Posts Tagged ‘apps’

One travel app to rule ‘em all – Does it exist?

lördag, juli 15th, 2017

There’s a lot of travel apps out there, the question is – are they any good? Below is a comparison between the best apps for keeping you on top of your travel plans.

 

TripCase

Shows delays and gate info.

This app is one of the most beautifully designed app of the bunch. I like the tiles in the action view, it gives you a quick and easy overview of what’s next on your trip. It handles both flight and hotel bookings which is pretty much a minimum requirement for an app like this. Previously I have received emails about delays, terminal/gate info. But for my latest trip to Helsinki I only got a mail 24h before the trip started. So I’m not sure I can trust it completely. One feature that I really like is that you can see the ”live” seat map! Really cool too see if you’ll get a empty seat beside you. Even if this app got many good things going for it it’s not without flaws. I use to work really bad in offline mode, but with the latest update they seem to have improved it. One thing that I’m missing is the function that App in the air has, which shows you how long it’s until check-in/gate closes and time until landing.

Like

– One of the few that let you print a full travel itinerary.

– Sends you weather forecast for the destination by mail.

– Shows if a flight was delayed.

– Seat map for selected flights.

Dislike

– Does not work that well in offline mode.

– The import is not super cleaver. Sometimes it doesn’t understand that two imports is connected to the same trip.

Try it out

www.tripcase.com

 

 

Flying

Stamps!

The Flying app has had a turbulent flight over the years. It started off as a German startup but then they was planning to shut it down someone else stepped in and saved it. But this time it looks like it’s been grounded for good. I cannot find it in the App store anymore and the website (theflyingapp.com/flyingfrom.to) is currently down. One would thought that frequent flyers have money to spend and that it would be some money to be made in this niche market. But it’s apparently not that easy.

When they started they was quite innovative and it was the best looking app around. On example of this is that you could collect hand made passport stamps!

 

App in the Air

Map with all your flights!

There’s a lot to like about this app. For one – it has taken the idea of collecting stamps and made it into badges. There’s many things you can get a badge for, to name a few; red eye, countries and distance. Also if you’re into statistics, this app is for you. You can get statistics about pretty much everything about your flights including a world map of all the flights you’ve ever done. In that sense it’s similar to services like Flightdiary.

One other feature I really like is that it virtually flies through in flight mode and shows you how many hours it is until landing, invaluable then you wake up in your seat in the middle of the night. It also shows all other flight information you possibly could want like gate info, landing time, security waiting time etc.

 

The only downside with this app is that it only shows flights, it does not support hotel bookings which is a shame, otherwise it would be complete. The design of the app is really confusing and not as intuitive as the other ones. The Pricing model is similar to TripIt – not super cheap. Currently 319 SEK for one year. Probably more suitable for people who travels for work or similar. If you want one free flight alert you can click on my link here.

Works beautifully in flight mode!

Like

– Works very well in offline mode.

– Timeline with check in, boarding, landing time.

– TripIt connection.

Dislike

– App layout is very confusing.

– Does not send alerts though mail.

– Cannot handle hotel bookings.

Try it out

app in the air (link will give you free flight alert)

 

 

WorldMate

This was my favorite app of them all, it could handle both flights and hotels and had everything I wanted. Sadly they have shut down its operation.

Even though it does not work anymore I still would like to point out some of it features which made it great. First of all it would send you emails with trip information such as weather forecast and during import it would notify you if a hotel was missing in the trip. I also liked the app design, it displayed all information in a clear and easy way.

 

TripIt

The new design is better, but nothing special.

TripIt has probably been around the longest of them all. Because of this you can take advantage of all the data you have sent to it over the years as other apps can import data from TripIt. App in the air is one app that can get flights from Tripit for example.

It used to be an old and boring looking app, but they have recently shaped up and done a redesign of it for the better. Similar to other apps you can pay to get more features. With TripIt PRO you’ll get alerts, alternate flights, check-in reminders, seat tracker, point tracker, refund monitor and more. Pro will cost 49 USD per year. You can also reach all the information through the website which is very extensive compared to others. With the website you can print itineraries. It will also give you a link to show your TripIt calendar in Outlook. Even if you not paying for it it still makes sense to feed TripIt your flights and use it as an archive, just because other services can connect to it.

 

Like

– Can handle both flights and hotels

– One of few which lets you print your trip itinerary.

– Extensive list of features (if you pay).

Dislike

– The free version is rather basic, you have to pay for alerts and other features.

Try it out

www.tripit.com

 

 

Kayak

Notice it will show time until landing.

For most people Kayak is a travel search tool. But what I guess most people don’t know is that you can also use the Kayak app to track your flights. Even though the trip part of the app is seemingly basic looking it has one very important feature – free alerts! It was the only app that correctly notified me about then my latest Finnair flight was open for check-in. With Finnair I can check-in 36h before departure. Other apps notified me 24h before. Sometimes I also got notified about terminal, gate and baggage info. I have also received information about delays. Information you almost always have to pay to get with other services. What I also like is that you get all these alerts by email, perfect then you’re abroad and might have very sketchy internet connection. Even though it’s basic it can handle both flights and hotels. The hotel import is not the smartest and might not get all information correct. Another feature it has is that it can give you a calendar link to show your trips in Outlook.

I have to say that this is one of my top travel apps and a must have unless you want to pay for one of the other apps to get alerts.

Like

– Free alerts. Super useful.

– Calendar link.

– Handles both flights and hotels.

– Travel stats on the web page.

– Works well in flight mode.

Dislike

– The app is quite basic and boring looking.

– Hotel import is not the best.

Try it out

www.kayak.com

 

 

Traxo

waiting…

Traxo is good for one thing, and one thing only, keeping track of your points and remind you if you have points that will expire. The way it can do this is by connecting to all your other sites like airlines and bonus programs and gathers information from them. The downside of this is that it tends to make duplicates of one single trip. Because it imports the same information from different sources it can’t distinguish its actually the same information. It also messes up the dates for some reason.

Maybe you can fine tune it somewhat but because the layout is really weird and both the site and app is super slow (you will see the animated waiting icon alot) and for this reason I haven’t bothered to look into it further. It’s not an app I would recommend for tracking your trips. If you just want to track your points AwardWallet (link with free upgrade coupon) is a much better option.

Like

– Can gather information from all major airlines, booking sites and bonus programs.

Dislike

– Pretty much everything else.

Try it out

www.traxo.com

 

 

Travelerbuddy

Clear and simple design.

I was caught by surprise about Travelerbuddy. I didn’t know about it until Worldmate announced that they would shut down and someone on twitter recommended Travelerbuddy. It’s a sleek looking app that can handle both flights and hotels. Being able to keep track of both your flights and hotels in one app as a big plus in my book. It has different price plans and for the paid options you will get features like pre-travel visa information, immigration information and it can also handle your expenses with the biz price plan. Their price plan is very reasonable, currently 2 USD per year for starter and 18 USD per year for the biz package.

During my research about this it seems like it started as a Kickstarter project. Even though they reached their goal they only got 214 backers, that tells me the demand for apps like this isn’t that high and explains why both flying and Worldmate got grounded.

I like the design which is similar to TripCase. The web site is pretty basic but it will get you the option to print your travel itinerary.

With Worldmate gone I will definitely use this more in the future.

Like

– Handles both flights and hotels.

– Sends both check-in reminders and alerts (have not tested alerts).

Dislike

– Can only show time in 12h format, a bit annoying.

– Does not work in offline mode.

Try it out

travelerbuddy.com

 

 

Pana

Crosby, the virtual assistant.

Another app I only found out about recently. Because of this I have only used it for one trip. Unfortunately it hasn’t won me over yet. Even though it has some features that makes it promising like auto check-in and alerts but it doesn’t really stand out compared to other apps. I do like the design however, clean and functional. Even though some parts of the navigation is confusing.

If you pay it also has a concierge, but for some reason it doesn’t say anywhere how much it will cost. One unique feature which make it stand out is the virtual assistant called Crosby. Right now it’s a bit gimmicky, but it may the direction these apps will be heading in the future. Another feature is co-pilots which automatically shares your trip with selected friends co-workers.

So far I’m not too impressed by the app. It had trouble importing my last flight (it did not recognize my name correctly) so it thought I wasn’t on the flight and put it under shared trips.

Like

– Keeps track of actual departure time, gate number and terminal number.

Dislike

– Import function is buggy.

– Cannot handle hotels.

– No email alerts.

– Only Pana can edit information.

– App only for iphone.

Try it out

pana.com/free

 

 

CheckMyTrip

Basic app.

Although simple this app is surprisingly rich of features for the price you pay, which is zero dollars. It’s backed by Amadeus, a heavyweight in the industry. A warning though is that I believe it had some problem handling one booking I made which was not on the Amadeus platform, that is something to be aware of. If you want detailed information about your flight this app is for you. It will show seat number, default baggage allowance, aircraft info, meal info, weather info for the destination. You can also check in from the app. It will also send you a notification mail about upcoming flights with basic information included. I have not used it long enough but it should also send you email of flight alerts. Within the app you can also search for taxi, restaurants (Opentable) and activities.

Like

– Hooked up to Amadeus.

– Shows detailed information about your flight.

Dislike

– Can only handle flights, not hotels.

– Basic app, and the web page is even more basic.

Try it out

checkmytrip.com

 

 

Conclusion

As you might have guessed, none of these apps hits a home run. If you pay for TripIt you will probably be all set, but if you don’t want to spend that much just to keep up with your trips I would suggest you go with 2-3 apps. Kayak for free alerts complemented with TripCase and App in the air will make you breeze through all the airports.