When it comes to time spent at the airport, it seems we’re always either rushing to a gate—or flipping through magazines at Hudson News, desperately trying to kill time. But regardless of whether you’re looking to grab a quick bite gateside or while away the hours in a posh airport lounge, there’s an app for that. The next time you travel, download the following airport apps and turn a hectic, or even ho hum, airport experience into something extraordinary.
Ever arrived hungry at the airport but knew there was no time to grab something before heading to your gate? Enter AirportSherpa, which functions like a Seamless or Grub Hub for delivery of airport food and shop items. Make your selections from restaurants around the airport or pick out all of your travel essentials (neck pillow, headphones, phone chargers, etc.), and they’ll arrive directly to your gate within 20 minutes—no need to give up your seat or your place in line!
We’ve all felt the anxiety of not knowing what lies ahead at the airport. Are the security wait times long? Are there flight updates I should know about? Has there been a gate change? GateGuru is a popular app that lets you input your itinerary and then tells you everything you need to know, including gate/terminal maps and more.
While this isn’t strictly an airport app, it’ll be super useful when traveling abroad where you might encounter unfamiliar signs and gate agents who don’t speak your language. Type in the text or take a photo of an airport sign, and get an instant translation.
MyRadar shares updated weather notifications but also lets you keep travel and vacation plans in one place via a partnership with TripIt. Once you arrive at the airport, you’ll automatically be told if the gate has changed or flight has been delayed so you can make the proper changes to your hotel or car rental reservations.
Airport Transit Guide
If you’ve ever stepped off a plane, picked up your bag and then realized you had no idea where to go next, the Airport Transit Guide is for you. What started as a print guide used by travel agents and frequent flyers is now a handy app that helps you figure out airport transit such as taxis, buses, shuttles, trains and car rental counters. It even includes detailed information on fares, routes, travel times and pickup points.
Flight delays can unravel your travel plans, especially if you have connections. FAAWait uses real-time access to the FAA’s air traffic-delay feed at every U.S. airport, so you’ll get a heads up on departure and arrival delays, ground stops and ground delays caused by weather, aircraft taxi volume and other factors. Note that while the app does monitor real-time airport traffic conditions, it does not provide delay information on specific flights.
Long security lines can make travel a grueling experience. The MyTSA app gives intel on TSA wait times, what you can and can not take through through security as a carry on, and even lets you ask questions of TSA agents if you are feeling unsure about that casserole you’re bringing to visit Aunt Rose. It’ll even tell you which TSA lines are the shortest and fastest at various airports along your route.
Thought you had to have frequent flyer status to kick back at an airport lounge? Not anymore. The LoungeBuddy app gives you access to more than 420 airport lounges worldwide—no status required. Just download the app and pay for a day pass for the lounge of your choice.
Jet lag is a nightmare and can put a real damper on days worth of your getaway. Entrain helps you get your biological rhythms reset by providing lighting schedules developed by researchers at the University of Michigan. This one should help you to get adjusted in time for your arrival, so you are ready to hit the ground running.
Another food app. Grab is a little different in that you type in destination terminal and gate, and then you see what is available where you’ll be. Then, place your order and prepay, you can pick it up when you get there instead of waiting on a long line!
If you are suffering with a flight delay or cancellation, NextFlight can help you find a new flight. Just type in where you are coming from and going to and travel date, and the app will show all the flights available that day, on various airlines, both non-stop and with connections.
Did you know you can often get compensation for delayed or canceled flights? It might seem like a hassle to pursue it but that’s where Service comes in. If your flight gets canceled, you miss your connection or lose your luggage, Service helps deal with it by automatically filing for compensation on your behalf. The app automatically detects travel disruptions and may even handle them before you get to where you are going, without you having to be the one tearing your hair out!
We love the Travelocity app for its mobile exclusive hotel deals, just in case your flight is suddenly cancelled and you’re stuck in an unfamiliar city for the night. You can also plan out the rest of your trip on the app, including car rentals and activities. Bonus: The mobile app has a new augmented reality feature which allows you to download the Roaming Gnome straight from the app and drop him into all your favorite holiday pics!
Your Airline’s App
Whatever airline you are flying, it’s a good idea to have their app downloaded. You can remove it after your flights if you wish, but it will be so useful in scanning boarding passes, changing or upgrading seats, getting flight information, accessing inflight entertainment, and more.
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