From the incredibly useful to the somewhat quirky, here are seven apps and services that cater to the aviation enthusiast and everyday traveller’s needs.
- SeatSwappr: an App for in-flight seat swaps
SeatSwappr is a new app that enables customers to swap seats by posting a request to swap or sell a seat on a commercial airline.
This peer-to-peer seat exchange platform allows passengers to negotiate a seat swap prior to boarding, taking the stress out of asking someone on board.
Seats can be easily swapped through direct in-app communication between users or better seats, such as those near an exit, can be sold.
However, there is a slight trust element to this app, as those who have swapped/sold seats will still board with their original boarding passes but will have to rely on the other passenger keeping their word and swapping seats with them.
- KLM’s Meet & Seat service
If swapping seats wasn’t enough, passengers can now find out who will be on board their KLM flight (to and from Amsterdam) via the airline’s ‘Meet & Seat’ service.
Meet & Greet “lets you find out about interesting people who will be on board your KLM flight such as other passengers attending the same event as you at your destination”, says the airline.
To access the service, passengers visit the KLM website and log on to view their trip and then share their Facebook or LinkedIn profile. They are then able to see other participating passenger details, including where they’ll be sitting, so they can choose how close or far away they will sit!
- FAA’s B4UFLY app warns drone users to ‘proceed with caution’
The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Administrator announced the launch of its ‘B4UFLY’ mobile app on January 6 this year, following an initial beta testing period.
The new app tells users about current or upcoming requirements and restrictions in areas of the National Airspace System, where they may want to operate their unmanned aircraft system.
According to the FAA, users will be able to find out if it’s safe to fly their drones in their current location with just “two taps”.
While a status indicator within the app can issue warnings to users, including: ‘Proceed with Caution’, ‘Warning – Action Required’, or Flight Prohibited’.
- Point and aim with Flightradar24
With ‘Flightradar24’ users can either visit the site online or download the app. Then, a plethora of real-time aircraft data is at their fingertips.
In the app, all a user needs to do is point their phone to the sky to obtain information on an aircraft that is flying nearby.
Using 7,000 ADS-B receivers, the service is able to receive information from an aircraft, telling users everything they could possible want to know, including: aircraft type, registration, route, estimated time of arrival, time of departure, speed and altitude – there also a 3D view to check out.
- Pre-order aviation fuel with Honeywell’s goFuel app
Developed by Honeywell Aerospace, ‘goFuel’ is an app that can save business jet pilots and operators time and money.
The app is able to store aviation fuel card details and allows pilots to check jet fuel prices across fixed-base operators and airport locations in the same geographical area.
Its also allows pilots to wirelessly pre-order aviation fuel at any airport, with just the touch of a button. What’s more, using the app helps the industry’s move towards paperless operations by eliminating the need for pilots to use and store files on fuel prices.
- Gateguru: something for the competitive flyers
‘Gateguru’ claims it can take away the “stress, anxiety and frustration” associated with air travel and describes itself as the “first door-to-door solution for a traveller on their day-of travel”.
Via the app users can access data on their current (and previous) journey and through various features are able to access a wealth of information about their trips.
For example, the ‘JourneyCard’ feature provides a detailed itinerary and delivers updates when anything related to a current journey changes, including security wait times, flight delays, gate changes or layover time adjustments.
While the ‘AirportCard’ tool provides detailed airport information, giving users access to amenity information, maps, weather forecasts and airport tips. Travellers can even reserve a rental car (at a discount) as Gateguru has an exclusive partnership with the global car hire company Avis.
And through its ‘Travel Stats’ feature, passengers are given an overview of key stats like how many miles they’ve flown and how many airports they’ve visited. Users can even compare themselves to other GateGuru High Flyers and see where they rank.
- Grab a cocktail and relax thanks to the LoungeBuddy app
‘LoungeBuddy’ is certainly an app with the passenger at heart, giving travellers the chance to find the perfect place to relax and unwind before boarding.
Focused on making the long hours spent waiting for flights following a delay or cancellation that bit better, LoungeBuddy gives customers a taste of ‘airport luxury’ by directing them to the nearest airport lounge.
And these aren’t the lounges reserves for first class flyers but instead the lesser known lounges that any traveller can use for a one-off fee.
So this clever little app takes the guesswork out and helps travellers find the perfect place to relax in before a flight. All users have to do is fill out a profile with any elite status, lounge memberships, and credit cards, along with current itinerary, and the app will do the rest.