The smartphone has revolutionized the way we travel. Having a few killer apps installed on your phone can help you find your way around the airport, get delay and gate change notifications, track flights in the air and know exactly when a flight has landed. Here are a few awesome apps that you should download and start using the next time you head for the airport.
GateGuru is a handy—and free—app that gives you airport information and data about your flights. Load your flights into the app, and it will alert you if there is a delay, gate change or cancellation. If you’re tracking someone else’s trip, the app offers real-time flight data and will let you know once the plane is on the ground. The app is also helpful when you need airport information, such as the TSA wait time at the security checkpoints, or where you can find a specific restaurant or shop. It works as a booking engine for last-minute car rental reservations, too.
- Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows
FlightAware Flight Tracker
If you’re looking for an app that just offers real-time flight tracking, you can’t go wrong with FlightAware Flight Tracker. This free app can track any commercial flight in real time. If you’re an aviation geek, you’ll appreciate the fact that you can search by aircraft registration, route, airline, flight number, city pairs or airport code. Tracking data includes complete flight details, plus a map that has a NEXRAD radar overlay. You can set up push notifications for flight departure and arrival information, plus gate changes, delays, cancellations and diversions.
If you’re the type who changes travel plans often, you need to have Skyscanner on your phone. This app handily searches millions of flights from hundreds of airlines and does it in just a matter of seconds. Skyscanner is great when you need to change plans on the fly, or when you just want a robust way to search for flight options. If your schedule is flexible, you can search for “any day” departures and get a list of fares departing on future dates so you can select the least expensive flights.
- Platforms: Android, iOS
This app’s tagline—making airport pickup easy—appeals to everyone who has had to juggle flight arrival data and figure out exactly when to leave home in order to pick up a friend or family member at the airport. Just Landed promises to simplify this task by monitoring both the flight and on-the-ground traffic conditions and tell you exactly when to leave. It will also tell you the estimated flight arrival time, arrival terminal and gate, and even baggage claim information. It costs $2.99, but it’s well worth it if you frequently make airport pickup runs.
- Platform: iOS
While the above apps are terrific for helping you travel smarter, you also want to make sure you’ve downloaded the airline-specific apps for any carrier that you do business with. Here are links to some of the major players:
- Alaska Airlines: Android, iOS, Windows
- American Airlines: Android, iOS
- British Airways: Android, iOS, Windows
- Cathay Pacific: Android, iOS
- Delta Air Lines: Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry 10
- JetBlue: Android, iOS
- Singapore Airlines: Android, iOS
- Southwest Airlines: Android, iOS
- United Airlines: Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry 10