Travel Tuesday Top 10: Airline Apps
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As more people begin to carry smartphones and PDA’s such as iPhones and iPads as well as Blackberries and Androids, more and more airlines have created apps that allow their passengers to do everything from check flight status and check in to tracking checked bags, downloading city guides and finding the nearest airport lounge. Here are some of the highlights in airline apps:
1. Jetblue App: This app allows passengers to book travel, set check-in alerts as well as checking in for flights and keeping tallies of their TrueBlue account information. Flyers can receive real-time flight updates within the app via push notifications. While in-flight, they can view and set reminders for the DIRECTV schedule for their particular flight, check out a listing of all the airline’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio channels and peruse the menu for snacks and drinks being served onboard. The app makes it easy to share travel plans with friends and family, and use the Pick Me Up feature that helps people picking passengers up plan their ride to and from the airport with real-time flight information. Also built in are City Guides of the destinations Jetblue flies to as well as the ability to create custom postcards and download wallpapers for the phone.
Available for: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later. An Android App is coming soon.
2. United Airlines App: United’s app incorporates the useful function of allowing flyers to actually book flights from their mobile devices, as well as checking in and displaying their mobile boarding passes. They can also view the upgrade priority list, seat maps, in-flight amenities available on specific flights, as well as departure gate information. This app also has flight status push notifications so passengers can monitor a selected flight and receive automatic updates, plus check flight maps of current flight status and check weather.
A cool added features is the ability to recognize employees that have gone above and beyond
in terms of service with the Outperform Recognition Program. Also loaded in this app is United Club locations, United social media information, DIRECTV listings and a currency converter.
Available for: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later and Android.
3. Fly Delta App: This is one of the most versatile airline apps in terms of the number of functions it can perform. Delta’s app does about everything except book a flight. Passengers can check-in, get eBoarding passes, pay for bags and view or change seats as well as viewing their status on the Upgrade and Standby lists, which can be great for those airports without the GIDS screens. They can also receive push notifications of gate changes or flight updates. Passengers can track their checked bags by scanning the bag tag with an iPhone camera – so no more lost bags. Those whose travel plans change can also rebook cancelled or missed connecting flights on the fly while in-flight since it’s free to use this app onboard a GoGo-equipped plane. The app also comes loaded with airport information and Delta Sky Club locations.
Available for: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later. Also supports Blackberry, Windows Phone and Android.
4. Southwest Airlines App: The Southwest app has all the basic features built in such as making reservations directly from the app, checking in for flights, accessing Rapid Rewards account information and adding EarlyBird Check-Into an existing reservation. It also has DING! functionality, which means customers also receive information on exclusive, limited-time airfare deals.
Available for: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later. Also Blackberry and Android.
5. American Airlines App: This airline app allows travelers to push their upcoming flight details directly to their computer’s home screen, book flights, check flight status, download mobile boarding passes and even purchase one-day passes to Admirals Clubs. One great basic feature is the ability to set a parking reminder to help travelers remember where they parked their car after a long trip. The app lets flyers monitor their place on the standby list
and even track their elite status progress. The app also provides directions on getting to departure gates, seat and flight status information, and it incorporates the phone’s GPS to locate the nearest American Airlines-serviced airport. There are also games such as Sudoku built in for those inevitable flight delays.
Available for: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later. Also available for Blackberry, Android, Windows Phones as well as for the Nook and Kindle.
6. Alaska Airlines App: The Alaska Airlines app supplies up-to-date flight status including gate information and current boarding times, the ability to check in for flights for multiple passengers on one reservation, access your mobile boarding passes and creating flight alerts via text or email. The app can display seat maps where travelers can choose or change seats, set parking reminders and even make notes such as adding hotel or rental car confirmation numbers. The app also makes it easy to track Mileage Plan status and current balances.
Available for: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 4.2 or later. Also supports Android devices.
7. Air Canada App: Travelers with this app can track all their Air Canada flights and receive messages directly from the airline both before and during their voyage. The app allows customers to check-in for flights using mobile check-in as well as search for any Air Canada flight and book it, even those operated by Jazz. It has special areas for Air Canada Cargo and Air Canada Vacations as well. Like most of the other apps, travelers can book flights directly from this app and access to an advanced seat-selection screen, which details preferred seating for Air Canada elite (as well as Star Alliance Gold) members. Sharing flights and itineraries with friends and family is built right in, as well as having a passcode on the app to keep flight information secure.
Available for: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
8. Cathay Pacific App: This app lets customers handle the necessities of travel at their own convenience from anywhere in the world. Travelers can check-in
and check flight status
as well as retrieve booking
information, find flight schedules and even access city guides to over 70 destinations worldwide. Flyers can also learn more about the products and read full descriptions of the different cabins and classes of service, the airline’s flagship Hong Kong Lounges as well as download Yum Sing eCoupons for special offers in Hong Kong, the airline’s hub.
Available for: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later, Blackberry and Android.
9. Lufthansa App: This app allows customers to check in on the app and automatically store their boarding pass at check in or you can request it manually. You can view a timetable of Lufthansa’s route network. The app provides access of a summary of Miles & More accounts as well as showing current weather for both the departure and arrival cities.
Available for: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 4.0 or later. Also supports Blackberry and Android.
10. British Airways: This app provides flight check in, mobile boarding passes, the latest arrival and departure information and upgrade offers for future flights. Passengers can also track any British Airways flight and make reservations for new flights right in the application.
Available for: iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.Requires iOS 4.0 or later, Blackberry, Android, and Windows Phone.
Bonus App: Qantas Frequent Flyer: Unlike most of the other airline apps, this one is geared specifically toward Qantas’s frequent flyer program. The app allows travelers to get instant access to their points balance as well as finding ways to use Qantas points. It uses the built in GPS features of a passenger’s iPhone to locate the nearest Qantas Frequent Flyer partners such as hotels, restaurants, shopping, car rentals – anywhere they can earn miles. Whether you’re looking to fly, stay in a hotel, eat out, go shopping or hire a car, hundreds of partners are at your fingertips. When it comes to using these points, the app allows users to find out how many points they need to fly to a destination as well as an estimate of the surcharges, fees and taxes payable. This app is also linked to Facebook and Twitter so users can share their Qantas Frequent Flyer updates. However this app lacks useful information such as viewing flight itineraries, checking in for flights and receiving mobile boarding passes – it really is just all about the points!
Available for: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
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