If you travel frequently, keeping track of all your flights, hotels and car trips can be made easier using a few different iPhone apps that consolidate all that information in one easy to access location. These iPhone apps are great because not only do they give you a dashboard for your flight information, but they also help you keep track of changes to your trips and easily input your information into the apps.
TripIt is hands down the best trip and itinerary app for the iPhone. This is not only because TripIt offers a great application but also due to the unique service that TripIt provides which helps you automatically create trips using your confirmation emails. Once you’ve setup your account at tripit.com, all you have to do is forward your confirmation emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will instantly add the information and create trips for you with all the flights, lodging and car detail information. The professional version of TripIt costs $4 which removes the ads, which I highly recommend. The app shows your upcoming trips in a list where you can tap to get details. There are color coded icons for flights, lodging and cars. Plus TripIt adds convenience items to your trip like directions from the airport to your hotel, and a map of your destination city. Flight details include links to seat details, terminal and gate info, flight check in websites, and more. You also have passenger info, confirmation numbers and contact numbers in case you need to call the airline. The design of the app is very easy to read. There is no push notification feature for flight changes built into the TripIt app. You can view maps of addresses, but for some odd reason you have to tap the view in Google Maps link to get there. If you pay for a TripIt account ($49/year) you should download the free app, and you are also able to track your rewards points in the app. Finally in the Network section you can find out when your TripIt Connections are traveling. The app also lets you add new trips or add new plans to existing trips, although the interface for adding changes uses a tediously slow web based interface. Another missing feature in this app is the ability to view past trips. The TripIt app purchase comes with an iPad optimized version as an added bonus.
TripDeck is another travel itinerary manager iPhone app from Mobiata which is able sync TripIt plans. TripDeck as the name suggests, uses a deck style interface which is unique in its field allowing you to view parts of your itinerary by swiping through a deck of cards. While having these cards is fun to navigate through and condensed using small button icons, I found myself feeling frustrated by not being able to see all the items on a list in one place while using the app. Each card flips around to view more details about the flight or hotel reservation. TripDeck is a free app and it will ask you to pay for small upgrades while you use the app. These features are 1) Live Flight Status for $3.99 2) Live Flight Maps for $3.99 and 3) Push Alerts for another $3.99 upgrade fee. Overall TripDeck is a great free alternative app if you can live with the card style layout and lack of live travel updates.
TripCase from Sabre is a competing service to TripIt which offers trip ingestion and an iPhone app. You can forward your confirmation emails to email@example.com to be auto imported to TripCase, although unfortunately it takes a long time for them to get added to your TripCase account. This means you have to manually add your trips to TripCase in most cases which is tedious work. On the bright side, the TripCase app does give you flight updates, gate number changes and push notifications for free. However you still need to pay for additional services if you want the TripCase Pro features the fee is $69.99/year (free until Dec 31st right now). Viewing the trip details in the TripCase iPhone app is confusing and is not very intuitive. You have to switch between view and manage tabs to edit and add trips although on the My trips page the remove functionality is always enabled which is scary. Finally the overall design and graphics used in the app are not as polished as they could be.
Looking for a simple and free TripIt integration tool from a Trusted name, then take a look at the USA TODAY AutoPilot iPhone app. Here you can either enter Trips manually or import them from TripIt. Manual entry lets you input Flights, Lodging and Car Rentals. From the imported trips you can get linked to check into your flight online at the airline’s website. The app also pulls in flight details although there seems to be a delay in getting updates such as gates and schedule changes pushed into the app. You can also view weather info for both the departure and arrival cities. Another missing feature is Lodging imports from TripIt. It appears that USA TODAY AutoPilot only imports Flights and skips car rentals and lodging, although it does allow you to enter them manually, which is a pretty big issue. The app provides a phone directory of hotels and airlines inside which may be helpful, and also naturally promotes USA TODAY news content, although that data is not accessible while you’re in Airplane mode.
TripTracker Pro from Pageonce is a standalone app that requires you to manually enter flights, hotsla dn car rentals which then get synced to your Pageonce user account. Lack of TripIt support is a barrier here, especially for existing users. Adding trip information is pretty simple and straightforward using a step by step approach. Once you’ve got your Pageonce account, they actually send you emails on the days surrounding your trip to remind you which is a great feature. Overall, The app sends timely push notifications to your iPhone as well and works pretty well. The only issue here is having to add trip data by hand. If you don’t mind doing that, TripTracker Pro is worth the 1 dollar investment and maybe a good choice for existing Pageonce users.
If you love TripIt and want to have push notifications and flight/gate updates sent to you, you can buy and use the TripTracker Pro app on your iPhone. TripTracker Pro syncs with TripIt and lists all your trips, although you only see your flights in this app, not anything else. This is an expensive app at 10 dollars and you are mostly paying for the beautiful interface and accurate updated information. The app also provides a wealth of other information like weather, terminal maps, seating info, flight schedule, delay forecast based on historical information, a virtual flight map, and a bunch of other features. They also try to sell you on a $3.99 upgrade to see a FlightBoard which is similar to the board you see at the airports. Also if you don’t use TripIt, FlightTrack Pro is super convenient and painless for manually adding flights to track. There is now also an iCloud sync feature built into the app which is a great selling point. Beside the lack of support for Hotel and Car rental data here, I was once told that a flight was delayed by the app when in fact it left on time, so when it is all said and done, you really should be checking with the airline counter or a flight board at the airport for time changes to be sure. The FlightTrack Pro app comes as a universal app so you also get a beautiful iPad optimized version.
Bonus App: For those of you who are constantly flying, it is crucial to know and reserve the best seat on your flight. Want more leg room? Hate having to be on the exit row? Want to be close to deplane doors? Want more luggage space? The new Jets app for the iPhone lets you find the perfect seat on any flight in any airplane. The app costs $2.99 and comes with 94MB of data including a large seating map catalogue that covers over 530 aircraft types so you’re covered in almost any type of flight. You just find your flight using its flight code, and Jets finds your aircraft type and you can browse for the best seats using a slick 3D top down view of the cabin. Simple and effective. Jets has a shiny clean user interface and seating maps are colorful and color coded for ease. The colors codes are not explained in the app. Blue seats are standard, green seats have additional benefits like more leg space, red seats have issues like recline restrictions, and yellow seats have partial issues like missing windows. The app also lets you view the entire fleet for any airline. There is no TripIt import feature yet which would make this app perfect. Whether you’re on Southwest and want to run to a great seat, or are reserving a flight on your iPhone and want to be sure you’re not going to be crammed on a 6 hour flight, the Jets app is a good investment for savvy frequent flyers.