Tired of scanning seemingly endless electronic boards at airports, travelers want breaking flight information in the palms of their hands. And that's not all. Mobile device use has led to a long list of demands by travelers, according to two reports released today (Sept. 10) by FlightView, a mobile app developer.
In a survey of 2,600 air travelers, FlightView found that more than 80 percent use a smartphone in-flight , and more than 35 percent use a tablet, e-reader or laptop. If it can be done on a mobile device, flyers want to do it.
Travelers have had enough of the loudspeaker announcements — about 94 percent said they want flight status information pushed to mobile devices before takeoff, and 75 percent said they want a mobile alert when their flight is boarding. If you've ever been stuck in the restroom with a crying baby, you understand the value of these two requests. GateGuru, a free app for iOS and Android offers such flight alerts.
Two-thirds want to be able to rebook a flight from their phones and view terminal maps — available to Android users with the Google Maps app, but unavailable for iPhones and iPads. And even airlines and airports haven't figured this one out. For instance, Delta has maps, but no real-time directions to help you find the gate for a connecting flight. LAX has its own app, but barring flight status, the information is pretty static — you can't interact with maps or book transportation from the airport.
Essentially, no mobile app offers everything travelers want. For now, fliers will have to make do with piecemeal apps, sore necks from looking at overhead boards and airport staff.