A little travel tech could help you get to your turkey on time.
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport predicts this will be the busiest holiday season in its 40 year history. More than 2.25 million passengers are expected to travel through the airport between Nov. 20 and Dec. 2.
The number of smartphone apps promising to help you with your trip is also up. Airlines, hotels, restaurants, even airports have invested in apps to help you navigate meals, deals and bathroom locations.
All About Airline Apps
Winn LaRue, of Fort Worth, says airline apps help her save time.
“Their app has the most up to date information,” she says. “I arrive when I need to arrive, if there’s a delay or cancellation, I don’t waste my time.”
Frequent traveler Bryan Pottebaum also uses the airlines app to avoid lines and phone calls when he needs to rebook.
“[Today] we were supposed to be on the 6:00 p.m. [flight] but we bumped forward to 2:30 p.m., using the Delta Sky app,” he says.
But Pottebaum says he’s never thought about sending a direct message to Delta when he’s stuck in a layover.
And that, says Brian Kelly, is a missed opportunity.
“A lot of people just don’t know that social media can be such a great tool, and that it’s free!” he says.
Take Advantage Of Twitter
Kelly is a frequent flier mile ninja and founder of The Points Guy dot com –
“I know people don’t want to join twitter and share everything, but you don’t even need to be an active tweeter to get help on twitter,” he says.
When Kelly was traveling from Philadelphia to Costa Rica last New Year’s Eve, the American Airlines flight had a mechanical delayand he rebooked via twitter while still in his seat.
“While passengers were running off the plane to get re-accommodated,” he says. “And I was able to snag the last seat on the next flight and save a day of my vacation.”
These days, most U.S. airlines have teams dedicated to helping customers via social media.
“It’s critical for travelers to take advantage of social media,” Kelly says. “No app is going to do the work for you.”
If you want your own personal travel agent, The Points Guy Brian Kelley says you have to be your own advocate. An app is great, but knowing the twitter handle for your airline is even better.
Here’s a few top U.S. airlines twitter handles to get you started:
- Alaska Airlines: @AlaskaAir
- American Airlines: @AmericanAir
- Delta: @deltaassist
- Frontier: @frontiercare
- Hawaiian Airlines: @HawaiianAir
- JetBlue: @JetBlue
- Southwest: @SouthwestAir
- Spirit: @SpiritAirlines
- United: @United
- US Airways: @USAirways
- Virgin America: @VirginAmerica
- Virgin Atlantic: @VirginAtlantic