Most of you I am sure have a smart phone. I do not because I am already smart and I do not want to connect to the world 24/7. For most of you who want to be able to get answers immediately, connect with strangers, and take pictures then smart phones are for you! And this article is also for you. There are apps everywhere these days. The iPhone website says there are over 500,000 apps. In early March, the New York Times had a very long article on travel apps. They can be very helpful for the frequent flier.
Many travel apps specialize in things like helping you find a restaurant or lodging while traveling, others track a flight or guide travelers through airports. And some airline apps do it all. We do not travel on only one carrier; yet most of us have local hub carriers we fly most often. Those may be good apps to have on your smart phone. Then there are some that service most everyone. Ever have difficulty navigating an airport? Charles de Gaulle Paris, for example? The United Airlines’ app has airport maps of more than 100 domestic and international airports. That alone makes it worth downloading even if you never fly United.
The most common use of an airline app is to track on time schedules of the flight you are about to take. Do you have time to make a quick stop or do you really need to get anxious about the traffic jam? Of course, do call me or the 800 afterhours number straight away if you are going to miss your plane!
Apps can be used for tracking flights and your luggage. Those bar codes on the luggage tags tell the airlines where your luggage is in route. Now you can know too! A very green and convenient use of the smart phone is to download your boarding pass. On your phone, you can check in, check to see if a better seat becomes available, download your boarding pass to your phone… all without a printer! Just scan the screen at the gate when boarding. The phone is already in your hand, so you will not need to find your boarding pass. For this reason alone I just might get a smart phone.
P.S. A client just emailed me to tell me what she learned:
“Ironically enough, about a week ago I downloaded the American Airlines app while I was in Miami to check my flight just in case they decided to cancel it again. My ride to the airport was running late so I decided to check in and load my boarding pass to my phone. I was a little apprehensive about doing this since not everyone at all airports is completely tech savy. What if I got all the way to the gate and they didn’t except it or their machine wouldn’t scan it? I don’t see a lot of people in airports using it this way yet. I was late and didn’t have much of a choice so I figured I’d give it a shot. I was relieved to have no problems at security or at the gate when I was boarding.
From now on, no more worrying about where I’m going to print my boarding pass, where the check-in kiosks are placed, checking in on time, etc. That’s why there’s an app for that!”
– Erica B. from Baltimore, MD