3 Mobile Apps to Improve Your Air-Travel Experience

Author: David McMillin       

Whether you’re gearing up for summer vacation travel or planning a full schedule of site visits, the journey from buying a ticket to landing in your destination can be a bumpy ride. Consider downloading these three apps to take the hassle and anxiety out of getting from here to there.

Hopper
Free for iOS and Android

Flying begins with the frustrating game of comparing prices and guessing when you should actually book your ticket. Will prices go down in the next week? Is there a better time to travel? Should you book your ticket on a Wednesday at 1 a.m. when prices are low? (I have actually read that advice before right here, and I do not like the thought of setting my alarm to look at airline websites.) Instead of wondering about all these questions, Hopper answers them for you. The app sends notifications when prices drop or when they may increase soon with a simple “Watch” tool that monitors routes on your itinerary. It also recommends more-affordable options or excludes the basic economy fares if you want to avoid the no-frills experience. It’s my go-to app for finding the right flight.

Grab
Free for iOS and Android

TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry may be able to help you save time in the security line, but skipping ahead in the lines to order food at airports isn’t so easy. Instead of standing behind dozens of other hungry passengers, Grab offers mobile ordering services at 17 airports around the U.S., including Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, and LAX. Some of the nation’s busiest airports are currently missing — ORD, LGA, and SFO are noticeably absent for now — but this service seems poised to take off as more passengers take advantage of the convenience. The app offers an idea of expected preparation time, and it even calls out “local” flavors if you’re looking for a more authentic bite before your departure.

SkyGuru
$19.99 for iOS

Here’s an app that updates in airplane mode. If turbulence, unexpected noises, and the other joys of traveling make you nervous, SkyGuru can provide a calming presence. The app explains what’s happening during your flight, warns you of bumps ahead, and offers an expert in-flight aviation perspective. So, if your knuckles are turning white while waiting for the pilot to speak, SkyGuru may be the friendly message you need to see. The price tag may seem steep, but if you’re as nervous as I am onboard, it can prove to be a well-spent $20.

Looking for advice on how to get more tasks accomplished while you’re away from home? Check out “7 Productivity Tips for Working from Anywhere.”