Tag Archives: apps

Study: Apps, Websites Performing Badly Worse Than Dealing With TSA

With travelers more reliant than ever on apps and mobile websites, especially during the holiday season, a new study finds that 57 percent  say that those performing poorly would be more frustrating than dealing with the Transportation Security Administration. Their number one frustration cited by travelers is app failure when checking flight status.

The Holiday Travel Behavior Study was commissioned by San Francisco-based SOASTA, a cloud and mobile testing company and new partner Switchfly, which powering travel booking and loyalty redemption solutions. The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of SOASTA among 2,022 U.S. adults.

Their study revealed that 41 percent of Americans are planning to book holiday travel this year, and they’ll be turning to websites and mobile apps for everything from purchasing airline tickets to upgrading seats.

The new research confirmed that many Americans will be booking their holiday travel through a website, at 34 percent, or mobile app, at 13 percent. However, 31 percent of respondents expressed concern about experiencing technical problems when booking travel through a website or app, including: slow loading, 18 percent; unresponsiveness, at 18 percent; crashing, at 17 percent; and bad interface, at 10 percent.

U.S. travelers are also using websites and apps to upgrade their flights, and 45 percent of holiday travelers polled would be motivated to upgrade their air travel for the following reasons: satisfying a need to unwind following a stressful holiday, 21 percent; avoiding sharing a flight with rambunctious or loud children, 17 percent; and cheering themselves up before seeing their relatives, 10 percent.

Finally, the research found that three out of four travelers would consider delaying their flight arrival during the holidays by 24 hours or more for an incentive, with the number one being a free flight, at 63 percent. Another 41 percent said the possibility of a first-class travel upgrade could be enough incentive to delay their flight arrival during the holidays by 24 hours or more.

Another Five Travel Apps For Your Consideration

Regular readers know that I am a freak when it comes to travel apps on my iPhone. And because of that, I have people asking me all the time which ones are among my favorites.  I get recommendations and try them out. Then I reorder, cut and add ones into the mix.  Below are another five apps you ought to give a try.

  1. WorldMate – I can’t take my virtual assistant Cristina (let me know if you’re in the market for a GREAT VA) with me on trips, this free app comes in handy when I travel. Give it your travel information and it will spit out an itemized itinerary of your trip. It also organize flights, hotels, cars, meetings, and transportation; checks in for your flight; and plots your entire trip on a map and get directions to your hotel and meetings.
  2. HopStop – Since we all can’t afford to use cabs and limos when we’re out of town, this app provides great directions on using public transportation in more than 600 cities across the globe.  And did I mention that it’s free?
  3. Free WiFi Finder – I have an iPad that doesn’t have the data plan, so sometimes I need to know where the free WiFi is. This handy app uses your iPhone to find the nearest locations.
  4. HitList – Type in your destination and this free app will send you the cheapest flights to dozens of cities across the globe. It will tell you when the cheapest fares are listed and email you when fares to your chosen destination drop.
  5. Been – While this isn’t an app that will help you with your travels, it does help you generate a really cool map that tracks all the places you’ve been and gives you a percentage of the world you’ve seen.

So – you know the question: what apps did I miss?

RELATED BLOG POSTS

10 Must-Have Travel Apps

Top 5 Travel Apps I’ve Found On AppsGoneFree

Another Top 5 Travel iPhone Apps

My Top 5 iPhone Travel Apps

 

Best Of Aviation Queen: 10 Must-Have Travel Apps

Editor’s note: I’m taking the week off for vacation, so check out some of my favorite blog posts of 2013. Everyone is always looking for the best travel apps, so here are some of my picks. The post below first appeared on the blog on Aug. 13. Enjoy!
iphone

Last week, my friend Jim asked me a question about a travel app. He said that I should do a blog post on my favorite travel apps, and I agreed. Apps have revolutionized the way we travel, and I have 10 in my travel apps folder on the iPhone that I can’t live without, in no particular order. Enjoy!

  1. MyTSA (free) – I have to give props to the Transportation Security Administration for creating an app that uses crowdsourcing to tell how long security lines are at airports and if there are any flight delays. It also allows users to type in an item and check if they can bring it in their carry-on or checked baggage. Finally, it offers a guide that answers the most common security questions.
  2. Smart Traveler (free) – this official app from the U.S. State Department is great for my international travelers.  It offers information including official country information, travel alerts, travel warnings, maps and U.S. embassy locations.
  3. Next Flight ($2.99) – this one is most valuable if you’re experiencing a flight delay or want to catch an earlier/later flight. Type in your city-pair and travel date, and the app shows all the flights available that day. That can be very handy if you get a less-than-helpful gate or ticket agent.
  4. Flight + ($3.99) – this app is the perfect companion to Next Flight. It offers the ability to track any flight in the world, check out flight boards at hundreds of airports, weather, maps and the ability to sync with calendars and share flight information via e-mail, text message, Facebook, and Twitter.
  5. GateGuru (free) – TripAdvisor bought this handy little app, which has expanded greatly since the acquisition. The JourneyCard section provides all your day-of-travel information in real time, including security wait times, flight delays, gate changes or layover time adjustments. The Airport Card is GateGuru’s calling card, offering maps, details and reviews of food/beverage and retail outlets and weather.
  6. Packing + TO DO (99 cents) – if you’re like me, sometimes you forget to pack key items (underwear). This app has a catalog of 800 items and allows you to customize your packing lists. You can also access the lists in the cloud. And the app is very handy in case your luggage is lost, because you can give a detailed list of items you packed.
  7. Kayak Pro (99 cents) – this is my go-to app when checking on airfares. It covers every carrier except Southwest, and gives dozens of options and price ranges. The app also lets you check hotel and rental car deals, book hotels, track flights, manage your flight, check bag fees and view maps for more than 100 airports.
  8. Hotel Tonight (free) – let’s say the worst happens; your flight is delayed or cancelled, and you’re stuck. This app offers amazing same-day deals at hotels in dozens of cities across the world. And these are not Motel 6-type facilities (no disrespect to Motel 6). Most of them are chic boutique hotels at bargain basement rates.
  9. Taxi Magic or Uber (free) – Taxi Magic allows you to book, track, pay for and get receipts for cab rides, all from your smartphone. Uber is similar to Taxi Magic, but it offers a range of cars (from UberX to Lux) to fit your budget.
  10. The Plane Rules (free) – With all the myriad rules airlines have in place when it comes to travel. Frequent flyer guru Terry Tripler’s app is a godsend to travelers who may not know the rules when it comes to airlines’ contract of carriage, liability for flight schedules and rules for same-day standby and flight changes.

– See more at: http://www.aviationqueen.com/10-must-have-travel-apps/#sthash.YDnOEPWl.dpuf

10 Must-Have Travel Apps

iphone

Last week, my friend Jim asked me a question about a travel app. He said that I should do a blog post on my favorite travel apps, and I agreed. Apps have revolutionized the way we travel, and I have 10 in my travel apps folder on the iPhone that I can’t live without, in no particular order. Enjoy!

  1. MyTSA (free) – I have to give props to the Transportation Security Administration for creating an app that uses crowdsourcing to tell how long security lines are at airports and if there are any flight delays. It also allows users to type in an item and check if they can bring it in their carry-on or checked baggage. Finally, it offers a guide that answers the most common security questions.
  2. Smart Traveler (free) – this official app from the U.S. State Department is great for my international travelers.  It offers information including official country information, travel alerts, travel warnings, maps and U.S. embassy locations.
  3. Next Flight ($2.99) – this one is most valuable if you’re experiencing a flight delay or want to catch an earlier/later flight. Type in your city-pair and travel date, and the app shows all the flights available that day. That can be very handy if you get a less-than-helpful gate or ticket agent.
  4. Flight + ($3.99) – this app is the perfect companion to Next Flight. It offers the ability to track any flight in the world, check out flight boards at hundreds of airports, weather, maps and the ability to sync with calendars and share flight information via e-mail, text message, Facebook, and Twitter.
  5. GateGuru (free) – TripAdvisor bought this handy little app, which has expanded greatly since the acquisition. The JourneyCard section provides all your day-of-travel information in real time, including security wait times, flight delays, gate changes or layover time adjustments. The Airport Card is GateGuru’s calling card, offering maps, details and reviews of food/beverage and retail outlets and weather.
  6. Packing + TO DO (99 cents) – if you’re like me, sometimes you forget to pack key items (underwear). This app has a catalog of 800 items and allows you to customize your packing lists. You can also access the lists in the cloud. And the app is very handy in case your luggage is lost, because you can give a detailed list of items you packed.
  7. Kayak Pro (99 cents) – this is my go-to app when checking on airfares. It covers every carrier except Southwest, and gives dozens of options and price ranges. The app also lets you check hotel and rental car deals, book hotels, track flights, manage your flight, check bag fees and view maps for more than 100 airports.
  8. Hotel Tonight (free) – let’s say the worst happens; your flight is delayed or cancelled, and you’re stuck. This app offers amazing same-day deals at hotels in dozens of cities across the world. And these are not Motel 6-type facilities (no disrespect to Motel 6). Most of them are chic boutique hotels at bargain basement rates.
  9. Taxi Magic or Uber (free) – Taxi Magic allows you to book, track, pay for and get receipts for cab rides, all from your smartphone. Uber is similar to Taxi Magic, but it offers a range of cars (from UberX to Lux) to fit your budget.
  10. The Plane Rules (free) – With all the myriad rules airlines have in place when it comes to travel. Frequent flyer guru Terry Tripler’s app is a godsend to travelers who may not know the rules when it comes to airlines’ contract of carriage, liability for flight schedules and rules for same-day standby and flight changes.

Rolling Aviation Thoughts

  • Back when I worked for Mesa Air Group in Phoenix, I used to travel regularly to the East Coast for business and for pleasure.  But I had a boss who liked to stay in touch – even when I was on the plane.  I had flight benefits on both America West and US Airways (this was pre-merger), but I favored US Airways because they didn’t have onboard phones. Planes used to be one of the last sanctuaries, but not anymore, as more airlines offer WiFi, as outlined in this New York Times article.  I will use WiFi on longer haul flights, but I still long for the days when my perfect inflight companion was a good book.
  • I’m a girl who loves her tech toys, so this Mashable article — 5 Business Travel Problems and Their Tech Solutions — really spoke to me.  I’m a big fan and regular user of number one. For number two, I’d use the Next Flight app instead of what was recommended. And I’ve already downloaded number four.
  • As a bona fide aviation geek,I always enjoy watching movies with that theme or plot line (yes, I’m going to see the new movie “Flight”).  I’m always looking for the authenticity or the fake in movies (don’t get me started about the cancelled show “Pan Am”).  So this article on HistoryNet.com,  “Movie Stars With Wings,” discusses how moviemakers handled aviation scenes before the advent of computer-generated images.
  • One time on a trip to Brazil, I used my cell phone to make a few calls. BAD mistake. The bill was astronomical, which is why I wish I had read this Budget Travel blog post — What’s The Best Way To Phone Home While Traveling? — before I left on my trip. My solution now? A good old-fashioned calling card.
  • Regular readers of this blog know that I believe allowing cell phones inflight is comparable to a circle of hell (read why here).  So I felt my heart rise when I read this Los Angeles Times article — “U.S. airlines in no rush to allow in-flight cellphone use.” I’m under no illusions. The airlines don’t want to do it because of the cost and the hassle to install the equipment on their fleets. But you know what? I’ll take what I can get.
  • I almost fell out of my chair when I saw this headline — “Airline to cancel federal subsidy for ND airport” in Bloomberg BusinessWeek.  It turns out that Great Lakes Aviation, which was paid $2 million a year under the Essential Air Service (EAS) program to offer flights out of Dickinson, N.D., says it no longer needs the subsidy and will continue to fly the service.  Increased oil production in the area has made the subsidy unnecessary. I only wish we could see more of this or a complete revamp of EAS, which I discuss here.