Report: Air travel-related mobile apps ready for takeoff

People may go to the airport to get taken up to the skies. However, according to a recent survey, most of them have their heads down grimacing into their smartphones for information that will keep them better prepared.

FlightView, a Boston-based company which makes its own air travel apps for a variety of platforms, polled more than  2,600 travelers; the results indicate there may be considerable opportunities for other developers to enter the sector.

For example, 94 percent of those surveyed expressed an interest in receiving flight status updates on their smartphone prior to takeoff. But they don't just want to know whether the plane is leaving on time. Flightview's report said 57 percent also want an opportunity to upgrade their seat via smartphone rather than stand in line at the gate. In the event something happens to their existing flight, 67 percent want to be able to re-book via mobile device, and nearly the same number want an easier way to get around by viewing terminal maps via an app.

Travel Chart

FlightView found that 93.6 percent of travelers want flight status information pushed to their phones.

"Every delay and cancelation is an opportunity to gain or lose credibility with customers, and while delays are often unavoidable, providing real-time, accurate flight information goes a long way in easing travelers' frustration," the report says. "While a lack of updates is the most significant issue when flights are delayed, conflicting information is also frustrating to travelers."

Although you might expect business travelers to have the most pressing needs for a mobile app, 54 percent of the FlightView sample size were consumers. The majority were also smartphone users: 85 percent carried an iPhone or Android device, while 35 percent were laptop or tablet users.

The report also said 80 percent use smartphones in-flight, and while this isn't allowed on some airlines, there are plenty of use cases while passengers are still on the ground. For instance, 36 percent are open to receiving discount offers or coupons to nearby airport restaurants and shops, and the same percentage would also welcome an opportunity to book ground transportation at their destination.

For more:
- read the FlightView survey

Related articles:
Navigating the best and worst travel apps
Best apps of March 2012: SeatGuru by TripAdvisor
Best apps of July 2011: Hipmunk

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