We call all admit that our phones are packed full of apps. Our apps for banking, apps for social media, hey we even have apps to help tell us to get off our phones. Saving our phone storage space is important, but this app is a must when you fly. So, what are the best travel apps?…
Your airline’s app.
It’s easy to forget to install it, especially if you don’t fly often or if you typically fly one carrier and suddenly have a trip on another. However, it’s the one app that will save you time and help you stay aware of what’s happening. Let’s look at why this app is worth some precious storage space on your phone.
The Planet-Friendly Choice
Sure, you can print your boarding passes at home, or even get the cardstock ones at the airport upon check in. But have you ever considered how much paper those little boarding passes use. Next time you’re flying or at the airport check out the number of people who are there too. That’s a LOT of paper. Now imagine each of you used your airline app to access your boarding pass, no trees will be harmed in the making of your vacation.
With the airline app installed on your phone as long as you give the app permission to send you notifications, you’ll get pop up messages about your flight(s). You can be notified of gate changes, boarding times, and even those dreaded delays. Even if you don’t allow notifications, you can still quickly check your app to stay aware of your flight time, boarding, and gates.
This just paid off for me today as I was scheduled to depart out of gate A15 when I got to the airport, but when I was ready to leave the lounge I checked my app and realized they switched me to gate S10, which is much further away. Imagine if I wouldn’t have checked the app and instead found out about the gate change when I got to A15. That would have been very stressful and could have made me one of the last to board, possibly causing me problems getting my carry-on onboard.
Beyond knowing what gate you’re departing out of, you can also find out what gate you’re arriving into. This is extremely helpful when you have connecting flights. Once you land at your stopover airport, you can open your app to get the info as to what gate you landed at, then check what gate your connecting flight departs from. While everyone is standing around waiting to deplane you can be doing reconnaissance and set off as soon as you deplane vs trying to find a monitor and then locate your flight, then figure out which way to go. Which leads me to my next app benefit…
Today I landed in Phoenix on my way to El Paso. I don’t know the Phoenix airport that well, so when I saw that I was arriving at A11 and departing from B5, I didn’t know what that meant exactly. Would I need to take a train, shuttle, or walk from A to B? Thankfully I pulled up the American Airlines app and on my flight screen it had a link to the PHX airport map. A simple click and I discovered that it would be a basic walk between gates, and I even located my lounge so I could head there between flights.
Knowing how to navigate an airport and understanding the basic layout can be a huge benefit for smooth travels. When you know where you’re going you know what signs to look for and approximately where you need to go. This can also be a lifesaver if you have a tight connection. Airline app maps can also be helpful for locating service (spas) or even a customer service desk if you need help.
The final reason I give up some of my precious phone storage space to airline apps is because I love getting good seats. I’m always up for trying to get that better seat that has more legroom or is closer to the front of the plane. One of the ways I have success on getting good seats is because of my airline apps.
I will repeatedly look at the seats on my flight to see if a better seat has opened up – sometimes frequent flyers get bumped into first class and their front plane seat is suddenly available. Another way this helps is what happened to me today. Just before boarding started I checked the seats and saw most of the paid exit rows were still open. So, when boarding was just getting ready to start I stepped up to the counter and politely asked if there was any chance they could bump me up one row into the empty exit row. Guess what, she did.
Now I will say this doesn’t always work, some airlines would rather leave the premium seats empty rather than fill them with non-paying customers. I’ll also mention that families likely won’t pay off from this seat stalking strategy in terms of moving, however checking the app after booking and up to check in will help you monitor whether they separate your family due to an aircraft change or other reason.
There are a lot of apps out there but the airline ones are the best travel apps to have before you fly. The information that you’re able to access at your fingertips can really come in handy for keeping your travels smooth.