Frequent business travelers know that the skies are busier than ever before. Flights are nearly always full, with more people resuming travel and airlines paring down their flight schedules. Add a summer storm, a wildfire, or a holiday to the mix and you can bet on delays and cancellations that often have a domino effect. One of the very best tools to have in your pocket in times like this is your airline’s mobile app. User-friendly airline apps give you flexibility and support when you need it most.
The first step is to download the airline app from your device’s mobile app store before you head to the airport. Most airline apps alert you to the first sign of trouble – often before it hits the schedule boards at the airport. With push notifications providing an “early warning system” for delays and cancellations, you can nimbly deal with the situation and get a first-mover advantage right from your mobile phone. The Delta Airlines app gives real-time updates on flights and allows you to rebook a canceled flight within the app. Travel Maestro tip: While it’s not technically an airline app, FlightAware lets you keep track of the progress of any flight so you can anticipate delays or monitor a tight connection.
Basic Airline App Functions
One simple but important benefit of using airline apps is that you have a soft copy of your travel reservations and documents at your fingertips on your mobile phone.
The most basic airline apps allow you to check your flight status, check-in 24 hours before your flight, and download mobile boarding passes for a paperless airport experience. After ticket purchase, many airline apps let you upgrade seat assignments so you can make changes quickly and seamlessly without a phone call or standing in line at the airport.
Many apps have wayfinding maps to help you navigate the airport with United’s app having one of the most extensive collections. You can also track your baggage with many airline apps. Delta’s industry-leading RFID bag tag technology sends push notifications about the bag’s location.
Extended Capabilities of Airline Apps
The major airlines’ apps are more robust and offer additional functions. For example, the Delta Airlines app lets you take a photo of your parking space at the airport and pin the location, so you know where to go when you return. It also shows your Sky Club eligibility based on your status. One particularly useful function in the Delta app is the “On-time Performance” average for any flight. This lets you proactively avoid the highest probability of delays when making your initial reservations.
For real-time flight status in United Airlines’ app, go to “Flight Status Details” and then “See More Flight History” to see if your flight is en route. If it is delayed, you can put yourself on standby for the next flight or you can talk, text, or video chat with an agent. The United app allows you to stream free in-flight entertainment and pay for snacks and drinks while you are in the air. It even has a currency calculator.
Travel Maestro tip: Find your favorite airline’s mobile app here.
Most airline apps have an interface with frequent flier accounts, so you can redeem points for new reservations or upgrades through their mobile applications. Airline apps also offer the capability of paying for tickets in dollars. Of course, airlines recommend doing just that but at Covington, we disagree in most cases. When Covington manages your travel arrangements, we eliminate the time and stress of researching flight and pricing options. All of your air, car, hotel, rail, insurance, and other travel-related reservations are in one place and we are available 24/7 to assist. Making reservations and purchasing tickets with a travel agent does not keep you from using the airline apps; you still have the full functionality of any app PLUS our services. It’s truly a win/win.
BONUS TIP: Use This App for U.S. Passport Control
One additional mobile application that does not belong to any specific airline is the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app. It is a free application that expedites U.S. entry. Eligible travelers submit their travel documents, photos, and customs declaration information through a free, secure app on their smartphone or other mobile devices for shorter wait times, less congestion, and efficient processing.
Technology continues to make travel easier and less stressful. Mobile travel apps have come a long way in recent years, so be sure to make use of their benefits to streamline your jetstream. If Covington can be of any assistance in your travel management, just contact us.