In my line of work there is a ton of travel involved so what better way to keep track of my flights than to get some apps for y iPhone. I’m currently only using free apps but I am very tempted to get a paid app for some additional functionality. I haven’t used the two travel apps I’ll talk about a whole lot yet but they seem to work well.
Step one for travel is getting the itinerary in a better format than an email or PDF file sitting in an email inbox. This is where TripIt cones into play. This is a free service and app that takes emails and PDF files and translates them in an easy to view list on a website with all the pertinent details. There is a paid version but I didn’t look too closely at that section to see what oher features are offered. Sending in an itinerary is simple as pie, just forward an email to TripIt and it will appear. The iPhone app displays all our trips that were created so it’s easy to see instead of tryn to add it to a calendar app of some kind manually. The value of using TripIt is that a lot of the travel apps aailable for iPhone use information from TripIt as a base to then start tracking flights for delays and sending notifications to ensure the weary traveler knows what gate to go to and if they can have just one more drink at the bar in case the flight is delayed.
The free app I’m using that uses info from TripIt is AitoPilot by USA Today. This app is a bit different from the ones I’ve read about in the iTunes store. First off it’s free, second it has interesting connections to Flickr and some articles from USA Today. It shows all the info a person would need like gate info, delays, expected take off and landing and the weather. These are all good things but what it’s missing are push notifications. While this would add to my battery drain, the numerous emails I get from United do the same thing. The interface doesn’t look as slick as Flight Tracker Pro (recommended travel app at Travel and Leisure Magazine) but it still gets the job done. There are ads here and there but that’s to be expected since it’s a free app. I will continue to test this app over the next couple of weeks but if they make some major strides with one of the paid apps I’ll break down and get one of those.