers, and is definitely not fully licked! I don't want to dump on you and appreciate the accessibility etc. with setting up the AMA, and understand that there may be a lot of behind the scenes investment in the ITA stuff that the end user never sees, but stuff like the above, as well as google's general habit of innovating/investing/purchasing/developing, deprecating, and abandoning set off alarm bells.
     
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  7. ThatAdamGuy

    ThatAdamGuy Active Member

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    Unfortunately, our Flights team has to reschedule the AMA. We'll repost when we've firmed up the new date.
     
  8. Mikus33

    Mikus33 Silver Member

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    Definitely keep us posted, as many of this would find it incredibly useful. Thanks!
     
  9. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    I have a seemingly silly/or easy question: On the matrix.itasoftware.com's web interface for 3.0 it says
    • Cost per mile filter
    How does one use it, or is it not a useable option ?
     
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  10. ThatAdamGuy

    ThatAdamGuy Active Member

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    UPDATE: The Flights AMA is rescheduled for this coming Tuesday, June 9th, at noon Pacific Time.

    Mattsteg, I understand the frustration, and I'm sorry you've run into issues on Matrix. We continue to tackle bugs and other issues as we encounter them, but given a number of factors there are challenging balances to strike. I know that Flights and Matrix have different use cases and functionality, but I'd encourage you to try both sometimes and see if the combination can help you get done what you're trying to do.

    Anileze, as a former mileage-runner myself, I'm somewhat embarrassed I don't really know the skinny on the cost-per-mile thing you've mentioned. Please feel free to ask that in the AMA :)
     
  11. flyforawg

    flyforawg Silver Member

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    How was the AMA. Any links that can be posted?
     
  12. ThatAdamGuy

    ThatAdamGuy Active Member

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    My teammates and I really enjoyed it, and hope others did, too :)
    I'm still not able to post links here, but if you search for "google flights reddit ama" it is likely to be the first link, and you can read all the questions and our answers.
     
  13. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

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  14. ThatAdamGuy

    ThatAdamGuy Active Member

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    Thanks, iolaire :)
     

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