Airport apps to download before your next flight

ByLance T. Lee

Jun 9, 2022


Have you ever heard of Mobile Passport? FlightAware? Download these apps before your next flight. You can thank us later.

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Jthere are many things that can make arriving at the airport stressful and frustrating: bad weather, long lines, poor food. Fortunately, fixing (at least some of) these problems and improving your airport experience can be as easy as downloading an app. Whether it’s finding a lounge to retreat to during a long layover or bypassing the queues at customs – for free! – your phone can help you in many unexpected ways. Here are eight airport apps to download before your next trip.

1. Mobile Passport Control

mobile passport aims to reduce the time we spend waiting in line at customs and immigration by streamlining the process of entering the United States. Like Global Entry, it does not replace the need for a physical passport, but allows passengers to join a dedicated (and faster) line for customs clearance. Unlike Global Entry, it’s completely free and focuses on speeding up Passport control by having travelers complete entry forms on their phones (rather than on paper or at a kiosk). Currently the application is only eligible for US citizens and Canadian B1/B2 citizen visitors.


“Some airline apps, like Delta’s, let you know if your flight is delayed and where your plane is coming from. And some don’t. This is why I consult FlightAware mobile app whenever I’m late. Simply enter your flight number to see where your aircraft actually is by clicking “Track Incoming Aircraft”. That way you can see if it’s on its way to your airport and adjust your expectations accordingly. —Lyndsey Matthews, strade editor

3. LoungeBuddy

No one likes to spend a three hour layover sitting at the door. While the best alternative may be hanging out in a comfortable airline lounge, it’s not always clear how to find one, especially at an affordable price. LoungeBuddy has you covered, with its ability to spit out information on salons near you; it uses information such as your elite status with an airline (or lack thereof), lounge memberships and itinerary details. The app also allows you to post photos and review a lounge for the sake of other travelers and future reference.

4. Application in the air

Application in the air helps travelers simplify their trip by keeping all your flight information on all airlines in one place. Departure date, time, airport terminal, gate and aircraft type are accessible in one app. You can even keep track of all your boarding passes and airline alliances and rewards.

5. MyTSA

If queues at security checkpoints are always 100 times longer than your patience, download MyTSA. Get the scoop on delays at your airport before you even arrive. MyTSA gives travelers an estimate of the time they can anticipate waiting in line at security checkpoints based on data collected over the past two hours. Bonus: you’ll never guess what passes security checks with TSA guidelines on what you can and can’t put in your hand luggage or checked baggage.

6. Train

Developed by researchers at the University of Michigan, Train keeps jet lag at bay by mapping your sleep schedule to your body’s circadian rhythms. It uses your reported light data to recommend the best sleep and wake times in your new time zone. This helps your biological rhythms get back into gear, minimizing your jet lag. For the app to work, you need to enter the following data correctly: your current time zone, the time zone of your destination, and the brightest light you can tolerate during your trip. Enjoy the jet ride more and delay a little less.

7. Trippy

trippy takes the guesswork out of deciding where to eat on a long layover. This app shares the map layout of 22 airports around the world along with all the places to eat. By tracking your location in the airport, the app will let you know how far from your gate all food outlets are and will make navigating through any major airport easier.

8. SpotHero

Use SpotHero to reserve your parking space in advance at or near the airport. Since long-term parking can be a little expensive, the app also lets you browse lower rates at lots near the airport with shuttle service. Don’t stress the next time you need to park your car at the airport for a week-long trip.

This article was originally published in 2019. It was updated on June 9, 2022 with new information.

>>Next: Yes, you can bring food through the TSA, with some exceptions

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