Everything about flying is exciting. Well, everything except the part before you fly. A lot of things can make you want to scream in frustration while waiting at the airport: bad weather, long lines, rowdy crowds. We could go on, but instead, we’ll do you a solid and tell you about the apps we turn to to fix everything from a growling stomach to jet lag. You’re on your phone already, right? Here are the seven we always keep on our home screens.
1. iFly Pro ($4.99 for Apple; $6.99 for Android)
Yes, this app is a bit pricey—at $4.99 for Apple users and $6.99 for Android users—but it’s worth every penny. iFly Pro has in-depth information on more than 700 airports from around the world. This includes in-terminal navigation, flight statuses, parking rates, layover ideas and details on services and amenities near you.
2. GateGuru (Free)
Within seconds, this free app pulls out information on shops, restaurants and other amenities in both domestic and international airports. GateGuru has solid partnerships with airport management companies from around the world, so rest assured that most of its information is reliable and up-to-date.
The app has other fun features, too. For example, there’s Your Travel Stats, where you can check your mileage, the number of airports you’ve visited and other flight-related statistics. You can even compare your numbers with that of other GateGuru users, and see how you rank against them.
3. LoungeBuddy (Free)
Hate waiting more than anything else? LoungeBuddy has you covered, with its ability to spit out information on lounge areas near you, using information like your elite status with an airline—or lack thereof—lounge memberships and itinerary details. Also, the app allows you to post photos of and review a lounge for the sake of fellow travelers—and future reference. The best part? The app is free for both iPhone and Android users
4. MiFlight (Free)
If security checkpoint lines are always 100 times longer than your patience, download this one. MiFlight collects information on wait times from over 50 airports from around the world, thanks to the generosity of disgruntled passengers who want to know: “Has the line moved yet?”
5. Airport Transit Guide ($4.99)
If you like traveling abroad, Airport Transit Guide is for you. Billing itself as something that “lets you travel like a local,” this app is chockfull of information on the best way to get from point A to point B within a foreign airport. For example, if you’re stuck in an airport in India, the app lists nearby metered taxi services, suggests places where you can reserve a car at a cheap price and even advises you to keep your receipt until you arrive at your destination.
Also, in case you’re lost or your flight gets delayed, the app has a search feature for airports—arranged alphabetically – and contains links to airport websites, so you can book another flight when necessary. At $4.99, it’s a pretty handy app for getting around an otherwise unfamiliar place.
6. Entrain (Free)
Developed by University of Michigan researchers, this app keeps jet lag at bay by mapping out your sleep schedule according to your body’s circadian rhythms. Entrain relies on your reported light data to recommend the best sleeping and waking hours for you in your new time zone. This helps your biological rhythms kick back into gear, minimizing your jetlag. For the app to work, you have to enter the following data correctly: your current time zone, your destination’s time zone, and the brightest light you can tolerate during your trip. Enjoy the jet ride more and lag a little less.
7. FlySmart (Free)
The moment you log on to FlySmart’s official website, you can already see what the app is capable of. Like GateGuru, it lists reviews and other information on shops, restaurants and other services in your area. Unlike GateGuru, it has notifications on flight delays, to help you prepare for the worst when it comes. The only drawback to this app is it doesn’t list negative reviews on certain restaurants and shops, so you’ll have to take what users say with a grain of salt.
Know of any other apps that can help you get through the airport in one piece? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Photo by HKmPUA/Flickr