Travel - Top Articles

TripIt for Android

TripIt for Android gets a major redesign

TripIt — a must-have travel app for anyone who leaves home more than once a year — tonight got a major redesign in its Android application. It's being touted as a "new card view," and it is, we suppose, insofar as you swipe left and right between items now instead of scrolling and taping back and...
Below 10,000 feet: gadgets on planes

Below 10,000 feet: gadgets on planes

It’s not often the rules change, especially when it comes to aviation. Since the Wright brothers first propelled their wood-and-fabric plane into the sky in 1903 we’ve been banned from using electronic devices below 10,000 feet. (They had iPods back then, right?) Of course, there was reasoning...
Phone calls on Delta

No voice calls on Delta flights, CEO says

A bit of good news today for those of you deathly afraid of someone making a phone call next to you on a Delta flight — it ain't gonna happen, CEO Richard Anderson said today in a memo to employees. "Our customer research and direct feedback tell us that our frequent flyers believe voice calls in...
Sony boarding pass watch

Sony brings boarding passes to Smartwatch 2 with Vueling

Sony has announced what it says is the "world's first wearable boarding pass" for its Smartwatch 2 device in partnership with Spanish airline Vueling. The app, due to launch on Google Play from the end of the month, allows users to display a boarding card barcode on the watch's display, as well...
App in the Air

App in the Air soars onto Android as your perfect airport companion

One of my absolute favorite travel apps for iOS is called App in the Air. As you may guess from the title, it's a flight tracking app. We've no shortage of those in the world, but this one caught my eye immediately because of its eye catching design. Now, whenever I fly, it's the number one app I...
MyTSA

The MyTSA app (yes, really) can help you through the airport for easy holiday travel

Wait times, flight delays, local weather and more make MyTSA a useful app for travelers Most people don't think of the TSA when they think about easy. They're those people at the airport who look like police, who have to scan your bags, push you through the x-ray machines, and sometimes fiddle...
Gogo

Delta does Gogo Wifi on its first international flights

Good news for you folks who just have to stay connected while winging it to Asia: Delta has launched its first Wifi-enabled flights from Atlanta to Tokyo, and from Los Angeles to Tokyo. The initial rollout is on the 747-400. Gogo expects to complete installation on the rest of Delta's...
Gatwick Airport

You can now see the inside of select airports and train stations with Google Street View

Over 60 new indoor locations added to the Street View project bring your travel destination to your screen Traveling to visit loved ones this holiday season? If so, Google may have something you'll be interested in as a slew of airports, train, subway and even a cable car station have been added...
Android Central

FAA expands the use of portable electronics on planes

Airplane mode will still be required, and you'll have to pretend to pay attention to the safety briefing The Federal Aviation Administration this morning at a news conference announced that (as expected) it has determined that portable electronic devices can be used not just above 10,000 feet,...
Hipmunk

Hipmunk adds multicity searches

If you rely on Hipmunk for your flight searches but have badly wished for more than the usual there and back again itinerary, hit up today's update. With it you're able to work with multicity searches. So you can do San Francisco to New York to London to Paris and straight back home with ease....
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TripIt for Android

TripIt — a must-have travel app for anyone who leaves home more than once a year — tonight got a major redesign in its Android application. It's being touted as a "new card view," and it is, we suppose, insofar as you swipe left and right between items now instead of scrolling and taping back and forth. That's not to say it's not a good update — it is — but visually it feels like some sections got left behind.

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United Airlines has had a usable Android app for some time now, but it wasn't always the prettiest out there. Today's update to version 2.0 changes that, making those with an eye for proper design happy while also adding new functionality. The app has received a complete UI overhaul (or an "Android friendly design" as they call it), with new buttons, layout and navigation tabs.

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Good news for you folks who just have to stay connected while winging it to Asia: Delta has launched its first Wifi-enabled flights from Atlanta to Tokyo, and from Los Angeles to Tokyo. The initial rollout is on the 747-400. Gogo expects to complete installation on the rest of Delta's international fleet — the 777, 767, 757, 747 and Airbus A330 by the end of 2015. Press release

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Sony has announced what it says is the "world's first wearable boarding pass" for its Smartwatch 2 device in partnership with Spanish airline Vueling. The app, due to launch on Google Play from the end of the month, allows users to display a boarding card barcode on the watch's display, as well as displaying details of upcoming flights.

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If you rely on Hipmunk for your flight searches but have badly wished for more than the usual there and back again itinerary, hit up today's update. With it you're able to work with multicity searches. So you can do San Francisco to New York to London to Paris and straight back home with ease. Helping with the jet lag? Well, you're on your own with that.

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One of my absolute favorite travel apps for iOS is called App in the Air. As you may guess from the title, it's a flight tracking app. We've no shortage of those in the world, but this one caught my eye immediately because of its eye catching design. Now, whenever I fly, it's the number one app I use until the plane takes off. And now, the developers have brought it to Android.

Make no mistake though; this isn't some lazy port. The developers, have designed each version with its respective platform in mind. The Android app is clearly an Android app, and the iOS app is clearly an iOS app. I've been playing around with the Android version for a few weeks now, and it's every bit as good as I hoped it would be. Let's take a closer look.

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Starting today, those of us who play the frequent flyer game on Delta Air Lines need to keep track of what we're spending in order to make status for 2015. And to that end, Delta has updated its Android app to also show your Medallion Qualification Dollars, aka MQDs. Want to keep status next year? You've got to spend, baby, spend, and not just hop cheap flights to nowhere.

Also new is more detailed profile information, and the requisite bugfixes and performance improvements.

And as a reminder, Delta, like other U.S. airlines, now lets you use your phone or tablet below 10,000 feet. Just don't try to make any calls, m'kay?

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New rules coming into effect tomorrow allow devices to be used from gate to gate on BA flights

British Airways is to become the first European airline to allow the use of electronic devices, including phones and tablets, during take-off and landing. The decision was approved by the British Civil Aviation Authority according to a BBC report, and follows an earlier relaxation of BA's rules which allowed devices to be used during taxiing. Similar motions have been made by U.S. carriers, after the FAA ruled that electronic gadgets were safe to use below 10,000 feet. Devices will still need to be in airplane mode during in-flight use, however.

The new rules come into effect on BA flights from Thursday, Dec. 19.

More: Below 10,000 feet: Gadgets on planes

Source: BBC News

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A bit of good news today for those of you deathly afraid of someone making a phone call next to you on a Delta flight — it ain't gonna happen, CEO Richard Anderson said today in a memo to employees.

"Our customer research and direct feedback tell us that our frequent flyers believe voice calls in the cabin would be a disruption to the travel experience," Anderson wrote. "Delta employees, particularly our in-flight crews, have told us definitively that they are not in favor of voice calls onboard."

We're going to see more and more phones in use one way or another on planes. While we agree that the fear of in-flight phone calls largely is sensationalized — it's loud up there, and someone talking on a phone really isn't an different than someone talking to the person next to them — a little solace at 35,000 probably won't hurt us.

For more, see our special feature, "Below 10,000 feet: Gadgets on planes."

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Over 60 new indoor locations added to the Street View project bring your travel destination to your screen

Traveling to visit loved ones this holiday season? If so, Google may have something you'll be interested in as a slew of airports, train, subway and even a cable car station have been added to Street View. No longer will you have to hit the nice lady at the information desk to find your gate or platform, because you can bury your head inside your Android phone and see things for yourself.

Of course, the usefulness of any of this remains to be seen. But for those of us who can't be jaunting off to Rome or Rio can pretend we're there — or at least in the airport. 

The full list of locations — mostly in North America and Western Europe — can be found in a neat interactive map right here. If nothing else, it's cool to browse through.

Source: Google

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Wait times, flight delays, local weather and more make MyTSA a useful app for travelers

Most people don't think of the TSA when they think about easy. They're those people at the airport who look like police, who have to scan your bags, push you through the x-ray machines, and sometimes fiddle with your junk. Deservedly or not, they have a pretty bad rep. They also happen to have made a really nice travel app for Android. It's not filled with HOLO, or using any amazing user interface, but it is filled with the information you would need when your getting ready to fly somewhere.

The free app has stuff you will find useful if you're trying to make it through a busy airport, especially at a busy time like the upcoming holiday weekend. It starts before you even get there, by telling you any and all flight delays and general airport delays. It knows what airport you're closest to, or you can set it manually if you've got a drive ahead of you and aren't leaving from the closest one. 

Once at your takeoff point, you can find out information like what you can and can't bring on a plane (ninja stars are check-only, by the way), how long the wait time is at the various checkpoints, and even guides to try and answer any and all questions you may have about flying, TSA policy, or travel in general. Wait times are crowd-sourced, and the app seems to update in real-time when I entered in a long wait for the main checkpoint at Dulles. The things we do for science.

I'll admit, I was surprised by the useful content, and while I can't say it will make me appreciate the next person who has to jiggle my jimmies at an airport checkpoint, it's nice to see a few tax dollars well-spent. Give it a try via the Google Play link above, and we've got a slew of screenshots after the break.

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A quick heads up for those of you who spend too much time in the air — or just enough to warrant having this app, anyway. Delta Air Lines has updated its aptly named Fly Delta app for Android 4.4 compatibility issues as well as some unnamed bugfixes. (Could be a placebo effect, but it almost seems a little faster, too.)

In addition, Detla's thrown in a small UI tweak — gone is the darker blue gradient, replaced by a different, flatter shade a blue. The legacy overflow menu button is still there, however — it'd be great to see that go. Otherwise, same old Delta app, though you can now use it from takeoff to landing.

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Airplane mode will still be required, and you'll have to pretend to pay attention to the safety briefing

The Federal Aviation Administration this morning at a news conference announced that (as expected) it has determined that portable electronic devices can be used not just above 10,000 feet, but during "all phases of flight." That means no more turning off your iPhones, iPads, e-books, e-readers, Game Boys, Kindles, BlackBerry, blueberry, strawberry — anything with an on/off switch that must be in the off position before the aircraft can push back from the gate.

You will, however, have to wait on the airlines to implement the FAA's guidance, which it expects to see happen by the end of the year.

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New interactive map and 'Hotel Price Comparison' makes it easier to research

Travel planning and research app TripAdvisor has refreshed its app with a new interface, features and drastically improved performance this week. Along with a simultaneous launch on iOS, the new TripAdvisor Android app is completely rebuilt natively to offer a better experience and integrate everything the service has to offer. You'll notice a new and simple UI for quickly researching or booking travel plans, focusing on a search box and a few quick buttons for hotels, restaurants, attractions and flights.

With the redesign you also have access to TripAdvisor's new "Hotel Price Comparison" feature, which compares booking options at a glance. You'll also be able to look at hotels easier on an interactive map, which displays results alongside nearby attractions and restaurants you may want to visit.

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If you want to get online with your Android smartphone or tablet on an airplane, you're going to have to use Gogo to do so. And now you'll be able to pay with Amazon Payments. The company this morning announced the additional method, which will be handy for those who have been entering their credit card info each time you hit 10,000 feet. 

"By enabling Amazon Payments, we are offering the hundreds of millions of Amazon customers an easy way to pay for Internet access on Gogo," said Ash ElDifrawi, Gogo's chief commercial officer. "We know that Amazon buyers are highly satisfied with their payment experience on Amazon.  This relationship gives Gogo customers a familiar choice that they already know and trust."

Look for the Amazon Payment logo when you log on at airborne.gogoinflight.com.

Source: Gogo

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Sports and travel cards get the focus in this update

That latest Google Now update that the official Android Google+ account teased us with a couple of days ago is now rolling out to devices, and it even brings a few more features than expected. If you need a quick refresher, the update is bringing brand new cards for car rentals, concert tickets, sharing your commute and for NCAA football scores.

The update is also improving a few other cards. Public transit cards show dramatically more information, you can now set reminders based on your searches and more information will be displayed based on what you're watching on TV. Not announced in the original post but revealed in the actual update are two other quick features — related websites for your location, and improvements to sports cards to show real-time data instead of on a 15 minute refresh interval.

This is a big update, with lots of useful improvements. Head to the Play Store at the link above to grab your update.

Thanks, mooniefresh13!

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Speeding up the process of booking travel plans, and looking good doing it

Making a big leap in design and quality from the previous version, Orbitz has redesigned its entire app in the latest update to make searching and booking travel plans easier. Realizing the massive number of Android handsets being sold, Orbitz has undergone a complete redesign to be Android native, and the performance increases are notable. Navigation is extremely smooth and easy, with a simple interface that takes fewer taps to get where you need to be — whether it's finding a hotel, booking a flight or buying a rental car.

Under-the-hood changes also include the ability to stay signed in even when you exit the app for a long period of time, offline access for booked flights and changes to flight search listings. Orbitz is also now integrated with Google Now, so Gmail users that receive Orbitz notification emails will see their relevant travel information displayed as a card in Google Now the day of their travel.

You can grab a download or update of the latest Orbitz app at the Play Store link above.

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Don't get stuck in the middle seat for a long flight again

Popular travel service TripIt is adding one of its best "Pro" features, Seat Tracker, to its Android app today. The new feature leverages the fact that TripIt manages your flights for you and therefore can autonomously scan for open or better seats and offer them to you when they become available. Seat Tracker can help you get out of the middle seat, get into an exit row for more leg room or bring you closer to friends or family that you're flying with.

To take advantage of Seat Tracker you'll need the latest version of the Android app and be signed up for the TripIt Pro service, which costs $49 per year but includes several great features for the frequent flyer out there.

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Attention frequent flyers: US Airways finally has an Android app. (We'll pause as we let the cheers in Charlotte, N.C., subside. Everybody done? Good.)

The app hits all the buttons you'd expect. It ties into your Dividend Miles account. You can see your itineraries and check into flights, as well as access your boarding pass wallet. You can check on your flight status and book new flights, and you also can get terminal maps and check on clubs in whatever airport you're headed to. If you've lost a bag, you can check on that through the app as well.

All in all, not a bad app — though we're ignoring the horrible placement of the settings button, which really needs to be in a proper overflow menu. And while we're on the subject, the legacy overflow menu (seen here with the dots on the bottom right) doesn't even work on HTC devices. Fortunately, all that's tucked in there is a Home button, My trips, Flight status, check in and "more," all of which is available on that main screen anyway. So you won't be able to get to it universally throughout the app on an HTC device, but neither is it missing.

We've got a few more screen shots after the break, and you can download it at the link above.

H/t to @airlineflyer

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Delta Air Lines today announced version 2.1 of its official Fly Delta Android application, adding new features directly related to getting your butt in the seat and the plane on its way.

Most important is that you'll now be able to purchase Preferred Seats (ie aisle and window seats, as well as exit rows) within 24 hours of departure. You'll also be able to book international flights directly from the app.

For the iOS folks, Delta has added Facebook integration that will let you document your travel and create a "virtual passport" through the Facebook Collections feature. You'll also be able to share when you've planned a trip, when you check in, and when you arrive. That's not listed in the Android changelog, though, and we're not seeing any options for it.

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