There are anywhere between 250,000 and 500,000 smart phone apps now on the market (depending on whose estimates you believe), and some of the most useful ones are for business travelers.
Here are some of my favorites:
Flightstats -Track your flight status in real time, plus find out airport delays, weather and traffic conditions around the airport.
Tripit - This is one that I'm seeing more and more travelers take advantage of to keep track of their itineraries and alert others of their plans. Email your confirmations to Tripit and that in turn will generate a one-stop-shop itinerary document for you.
WorldMate - It provides a similar travel planner service as TripIt, plus upgraded features for gold members such as contact information for travel providers, and a list of flight schedules from the reputable OAG Worldwide data base.
FareCompare- This phone app tracks the real-time price of routes from your home airport, and alerts you when the fare drops...up to six times a day
GateGuru - Handy for when you're stuck at the airport, GateGuru tracks down the restaurants, shops and amenities in airport terminals.
And, from the necessity is the mother of invention department, let's not forget SitorSquat. You guessed it, it's the phone app that tells you where to find a public toilet near you, with a review feature and star rating system to help determine the best place for travelers to, well, do their business.
Last but not least, my two favorites.
Shazam - How many times on a business trip have I been in an airport, a newstand, a clothing store and heard a song I liked but had no idea who sings it, or the name of the song? Most of the time the store employees have no idea as well. Shazam to the rescue. Just hold up your phone with the Shazam program and in less than 30 seconds you know the name of the song, the artist, the album title and the label. It's invaluable information for a music junkie like me
And since your odds of being delayed on a flight, or worse, canceled, are relatively good, the challenge of course is how to productively use your time at the airport. Some folks will tell you that this is where a membership in a club like United's Red Carpet or American's Admirals Club makes sense. If you're totally committed to work, these clubs do provide an efficient work environment far from the madding crowds. But if you really need to kill time, then at least be honest about how you kill that time... yes, I can't overlook the iPhone phenomenon, Angry Birds. It's perhaps the single best airport time killer out there.
Do you agree? Which travel app do you think is the most useful or the best time killer for business travelers?
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Photo credit: Flickr user Andy Mihail