Let’s face it, airports are stressful. There’s the traffic getting to the airport, the security shakedowns, and of course, marginally edible yet overpriced food options. None of this even takes into consideration the airline part of this equation - checking into flights, printing boarding passes, and managing travel details. Thankfully, many airlines recognize this and have turned to mobile apps to help upgrade the flyer experience. Below are the airline apps every frequent flyer needs to have, and one cool feature that helps makes travelling easier:
As I’ve learned the hard way, time to gate can be vastly different airport to airport, especially international ones. I sprinted to my gate in Madrid once and it took me over 30 minutes. In Tampa? My gate was two minutes after security.
Knowing up to the minute gate information can save you a lot of unnecessary headache and answer the eternal question, “Do we have time for a drink before we board?”.
British Airways takes the guesswork out of this with their awesome mobile app. In addition to all the features you’d expect to find on an airline, their app provides real-time push notifications with up-to-date information (like gate changes or delays) about your departing flight.
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Image source: JetBlue
You’ve heard me talk about how mobile payments are the future, and that’s because nobody wants to have to fiddle with those ghastly EMV chip card readers and receipts. Mobile payments streamline the entire transactional process so that it’s quick and easy.
And if you’ve ever awkwardly stood behind a flight attendant while they make their food rounds, you realize how important streamlining the mid-flight payment process is.
JetBlue’s Apple Pay play is smart; make it as easy as possible for passengers with limited movability to purchase that Perk Up box.
Moving beyond traditional airline apps, Delta took things to an interactive level with their Glass Bottom Jet app for the iPad. Ever seen those pictures of a glass bottom plane? Think of it like that, but without the induced panic attacks.
The app is meant to keep passengers entertained along their journey by letting them know about key landmarks or interesting facts that they’re currently flying above, or at their destination. This is a great example of an airline using the power of mobile to enhance in-flight entertainment.
Ryan Air was my go-to airline while studying abroad. They fly to so many cities and it’s ridiculously affordable. There is a catch, though. You need to print your boarding pass seven days in advance of a flight in order to avoid check-in fees which can run anywhere from $15-$96 depending on whether or not you checked in. That check-in fee hurts, especially if you only paid $30 roundtrip for your flights. But hey, they have to make their money someway, right? And their prices put US airlines to shame.
Good news is Ryan Air has an easy solution to the check-in woes with their mobile app. All you have to do is download their app and remember to check-in between seven days and two hours before your flight. That beats going to a sketchy internet cafe in Prague anyday.
Apps are all about making tasks easier, and that’s exactly what EasyJet’s passport scanning app feature does. Let’s face it, nobody wants to type in all of their information from their passport into their app. With EasyJet’s great app feature, you can not only scan your passport but also your credit card for easy purchases.
Mobile apps are only going to increase in popularity over the next couple years as more and more flyers adopt the mobile boarding passes. This is a win-win for everyone, since it minimizes wait time and is much more eco-friendly. Airline apps who want to promote customer loyalty should move beyond just mobile boarding passes and follow suit of their peers above by enhancing in-flight experiences. Do this, and the sky’s the limit.
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