THEY may not be able to check your luggage in for you, but there’s a growing number of apps designed to help take the stress out of travel. One of the most comprehensive is Flight Update (£2.99), which allows you to enter the details of pretty much any flight, track its status and glean lots more useful information. It can tell you details of flights months into the future, what meals are available, which terminal and gate you need, and will also provide flight tracking on a Google map – and lots more. With MyFlightInfo (59p), you can search by airport, flight number or choose your closest airports to find all the other information you need, while MileBlaster (£3.99) is a tool for regular travellers to keep track of their frequent flyer accounts.
Airports can be confusing places at the best of times, so thank goodness for the apps that can lend you a bit of guidance. iFly’s Airport Guide (£2.39) has information on over 400 airports (and growing), and though there’s a strong US bias, it covers many of the biggest international airports, and can help you locating things like coffee shops, layover lounges and – importantly – the loos. Alternatively, Gate Maps (59p) can be particularly useful in the case of a late gate change. It’s also useful if you need to get your bearings to find connecting flights. And if you find yourself sitting around in a terminal with your flight delayed, Live ATC Air Radio (£1.79) enables you to listen in live to conversations between pilots and air traffic control. It doesn’t work in the UK, but a number of international and US airports are covered.
If you’re keen to find out the best seats for your flight, perhaps the most helpful option is the recently-launched mobile version of the Seat Guru website. You can access this at mobile.seatguru.com, where the airlines charts detailing seating layouts, including which are best and which are too near the loo for comfort, are configured for your mobile. Flight Seat Guide (59p) gives you quick access to seat-picking websites including Seat Guru and Seat Expert. If you need to access seat guides when you don’t have internet access, try Airline Seat Guide (£1.19), which carries layouts for over 100 airlines.
There’s a host of apps designed to make life easier getting around in a foreign destination. Mobile Translator (59p) will help you speak the lingo, Currency Converter (free) sorts out your exchange rates, and Rocket Taxi (£1.19) will find you a taxi in just about any city on Earth. Of the city guides out there, those launched by style mag Wallpaper* (£2.39 each) have the gen on the most fashionable places to head, and the Zagat To Go app (£5.99) will point you towards the best restaurants.
Finally, a growing number of airlines are getting on the apps bandwagon. BA Flights (free) has timetables, arrivals and departures, a handy check-in tool with which you can choose your seat, and arrival and departure information. Qantas (free) has a similar app (minus the check-in tool), while Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways (free) has just launched an app for its frequent flyer loyalty programme, through which members can redeem loyalty points at the airline’s Reward Shop, or get instant seat upgrades.