Business travel basics: Airline apps

Today I want to talk about something very basic for frequent travelers: airline apps. If you have been traveling frequently for a while or feel like 12-8-14-1you’ve got a pretty good handle on things, feel free to skip this post. I haven’t thought there was a real need to talk about these apps I use on every single trip because, well, I just assume everyone knows about them. Yesterday I was reminded otherwise.

My cousin, who just started traveling regularly for business last March, was getting ready for a flight to Chicago. He was worried about whether his flight was on time, and when I suggested he use the American Airlines app to check he had no idea what I was talking about! I immediately got on his phone and downloaded the app for him (signing him up for the Aadvantage program while I was at it). The whole thing took about ten minutes, and it made it much easier for him to check various details of his flight.

I have apps downloaded for all of the airlines I use regularly. These apps make it quick and simple to check my flight status, change seats, request an upgrade, and check my gate. They do require regular updates, but it’s worth it for me! I highly recommend all travelers download their airline’s app—even if you only travel once in a while it will help you out! Here are a few of the most common:


US Airways 




Readers, do you use airline apps regularly? Do you find them helpful?

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  1. the United app is immensely useful. You can book award tickets (even on partners), perform same-day confirmed changes, view partner reservation PNR, view upgrade lists, view standby lists, and even view seat maps on any flight, not just the ones you’re booked on.

    I’ve used the apps of UA AA DL B6, and they’re the most advanced by far. (DL excels in being able to track luggage)

  2. The a Delta app is pretty amazing. I can even confirm that my bag made it on the plane before take-off!

  3. I’ve flown all four legacies in the last 18 months, and United’s app definitely is the best as far as I can tell (though I’ve also flown United the most over the last year, so it could just be that I’ve had more opportunity to explore it). My favorite part about United’s app is that it remembers your flight info without signing up for the rewards program (though I have since signed up).

    One tangentially-related thought that’s bothered me since I started using the apps: why do airline check-in kiosks automatically print boarding passes when someone checks a bag? I’d happily save the airlines the $.01 it costs to print that boarding pass if they gave me the option.

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