Airport apps that are actually useful
November 7, 2016 12:55 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for recommendations for useful iPhone (specifically iPhone 6) apps for airports. Useful means: includes decent maps (ideally including the location of the airline lounges); decent navigation; for multi-terminal airports, shows how to get between terminals quickly; not limited to US (most of my travel is in Europe); includes public transport options. Nice if it works offline. No objection to paying for it--maybe even preferred if it means no ads.

I'm not particularly interested in flight tracking because I have airline apps for that, but if it's there, OK. I'm also not interested in shopping. There are a few apps in the App Store that might be what I want, but I'm not going to rely on out-of-date breathless reviews on travel sites. I already have Flio and am considering dumping it.
Rant follows; feel free to TL/DR.
The rant is that most airports' websites suck (looking at you, Frankfurt) in that they go overboard with animations and effects that the designer must have thought were awesome but that don't help you find stuff. Most of them are more interested in getting you shopping, like I want to go to an airport just to buy jewelry? Meanwhile the transport options take a bit of digging and things like where I can park a suitcase for a few hours can be hard to find.
I don't shop in airports; the only buying I do is food and not always that. I am an Emerald member on Oneworld and if I'm not at Heathrow, where I know where everything is, I want to find the Oneworld lounges. I don't use cabs at airports much; if there's an airport train service I'll use that.
Case in point: in a few weeks time I'm flying through DXB. I will have a few hours between flights so I want to know where the BA lounge is--according to BA's website there is one, and it gives general directions to it, but do you think I can match those to the DXB "map"--it's interactive and zoomable and all sorts of good stuff but it doesn't show the airline lounges. Shows lots of shops and eateries though. (And specifically to DXB--its signage isn't great and it's huge, and the staff may or may not speak excellent English.)
posted by Logophiliac to Travel & Transportation (2 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Seatguru is great for picking seats that don't suck (it's also a website, so you don't necessarily need to use it on your phone).

This list of airport info apps seems legit. Loungebuddy is pretty good.

I use Tripit for managing itineraries on my phone, but it's honestly not that great visually or in the way it presents information, it's main selling point is that it automatically builds itineraries from confirmation emails. And I think Google Trips does the same thing, but in a much nicer package.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:51 AM on November 7, 2016

Thanks Happy Dave. You've kind of confirmed my theory that there really aren't many useful apps such as I described. I already knew about Seatguru and Loungebuddy, noting that I saw some comments about spam from Loungebuddy on FlyerTalk. I made a hotel booking earlier this evening and the Mercure website recommended a thing called Wipolo which I'm trying out, but it seems to do much the same things as TripIt (clever though--it assembled a trip of mine made up of 2 hotel bookings and 4 separate airline bookings, all from different sources, automatically). Flio actually does tell you where some of the airline lounges are, but since it has the BA Galleries Lounge at JFK in T4 I'm not sure how far I should rely on it.
posted by Logophiliac at 8:49 AM on November 8, 2016

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