In this episode B and Jack talk about the main air travel apps and services a digital nomad can use. First, they explain the exact types of apps they will talk about in the episode. Afterwards, they present a list of 12 air travel apps and services as well as an honourable mention.
Table of Contents
1.1. The topic concerning air travel apps and services
Let’s face it, as digital nomads, we are always moving around specially by air.
If we combine that with the fact that smartphones and laptops are indispensable gadgets for most people, including digital nomads, then it makes sense to try to leverage apps and services from those gadgets to help us with our air travels.
But here at Nomad Tactics we want to go beyond the common sense apps and services that most digital nomads are already familiar with (e.g. Google Maps, Google Translate, XE Currency Conversion, Tripit, Skyscanner, etc.).
We want to talk about apps and services that maybe you never heard about, but that are very useful depending on the situation. In today’s case when you are about to situations involving air travel.
1.2. Some observations about the air travel apps and services we will talk about [2:34]
- We are not talking about airplane/airport hacks. We are only talking about apps and services related to air travel. We will cover those in a future episode.
- Within the air travel topic, the only type of apps and services that we are NOT talking about are apps and services that aim to help you find and book plane tickets. The reason why we are not covering this topic is that the podcast would be too long, since there are too many things to be said about the subject. We will cover apps and services that aim to help you find and book plane tickets on a future episode.
- Maybe not all of the apps and services that we will talk about will be relevant to you. So you should pick and choose the tools you want to use. But we would advise you to bookmark these things and use them when necessary.
1.3. The list of air travel apps and services for digital nomads [4:23]
A. Air Help
With this app you can get compensation for a delayed, canceled, or overbooked flight.
If you submit a claim via our website or app their team will take care of the entire process on your behalf. That saves you the stress and paperwork of claiming by yourself. They only charge a small fee for the whole process.
But the best thing of all is that they operate on a no win, no fee basis, which means that they do not charge you unless they win your case.
That means there is little risks to you and no advance payments required.
The only limitation to Airhelp is that they will not be able to help you in some countries. But in the EU I have personally used and it worked.
This is an app that gives you all the rules, both in terms of the dimensions of the luggage as well as the weight, concerning carry-on luggage and checked luggage for many different airlines.
The app is really handy since even though there exists more or less a standard for luggage, some airlines deviate from the standard. Thus, you might face a situation where you need to pay a lot of extra money for your luggage if you did not check beforehand the exact rules of the airline.
The only downside to this app is that it has not been updated in a while and some information might be a bit outdated. Nonetheless, since I haven’t found a good replacement app/service I would still recommend this one.
C. Sleeping in Airports
This app provides you with very good information about different airports around the world.
I would definitely check would their service especially if you intend to sleep in the airport.
The service will provide you with a list of where are the best places to sleep within the airport, places where you can charge your electronics, shower location, smoking area location, among other things.
D. Seat Guru
You probably know by now that the sitting arrangements of different airplane models can vary quite drastically
Also you surely already know that there is a big difference in terms of comfort when comparing business and economic sits.
What you might not know is that the same airplane model might have different sitting arrangements depending on the airline you use. For example, in some airlines an airplane, say an Airbus A380, might have an economic class sitting configuration 3, 4, 3 and another airline might use the same airplane model but with a sitting configuration 3, 3, 3.
Even lesser known is the fact that there might be a difference in comfort WITHIN the same travel class of a given airline. In other words, there might be a difference between two sits both located in the economic class.
This difference in sitting will usually have to do with the leg space, degree of declining of the chair, how far it is from the toilet (to avoid toilet noise), among other things.
Seat Guru allows you to see all these details and consequently allows you to choose the best sits in the plane.
The only thing you will need to do to check such information is to provide your flight number.
E. Lounge Buddy
Perhaps you don’t use airport lounges a lot….
But perhaps you do, especially if you have a credit card that provides those for free or at a discounted rate. I feel like more and more credit cards are doing that nowadays.
Lounge buddy allows you to check the location of the different lounges within an airplane as well as the main features that the different lounges have to offer (e.g. buffet, shower, rooms, etc.)
So if you use lounges sometimes it is a great app to have in your phone.
F. At Airports
We already talk about different apps and services (e.g. Lounge Budyy and Sleeping in Airports) that can provide you with some sort of overview of different airports around the world.
The app At Airports is a little different, though it still talking about airports.
The most three most relevant features of this app are the following:
- It offers indoor navigation inside the airport (e.g. if you want to go from the restaurant to the gate)
- It allows you to download the maps of the airport for offline use
- It shows the opening hours of the different shops around the airport
Overall really good app to orientate yourself within an airport
G. Flight Tracker
This app allows you to track flights around the world.
By using this app you can see the exact location of a plane on the map and consequently see if a plane is late, early, on time or the flight has been cancelled.
Besides that, the app also mimics the usual airport screens that provide you with the departure/arrival times of airplanes, as well as indicate the terminals and gates for different flights.
The only caveat I would like to make about this app is that even though I have used it many times before and it worked great, for some reason (perhaps due to flying chaos caused by Covid) the app has been a bit unreliable lately with the information it provides.
We already recommended this website before here at Nomad Tactics.
You might be asking yourself why did we include a service to book flights in this list if we said at the beginning of the episode we would not talk about the topic.
The reason why this service was listed is that, apart from allowing you to book flights, Rome2rio also shows you the best rotes to/from the airport. In fact, this service sometimes provides more reliable and complete information than Google Maps.
This is a service that provides you with the information about all the documents you might need when you are flying to a certain country.
Many of the airlines themselves use this website, so the information here tends to be very reliable.
The service does not restrict itself simply by telling you if you will need a visa or not to get inside the country. Rather, the service provides you with a much more detailed list of requirements (e.g. necessity of onwards ticket, other custom forms, covid rules, etc.).
This service is especially important nowadays due to the Covid rules that cropped worldwide.
J. Sky Guru
Are you worried when you flying?
Honestly I am not. But I know many people that are. A friend of mine that it is indeed afraid of flying once show me this app.
The aim of the app is to pre-emptively tell you when your flight is expected to experience any sort of turbulence.
The rationale is that if you have this information you will be more mentally prepared for the turbulence, thus less nervous. I never tried the app, so I cannot endorse 100%, but my friend told me it works.
The only downside to the app is that you will need to pay for every individual flight you want the information about.
K. Rent Onward Ticket Service
We already talked about the topic of proof of onwards travel back in episode number 6. You can click here to check it out.
But to summarize really quickly the topic we can say the following:
Whenever you go to a new country you might be asked to show a departure ticket to prove that eventually, you will leave the country within the permitted laugh of stay that your passport permits. This is what is called showing proof of onwards ticket.
One way to show this proof of onwards ticket is to use a service that allows you to “rent” a ticket for a given time frame (say 24 to 72 hours). That rented ticket can be used with the airline and immigration officer, thus you will have some extra flexibility to book your actual ticket to fly out of the country.
The ticket will truly be under your name (if someone, like the airline’s staff or the immigration officer, were to check it) but this is of course temporary and you cannot truly use it.
This method to prove an onwards ticket is somewhat a legal grey zone, so use it at your own discretion and remember that Nomad Tactics is not advising you to do so, we are simply proving information for education purposes only. Hence Nomad Tactics having no responsibility for your actions.
L. Airline Review Services
There are many airlines around the world and probably you have just tried a few of them. So, it stands to reason that it is hard to predict the quality and safety of the airlines you have never tried.
Now let us think about a certain situation.
Let us imagine that you searched about a flight from New York to Dubai and you found 3 airlines that offer you more or less the same deal in terms of price, time of travel, number of connections.
It will be hard to decide which airline to take since, as we established in the beginning, you won’t have a good parameter because, most likely, you haven’t tried all these airlines.
In order to address this problem, we can use two services. These are:
Airline Ratings: This website provides a very good overview of airlines’ safety.
Airline Quality: This website provides a very good overview of the airlines’ quality (i.e. customer service, onboard services, perks you get, cleanness, among other things).
So by checking these two websites before booking your flight you will probably be able to decide better which airline to choose.
M. (Honorable Mention) App In The Air
App In The Air is an app that somehow aggregates many of the functions of these other apps and services we just mentioned.
The app is not perfect and sometimes it might lack some of the functions you need.
But if you want an all-in-one app solution this is an option to be considered.
Mr. B: Hello welcome to the Nomad Tactics podcasts.
Mr. B: To provide a complete how to guide for digital nomads.
Mr. B: I'm your host B. And I'm joined once again by the co host Jack.
Mr. B: Today we gonna talk about twelve Air travel apps and services for digital nomads. I would start with a quick summary of the episode. First, me and Jack going to discuss the problem we are trying to tackle in this episode after that we gonna make some brief observations. About the topic and finally we gonna list and talk about the twelve most relevant apps and services for air travel. I hope you enjoyed apple.
Mr. B: Hello Jack how are you today?
Jack: Pretty good so today we gonna about twelve air travel apps and service that can help digital nomads and I think as a digital nomad we are always traveling through airlines.
Jack: And if we combine that most people bring use their smartphones and laptops so it makes sense for us to try to you know use these apps and service to help us with our airline travel.
Mr. B: Sure that makes total sense.
Mr. B: And I think the idea of the episode today and probably future episodes as well is that we are trying to go beyond this kind of common sense apps that the majority of digital nomads already know nowadays like Google maps Google translate X. E. currency sky scanner.
Mr. B: So we want to go beyond that and talk about more specific and perhaps lesser knowing apps that can help in the different aspects of a digital nomad life.
Mr. B: So in this case in day episode today we gonna talk about air travel and the relevant apps and services related to that.
Jack: I see yeah so I think before going to like the actual twelve apps and services I think Mister B. you have something like an observation you wanna talk about.
Mr. B: Sure. Just two quick points I'd like to make so the first point I would like to make is that. As you just said today we are restricting ourselves to talking about apps and services related to air travel. So all other things related to air travel such as hacks and tips you can use on the airplane or the airport will be excluded from today's episode and we surely going to talk about in future episodes the second point I would like to make is that even though in today's episodes we are talking about apps and services related to air travel there is one specific category of apps and services related to air travel that we will not talk about.
Mr. B: And this has to do with apps and services that can help digital nomads to find and book airplane tickets and the reason why we're not talking about this specific category in today's episode is because the episode would simply be too long. So we talked about it me and Mister Jack.
Mr. B: We thought a better strategy would be to have different episodes to exclusively talk about that.
Jack: Yes so before we go into the twelve apps and service that can help you with your air travel I would just like to let you know that not all the apps and service will be relevant to you so you can just pick and choose the apps you want to use or at very least bookmark and use it when you need it so let's go to the main topic the twelve apps and services the first one will be Airhelp.
Mr. B: So Air help is a very interesting app and it's used in order for you to get compensation I E. money for a delayed cancelled or overbooked flight.
Mr. B: So basically how it works is you submit the claim via the Air help website or their app and their team will basically take care of the entire process on your behalf.
Of course they're going to save you a lot of stress and time because you're not going to need to do anything. And in the end of the whole process big company we will only charge you a small fee.
Mr. B: From the money you get and the best thing about this app.
Mr. B: Is that it operates on a no win no fee basis which basically means that you won't be charged unless you win the case.
Mr. B: So it seems to me that it's pretty much no risk for you there and especially because there's no advance payments that are required. And a lot of the times you can get some sort of compensation for delayed or canceled flight. Personally, I have used air help one time and it worked great. It was in the E. U. and as far as I understand the EU have this more kind of strict rules to do with delays and cancel flights. And that might explain why a got soul quickly my money.
Mr. B: But I heard great things about this app so I'm surely recommending it.
Jack: Yes delayed flights can cost you big trouble and I'm sure this app have can help you greatly. So the second app we have here is Baggily.
Mr. B: So Baggily is a totally different kind of app since it's an app that aims to provide you all the rules both in terms of did I mentions and the weight concerning carry on luggage and checked luggage for different airlines around that world. I think it's extremely handy app.
Mr. B: Since you can check the specifics for each airline even though there is some sort of a standard about luggage especially to do with carry on nonetheless there might be some differences from airline to airline so for example if we think about Ryanair in the EU. They have a slightly smaller allowance in terms of carry on than most other airlines so if you're not aware of that perhaps you might go to the airport and be charged extra. The only downside of the app Baggily is that it has not been updated for quite a while so some of the information might be outdated and the reason that I'm recommending this app even though as I just said it haven't been updated for a good while it. Is because I haven't found any replacement app or service so that's pretty much the only app around.
Jack: I see knowing how much you can bring on the airplane is important so the next apps or service we have here is sleeping in airports.
Mr. B: So sleep in airports is perhaps one of the most well known services among digital nomads in our list and this service provide you very good information about the different airports around the world especially if you intend to sleep in the airport. So sleep in airports provide you maps of where the best places to sleep in the airport they also tell you the the best places to charge your electronics they also tell you if they are showers available in the airport if they are smoking areas among many other things.
Mr. B: So sleep in airports I would say is an extremely valuable service especially if you have a long layover and as the name suggests you intend to sleep in the airport.
So yeah check it out, it's worth while.
Jack: Yeah I can remember how many nights I spent in the airports I'm sure the service can help me greatly. So the next step or service is seat guru.
Mr. B: So Seat Guru. It's an app's that I found I would say two years ago and ever since I start using it and you know been great and the main feature or the main idea behind seat guru is to tell you about the sitting in the plane.
Mr. B: So you probably already know that the sitting configuration of different airplane models will vary quite drastically.
Mr. B: So i you take an Airbus 8380 and compare with Boeing triple seven. You probably can expect the sitting to change there. Also as a digital nomad you surely already know that there is a big difference in comfort when we are comparing different seat classes.
Mr. B: Say business and economic seats this two things are quite obvious.
Mr. B: But what you might not know is that the same airplane model might have different seating configurations depending on the airline.
Mr. B: So for example in some airlines and airplane. Say an 8380 might have an economic class seating configuration of three four three which means like three sits in one side four in the middle entry in the other side.
Mr. B: But that same plane in another airline might have a seating configuration off three tree tree so there is this differences between airlines. Another thing hat you might not know is that there might be a difference in comfort even within the same travel class of given airline in other words there might be a difference in two seats within let's say the economic class and this difference in sitting will usually have something to do with leg space degree of declining that your chair allows.
Mr. B: How far is the seat from the toilet because you know the closer to the toilet the more noise you will have among other things.
Mr. B: So seat guru it's a service that allows you to check the seating configuration.
Mr. B: Within a specific flight and then once you you check the seating configuration they gonna provide you recommendations and you gonna probably be able to choose a more comfortable seat for yourself in the specific travel class that you booked your flight to.
Mr. B: I'm sure everyone wants to have as much space when they're traveling by airplane so the next app or service is lounge buddy.
Mr. B: Perhaps you don't use airport lounges a lot but perhaps you do use airport lounges specially if you have a credit card that provides for you for free or at the discounted rate and it seems to me like more more credit cards nowadays are providing the sort of perks to the user's so lounge body basically is a app in which you gonna you know write down whatever airport you're going to.
Mr. B: And it's going to provide you the list of all the different lounges that are available within that airport as well as the main features that each lounge offers.
Mr. B: And then simply what you gonna do you gonna see the ones in which you can get in based on the whatever credit card you have so it's a very handy way to find the different airport lounges available to you.
Jack: Yes I'm still waiting for the day I can check into lounge whenever I have a slight.
Mr. B: so far we already talked about different apps and services like lounge buddy and sleep at airports that more less going to provide you with an overview of different airports around the world. The app at airports it's slightly different even though we still talks about airports.
Mr. B: So I would say that the app at the airports have three very relevant and distinctive features and these are the following number one. The app offers you indoor navigation for you to go from one place in the airport to another with the map provided. The other distinctive feature is that the app allows you to download the maps of the specific airport in which you're going and once you download you can use that map offline.
Mr. B: And finally the third distinctive feature of the app is that it provides you a very comprehensive list of the opening hours of the different shops around a specific airport in which you are going.
Mr. B: So pretty much this app at airports focuses on the map aspect.
Mr. B: So overall I think this is a really good app to orientate yourself within airport.
Mr. B: So I highly recommend.
Jack: Yeah if I have this app earlier maybe I wouldn't lose my flight to Turkey.
Jack: So the next app or service is flight tracker.
Mr. B: So this app allows you to track different flights around the world so when you open the app you gonna be able to see the exact location of the plane on the globe and consequently you going to be able to see if the plane is going to be late or early on time or even if the flight was cancelled.
Mr. B: Besides that the flight tracker app also have another feature that more less mimics the usual airports screen that provides you with the departure and arrival times for airplanes as well as indicate the terminal and gate of each flight in different airports.
Mr. B: The only observation that I would like to make about this flight tracker app is that even though I have used it a lot on the past few years for some reason perhaps due to the flying chaos caused by the Covid pandemic the app has not been that reliable in the past few months sell just to to let you guys know.
Mr. B: But still I think there's a solid app and you should have a try and hopefully by the time you download the service going to be more reliable.
Jack: Yeah I'm sure it provides a lot of good information when it comes to when's your flight.
Jack: So the next app for service as Rome to Rio.
Mr. B: We already recommended Rome to Rio in Nomad Tactics and you might be asking yourself why did we put a service to book flights in here since in the beginning of this episode I said that we would not talk about such topic about like finding and booking flights since we would have a specific episode to talk about that.
Mr. B: But the reason why I included Rome to Rio in this list is because Rome to Rio can provide you with the bass routes from and to different airports and in fact I would say that the directions provided by Rome to Rio sometimes are better and more reliable than the ones provided by Google maps so basically I am advocating people to use Rome to Rio to find your way from or to the airport rather than using it as booking flight service.
Jack: I don't know why but sometimes Google maps doesn't give you all the possible ways to go to the airport.
Jack: So the next app or service is travel doc.
Mr. B: Travel doc is a service that aims to provide you with a list of all the documents you might need when you are taking a certain flights to a country.
Mr. B: Many of the airlines themselves used his website travel doc so they have pretty up to date and reliable data in the website and the key thing is that travel doc this not to restrict itself by simply telling you if you're going to need a visa or not it goes beyond that so it provides you with a much more detailed list of all the travel requirements like if you're going to need to onward ticket for the destination or not if you're going to need to fill out any other custom forms among other things and I would say that this travel doc service is highly relevant especially nowadays due to the different Covid rules so I think it's very relevant to to have a look of want each country's asking you when you're taking a plane to go there.
Jack: knowing which documents to bring can definitely reduce your anxiety before boarding a flight.
Jack: So the next app or service is sky guru.
Mr. B: So Mr Jack I like to ask you are you worried about flying.
Jack: You mean when I'm in the flights.
Mr. B: Yeah I mean do you feel like anxious or or nervous flying yeah.
Jack: The turbulence can sometimes throw me off.
Mr. B: I mean perhaps like you many people have this problem a friend of mine a couple of months ago showed me this app called sky guru that aims to you know help people that face this problem and the app has the aim to pre emptively tell you when the flight will have any sort of turbulence.
Mr. B: And the rationale behind the app is that if you have this information I E. you should know when the turbulence will happen you will be more mentally prepared to the turbulence thus you gonna feel last nervous.
Mr. B: So I'm going to be very honest I never tried is app myself so I cannot let's say endorse a hundred percent but according to my friend it's a very good app so basically what you gonna do is you're going to provide the apps the flight information like the flight number that you gonna take and the date and then the app gonna do some sort of fancy calculations to see the exact route and cross check that in relation to the weather and stuff like that in gonna you know try to give you some sort of prediction to do with the turbulence.
Mr. B: The only downside of the app is that you need to pay for every individual flight that you want the information from and the price it's slightly salty so just take that into consideration.
Jack: Yes so hopefully this app can help you predict turbulence to your flight so the next step or service is on wards ticket service.
Mr. B: So back in episode number six we already talked about this topic of proof of onward travel to quickly summarize the topic we can say more or less the following.
Mr. B: Whenever you go to a new country you might be asked to show what departure ticket to prove that eventually you're going to leave the country within the permitted length of stay that your passport permits and this is what is called a showing a proof of onward ticket.
Mr. B: So there are different ways in which you can show such proof of onwards ticket.
Mr. B: And one of such ways is to use a service that allows you to quote and quote rent airplane tickets for a given time frame say a twenty four to seventy two hours.
Mr. B: And that rented ticket can be used to show to the immigration officer that eventually you intend to live by doing that you're gonna buy yourself extra time and extra flexibility to book your actual ticket out of the country so the ticket will truly be under your name if someone in the airline stuff for the migration office work to check it they would truly see that that's a real ticket under your name but of course is temporary and you won't be able to truly use it I just would like to to mention that this method of using this onward ticket services is somewhat legal grey zone so please use at your own discretion and remember that Nomad Tactics is not advising you to to use such type of service you're simply providing information for educational purposes.
Mr. B: Hence Nomad Tactics has no responsibility for your actions regarding this matter.
Mr. B: Mr Jack I believe that back on episode number six you told me that you already use this type of service before.
Mr. B: And if I'm not mistaken you recommended two services back then and this were best onward tickets and one way fly is that correct.
Jack: Yeah I would say so yeah.
Mr. B: Anyway these are two services that you can use and they are related to air travel.
Jack: Yes using the servers can give you flexibility when you go into the country.
Jack: So the next app or service is airline review services.
Mr. B: So let's just set some facts straight.
Mr. B: There are many airlines around the world that's obvious and probably you as a traveler as a digital nomad you just tried a few of such airlines so it stands to reason that it would be very hard to predict the quality and the safety of the airlines you have never tried now let us think about a certain situation that you might encounter let's say that you search about the flight there are three airlines offering more or less the same deal and by offering more less the same deal I simply means they have more less the same price the time of travel is more or less the same and the number of connections is more or less the same.
Mr. B: In such situation it seems to me that it would be very hard for you to decide which of the three airlines to take since as we just establish at least in the beginning you won't have a good parameters for your decision since most likely won't have tried all this airlines.
Mr. B: In order to address this problem we can use two services and these are the following the first services called airline ratings and this is a service that provides you with a very good overview of the airline safety sell it goes over the track record of how many accidents it has how new is the the fleet stuff like that so you simply going to you know put the name of the airline and in check the safety to have an overview.
Mr. B: And the second service is called airline quality and this is the website that provides you with the very good overview of the airline quality.
Mr. B: And what we mean by airline quality higher things like the customer service the onboard service the perks you might get with the airline how clean it is among other things so it seems to me that by checking this two services before you you book before you sat on which airline to use.
Mr. B: You probably going to be able to you know decide better and hopefully choose the best airline available.
Jack: Yes so this is the end of the list and there are some we didn't include in the list but it's the honorable mentions so we call this all in one app.
Mr. B: So the honorable mention today is the app called the app in the air.
Mr. B: And this app basically aggregate many of these different functions provided by these other apps and services that we just mentioned.
Mr. B: So once again to be very honest I am not the user of this app myself but the app has been recommended to me a couple of times.
Mr. B: And even though people say that they are some lacking features within the app.
Mr. B: So basically the idea is that if you want to all in one app solution for your air travel this should be the app to download so if you don't like this idea of having like ten or twelve different apps and services you can rather settle for these one app that even though might have less features it still might provide you with the most essential once.
Jack: So yeah this is the end of the episode enjoyed this episode please make sure to leave a review on your listening platforms this is Jack and I just want say that all the advice we provide in this episode is for educational purposes only.
Jack: And the responsibility is not form known tactics.
Mr. B: And just one more thing all the links for all the services and apps we mention in this episode will be in this episode show notes so go check it out thank you very much for listening thank you.
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- Airhelp: https://www.airhelp.com/
- Bagiffy iOS: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/baggify/id1263591114
- Bagiffy Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.baggify&hl=en_US&gl=US
- Sleeping in Airports: www.sleepinginairports.net
- Seat Guru: https://www.seatguru.com/
- Lounge Buddy iOS: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/apple-store/id674176920
- At Airports iOS: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/atairports-airport-maps/id1327652875
- Flight Tracker iOS: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/the-flight-tracker/id533365777
- Flight tracker Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.flistholding.flightplus&hl=en_US&gl=US
- Rome2rio: https://www.rome2rio.com/
- Traveldoc: https://www.traveldoc.aero/
- Sky Guru iOS: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1382240614
- Best Onward Ticket: http://bestonwardticket.com/
- One Way Fly: https://onewayfly.com/
- Airline Ratings: https://www.airlineratings.com/
- Airline Quality: https://www.airlinequality.com/
- App In The Air iOS: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/app-in-the-air/id527299553
- App In The Air Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aita&hl=pt_BR&gl=US