Tech Tuesday :: Airline Alliance Apps

star alliance navigator travel app {Editor’s Note: Last week we interviewed Dr. Murad, aka the father of internal skin care, and he’s given us a 4-piece Radiant Renewal Kit to give away! Enter here. Contest closes today, August 16, at noon.}

It seems like e-v-e-r-y major airline has an app, except maybe Hawaiian. No complaints here. Aside from the multiple travel apps adorning my iPhone screen like an intricately woven quilt, I haven't found it necessary to install an app like Delta, AA or Alaska each time I fly those airlines. I only install my primary airline's app, and given my homebase is Vancouver, my main squeeze is Air Canada.

But, I will make one airline app exception in the name of loyalty---aka: free flights, upgrades and lounge access---for my preferred airline alliance. Aside from SkyTeam, two major airline alliances it makes sense to be part of in North America, if not worldwide, are OneWorld and Star Alliance.

A few weeks ago the world's first and largest alliance announced their first app: Star Alliance Navigator. It only debuted eight months after OneWorld's but who's counting anyway. After all, it's about quality. The Star Alliance app does a lot of tasks you'd expect it to do: flight status and search, airport info and member airline destination profiles {perfect for when you're flying to Istanbul and haven't had time to research the city}. However, I find this app most valuable for the following features: airport guides and downloadable maps, lounge info and city guides. I'm seriously impressed with the city guides {located in the Airport Info area}. I read through some of the guides for cities I know well and appreciate the level of detail and thorough neighbourhood overviews. My only criticism would be the info appears to be slightly outdated, therefore I'd use it as a starting point, not as your latest and greatest guide.

PS - The OneWorld app, also available on Blackberry, has a flight search as well as showcases partner airlines. Once the flight search results are rendered for your query, it offers a Book Now option, not available in the Star Alliance app, taking you to the partner airline's mobile booking site. This is a nice feature, but I'd prefer to use my Kayak app for flight search. For now, I'll just download Star Alliance's app until OneWorld makes a significant update!

What airline apps are must-haves for you?

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