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Smartphone apps help you save time, money at the airport

by Katherine Whaley / KHOU 11 News

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 29 at 4:40 PM

HOUSTON -- Before you pack your bags and head out for the airport, you’ll want to make sure you’ve loaded your smartphone with all the right air-travel apps. Digital PR Strategist Ashley Small explains how technology can help you save time and money at the airport.

KW -"Ashley, I know there are several smartphone apps that can help people while they are on the go. What’s the most useful one for the average traveler?"

AS -"My favorite app is Tripit. It synchronizes your travel information as soon as you book online, and it automatically synchronizes your phone. You are able to track your gate information, delays, anything that has to do with your flight. You can also keep track of frequent flier miles."

KW-"People are always trying to find ways to save time while they are in the airport while they’re stuck on that layover. What have you found?"

AS -"I found a free wifi application that helps you track hot spots within the location. That way you avoid spending ten bucks to hop online for just a few minutes."

KW - "The app is called Free Wifi... It seems pretty self explanatory -- figures out where you are and tells you where the wifi is."

KW -"How can our phone save money when we are booking travel?"

AS -"Tripadvisor is my best pre-planning application. It’s pretty much a one-stop shop."

KW - "So we’re not just talking airports, we’re talking hotels, and even car rentals."

AS - "For me, it’s eliminated the need for a travel agent. It even has restaurant reviews, and advice on things to do."

KW - "A lot of people over the holidays travel internationally and they need to exchange money, and I hear you’ve found an app that will help them do that"

AS – "Xe app is the best app for currency conversion. With the click of a button you let the app know where you’re coming from where you’re going, and it will let you know the dollar value the exchange rate."

KW - "Kind of like a calculator?"

AS - "Yes, you’re saving money and you’re saving time."

KW - "A lot of times we find ourselves delayed by weather somewhere or stuck at a gate longer than we expect. How can we make the most of our time?

AS - "Gate guru is a one-stop shop. It allows you to rate the best restaurant, where the best meals are, coffee, where’s the nearest ATM."

KW - "And a lot of airports have a lot of pretty nice things to offer nowadays, right?"

AS - "You can get a 10-minute massage, or get your shoes shined, or eat at your favorite restaurant. I’m actually looking at Hobby right now, and it’s telling me that Buffalo Wild Wings is at gate 23."

All of the smartphone apps featured here are free to download. Happy traveling!