In the battle to win customer loyalty in the aviation industry, airlines are finding themselves in the online sphere using technology and social media to keep in touch with customers. Apps in particular are keeping airlines moving with the times and the increasing number of passengers. In the hazy world that is the app store, I've picked out a list of the top 10 airline apps for apple and android devices. So here we goâ€¦
10. Aer Lingus
Aer Lingus comes in at no. 10 with their free app. You can plan your trip, search for fares, view your flight details, save flights to favourites, complete your booking, check in on selected routes, get travel alerts and check your flights status information. A basic but user friendly app.
Swiss International Air Lines is "made for frequent flyers". This app allows you to book and check in to your flights, see the flight status and timetable, check your flights and boarding pass offline, call up baggage limits, access Twitter feeds and media releases, lounges and the transport network via Webview. The apps boarding pass can be exported to the apple passbook.
8. Air France
Air France Mobile lets the user plan journeys using contact information for Air France, KLM and Flying Blue. You can then purchase your tickets, manage that booking, check real time departure and arrival times and check in all your travellers in the group.
The EasyJet app has covered most bases with the promise of more to come. You can book flights, choose your seats, manage your bookings, add flight options including bags, save your details, track the flights status and share your bookings on the majority of social media sites. Great if you love orangeâ€¦
The BA app allows iPhone users to use their phone as boarding passes, access information on upcoming flights and departure/arrival times, manage flights for upgrades and seat bookings, booking flights and seeing schedules. The app also has exclusive features for Executive Club members including balance and transaction history and lounge wi-fi passwords so you can keep up to date with their Twitter, Facebook and videos.
The KLM app runs off your Flying Blue details and shows special offers, timetables, booking flights (for you or more passengers), check in (including seat selection, extra baggage with 20% off, boarding pass and cancelling), bookings, a personal home page, flight status and Flying Blue account details.
Lufthansa's app is compatible with the passbook and allows user to book flights, check flight status', timetables, mobile boarding passes, mobile website, push messages for flight status, current offers and entry data- the app saves passport and visa information which is then automatically completed in the right places!
United Airlines allows check in and mobile boarding pass storage, flight bookings, flight status, push notifications, account access for Mileage Plus Users, airport maps and flight view to see maps and weather updates. On top of this, the app features United Club locations, social media information, DIRECTV and sudoku. I'm just sold on Sudoku.
This one has sudoku too. But back to the useful stuff- the app saves your login and password, sets parking reminders, monitors your position on the standby list, tracks Elite Status progress, view flight details, access the boarding pass which can be saved to the passbook on iPhones etc, use GPS to find the nearest American Airlines serviced airport, terminal maps and AAdvantage account details. The parking reminder alone is a winner.
1. Fly Delta
Topping the list is Fly Delta from Delta Airlines. This app allows users to find compare and book flights, purchase economy comfort and trip extras like wifi and priority boarding. You can rebook or cancel flights, manage trips, check your SkyMiles, check in download your boarding pass which is compatible with the passbook, pay for bags AND track where they are. There's moreâ€¦check the flight status, save a photo to remember where you parked your car, check your status on the upgrade or standby list, view and change your seat, locate the lounges, view airport maps, transport details and weather information. Finally, you can get information on the fleet and partners as well as map your flights en route.
So there you have it. What do you think? The airlines obviously vary from low cost to traditional carriers showing in their app details. The main function needed being the ability to book and check in with a boarding pass on your phone. Let us know your thoughts on these apps, if you use them or if I've missed any off the list you think should be there.
The World Low Cost Airlines Congress will discuss customer loyalty with the co-located event, Aviation IT Show which will explore IT developments for the aviation sector. Click here to find out more about attending.
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