15 February 2014

Business travel with Windows Phone apps

Mobile apps really offer a lot of utility for travel in general. The catch? You have to download an app for each service - but if you do, you get to do lots more than would have been possible than through visiting the website for the same app. The following selection describes the apps and in-app features which are available for Windows Phone, but they are typically available on other platforms like Android and iOS as well. 

Book and check-in for AirAsia flights with the AirAsia Mobile App. You can pick the lowest fare, enter your details and confirm your booking. The Manage My Bookings feature allows passengers to check their bookings, check in, pick seats, increase baggage allowances and get travel insurance. Air Asia also gives passengers a mobile barcode when they check in on their phones that can be scanned at the airport to print boarding passes.

Live flight tracking is available from FlightAware. This app tracks the real-time flight status for airline flights worldwide and private flights in the US and Canada; search by aircraft registration, route, airline flight number, city pair, or airport code. The tracking data includes complete flight details and full-screen maps with NEXRAD radar overlay.

Once in your chosen destination, Foursquare has got your back for food to try, with directions and photos to help you along. The company announced about a week ago that it has 60 million entries, and that Windows and Windows Phone devices will be making use of the Foursquare database in a new partnership with Microsoft. Foursquare is able to offer real-time recommendations on where to go and what to see based on where people are checking in. TripAdvisor offers reviews for local destinations as does Yelp, though not in real-time.

XE Currency allows travellers to convert any world currency with XE Currency. It even does Bitcoins and precious metals. Currency rates and charts are refreshed every minute. Prices can be calculated with the handy converter.

Before your fingers start downloading anything, remember that checking phone apps do make use of mobile data services and data roaming overseas can add up. If possible, look for a pre-paid local data plan, or subscribe to a data roaming plan at home before you leave.