iPhone App Review: App in the Air

iPhone App Review: App in the Air

June 10th, 2012 by

Road warriors and frequent travelers have mountains of information to keep track of when it comes to their flight arrangements: airports, connections, terminals, gates, checking in, baggage, what to pack… no doubt everyone has their own system, but App in the Air aims to become that system with a unified all-in-one app that does everything imaginable for the frequent flier.

From storing your flight data for all of your connections, to reminding you to check-in for each leg of the journey, and even alerting you when flight information changes, this app has everything a flyer might need to keep themselves organized. You can check in right from within the app, check the weather at your destination, keep a checklist (including a packing list) for each trip, and even pop into a chat room for each airport and see if other users have tips for your travel.

The app also tracks your miles flown, and lets you share flight information through Facebook and Twitter.

How It Works

When the app launches you’re given the choice to enter your own information or view demo flight data, which functions as sort of a walk-through tutorial for each screen of the app. It’s a good idea to do so right from the start, though you can choose to view the demo later if you wish. Once your flight info is entered then the app takes over from there. It will show you a detailed timeline for your flight, including check-in time, boarding time, and estimated departure; and the app keeps this updated even through scheduled changes from the airlines. Each flight milestone pops up a badge on the app icon (or an SMS/Notification if you choose to upgrade from the free version), to remind you to do whatever it is that needs done.

The screens are peppered with information: there is weather data, monetary conversion information, and even flight delay information for your chosen airport. The app even automatically tracks your flight statistics after each flight, so you can marvel at how well-traveled (or not) you are.

Pros And Cons

I found App in the Air to be a beautifully designed and useful app, especially for one that is free. You can upgrade for $0.99 and get SMS and Push Notifications for flight information, but the free version is otherwise fully functional.

App in the Air has a bit of a learning curve to it, but that is the purpose of the included demo data. It is to the developer’s credit that even if you start by putting in your own flight data, the tutorial information still pops up the first time you access each screen, because otherwise you may find yourself lost. This is a rich and detailed utility that packs a lot of information and functionality into a small package, so there is necessarily some learning to do about how it all works.

The information is presented in a clear way that leaves no room for misunderstanding. For instance, when you have a flight that leaves in two days it will not only show you what day and time it is departing, but shows a countdown timer for the total time remaining before check-in.

The most welcome additional feature in this app is the packing list. No doubt everyone has their own way of keeping track of what to bring on each journey, but having it all in the same app as the flight information is a great idea. The chat room is a nice idea, but of course features like that work best the more users you have: the more people who have the app, the more chance that someone will be using it at the same moment you will! You can also of course pop into the chat room with a question and hope that someone comes by later with the answer, so it pays to think ahead.

Overall

App in the Air has all of the necessary features for a great flight-tracking app, and packs it all in an attractive and easy-to-use package. It’s completely free and fully-functional, with an optional upgrade for getting wireless notifications.

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