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Phil Cooke’s Favorite Travel Apps

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I travel a lot – way more than most people. I remember walking up to the American Airlines ticket counter at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) a few years ago, and even from a distance, the agent looked at me and said, “Mr. Cooke! It’s so great to see you again!” At that moment, I thought if the lady at the ticket counter at the sixth busiest airport in the world knows my name, I’m showing up way too much! The bottom line is I’ve experienced everything – missed flights, delays, cancellations, mechanical problems,  disruptive passengers, and even a bomb scare in the air. Over the years, I’ve come to rely on these favorite travel apps.

Phil Cooke’s Favorite Travel Apps

So, how do I manage such a time-consuming part of my life? You may never get in the fixes I often find myself, but if you fly at all, you should consider these favorite travel apps that have made my life much easier:

Start with the official app from your airline – You should get whatever airline app you travel with the most, but for me, it’s American. Compared to the old days of printed tickets, having the app is a miracle. Not only does it list my flights, status, upgrades, and gate numbers, as well as book tickets and change them, but I can also create my boarding pass right there. (The less time I have to spend at ticket counters, the better). Most airlines have that capability these days, and if you’re not using it, you’re making a huge mistake. In fact, I have about 9 different airline apps for those times I need a different ride.

Flighty – Honestly, I probably use Flighty more than the airline app. Not only does it provide all the information the airline app does, but it also tells me in real time where my plane is, arrival forecasts, and much more. In addition, I think when it comes to flight status and delays, it’s more accurate than the airline app, so I really depend on it.

Tripit – This is the home base for all my trips. In Tripit, I can find my flight, hotel, rental car details, and more. I don’t refer to it regularly, but it’s great to know I can find everything about the trip on a single app.

Marriott Bonvoy – Marriott is my first choice of hotel, so having the Bonvoy app not only has the details of my trip but also my past trips and my current status, and creates an electronic key so I can bypass the check-in counter completely. As I said about the airline, get whatever app comes with your hotel preference.

Timescroller – For international travel, this is the best app ever. You can create a long list of cities from anywhere in the world, and it will list their current time. Better, you can scroll forward or backward in time, and all those cities will stay in sync. Do we need to do a conference call next Tuesday at 10am Bangkok time? Just scroll to that date and time in Bangkok, and Timescroller will instantly tell you the time in your city.

Currency – This app does the same thing as Timescroller, except with currencies. You’ll always know how the US dollar compares with any currency in the world. It’s really indispensable for international travel.

Google Translate – And speaking of international travel, Google Translate is amazing. You type in a phrase or just take a photo of a sign, quote, or whatever, and it translates it from almost any major language. There are probably other similar apps out there, so let me know if you have other suggestions.

Seat Guru – I got hooked on Seat Guru years ago, and it’s the best way to check out your seat on a flight. Particularly if it’s an international flight on an unfamiliar airline, it’s always good to make sure your seat is where and what you think it is. It also lists details like power plugs, in-seat screens, if there’s a window on your row, and how far it is to the restroom.

My TSA – This app isn’t life or death, but it does keep me up on details regarding airport security. And by the way – if you don’t have “TSA Pre-Check,” get it.

Ride Share – I keep UberLyft, and even international rideshare services like Bolt on my phone because these days, I’m using those services as much, if not more, than rental cars.

Priority Pass – Finally, when you spend as much time at airports as I do, then lounges are a lifesaver. They have free food, beverages, WIFI, a special help desk, and offer a quiet place to work. I normally use the AA Admiral’s Club lounges, but in airports where there isn’t one, Priority Pass can help. By the way – the Lounge Buddy app will tell you what lounges are at each airport and exactly where they are.

If you only travel once or twice a year, many of these apps won’t be so important, but if you’re in a job where you’re on the road a great deal, then check out these options. I can confidently say they will make your journey much more pleasant.


This article on favorite travel apps originally appeared here, and is used by permission.