Sorry for the bad pun – I can’t help myself!
I wanted to share some of my favourite apps for travelling which make my life easier. Some are ones which I use all the time to help plan, track or just geek out, and others are ones I use when I am on the go.
This is the must-have app of all of them, due to its simple and effective collection and presentation of a huge array of miles and points programmes. It allows you to see, at a glance, what your balances are and helps keep on top of it when things go wrong, like hacking of accounts. It is a free service with a paid upgrade for a small donation which is well worth it. You can also get a free upgrade by signing up via this link, or get in touch and I can send one through.
Ever been in the situation where your flight time has changed or, even worse, cancelled and you didn’t know? This app monitors your bookings and sends an email and notification when something like that happens. It is much faster than many of the airlines’ own systems and I have had alert from MyFlights hours before British Airways have been in touch. It is simple to use; entering your booking reference and surname is all that is required, and it produces some pretty cool maps too.
This is useful for checking in online; it is usually quite reliable and I have been known to check in for flights all over the place, including whilst waiting for a bride to arrive at a wedding (leg row seats are important!) The app produces a QR code that is scanned as your boarding pass, and it can push this to Passbook as well. I also like the facility of being able to check on Avios earning and the Household Account total. At the airport, the app sometimes tells you what gate you will be boarding through and gives updates on the flight status, but I’m not 100% confident enough to trust it completely.
This is definitely one of those apps I use for planning imaginary trips rather than using it on a regular basis. You say where you want to go, give it a date range and the class you what to travel and it shows what flights are around. To get more info, or to book, you need to click through and sign in to your Avios account.
You can use this to buy tickets, but I never have. I find it best for displaying tickets you’ve bought online using the variety of discount methods available. Again, it produces a QR code which is scanned by the ticket inspector. It is also a good way to check the next departure time and the current status of the line. My one bug-bear is that the departure time from LHR is from T2/3 and not T5, so you need to guess.
Like the app above, this is one that I use to collate and track my bookings, even though it has the functionality to book them. I like the clear details of my bookings and status, plus the fact that the vouchers obtained can be stored in Passbook. I’m yet to use one though, so we’ll see how easy it is.
The really simple interface on this is part of what endears IHG to me. The booking can be made on the move in about 5 steps. It provides information in easily readable sections across your IHG Rewards Club account, from your upcoming bookings, your points transactions and special offers.
This app serves two purposes for me. When I am travelling it is useful to be able to track the location of your incoming aircraft and can help stay informed if your departure is on time or not. But perhaps it’s most exciting feature is being able to hold it up to the sky and have the augmented reality setting show what plane is coming towards you. I have used this on the desktop version successfully in school to amaze my students as to what plane is landing at Heathrow and where it’s come from. They thought I was incredibly clever until I showed them how I did it but they still enjoyed it!
Passbook is the catch-all for many of the apps. It is a great place to store your reservations and bookings. At present I have a variety of things in my passbook including boarding passes for British Airways, hotel bookings at various IHG properties, my Starbucks card, my Heathrow Rewards card, Viatour booking, and some Heathrow Express tickets. There are many more things you can put into Passbook and it has been very useful on occasions. Once when the BA app stopped showing me the boarding pass for a delayed flight because it had gone on to the next one, I was still able to retrieve this in the passbook, so it is a useful backup.
All the pictures in this post have come from the iTunes store, and the links take you straight to them. I will update this post as and when I come across new apps which make travelling easier!