Handy Air Travel Apps
Article by www.cheapfares.com
Thursday, July 21st, 2011
Some travelers think that they are ready to go once they have purchased cheap airplane tickets and discount hotel rooms, or cheap vacation packages. These days though, smartphone travel apps are available to help in all phases of your trip.
Budget Travel has identified several useful apps that help people while traveling:
Tripit travel app helps users track their itineraries. The app identifies and pulls together flight numbers, gate information, and loyalty program account numbers from email receipts users forward. Tripit then assembles a master trip itinerary that can be accessed from anywhere. It is free and available in Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone/iPad formats.
GateGuru’s app helps users be productive when stuck in an airport during a layover. It contains searchable directories for 98 domestic airports and over 25 international hubs. This app helps users find what they are looking for at airports including ATMS, good coffee, as well as massage stations. Select locations have user reviews, rankings, and photos. It is available for free for iPhone/iPad.
FlightTrack Pro is an ideal app for frequent fliers who want to be prepared in advance to deal with surprises. This app accesses information including gate changes and weather reports for 5,000 airports and 1,400 airlines. If a flight is canceled or delayed, this app makes it easy to search for alternative connections while standing in line to speak to a gate agent or even when you are 30,000 feet in the air. FlightTrack Pro costs for iPhone and iPad while the Android and Blackberry versions (FlightTrack) are available for .
Flight Control users help pass the time while flying. It is an air traffic control strategy game that allows users to manage planes’ flight patterns by dragging them on the touch screen. Flight Control for iPhones cost vs. for the HD version. Flight Control for Android and BlackBerry costs .
Affordable & NYC Hotels Not Mutually Exclusive
It used to be that travelers looking for discount hotel rooms and cheap vacation packages tended not to consider New York City. Now that appears to be changing due to new hotels opening in Harlem and the outer boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.
Almost 40 percent of the new hotels scheduled to open in New York City this year are located outside of Manhattan.
Aloft Harlem is a 124 room hotel located on Frederick Douglas Boulevard near a stretch of new bars and restaurants opened last year. Central Park and the Apollo Theater are a short walk away as is 125th St. which offers many subway and bus lines to Manhattan. Doubles start as low as 0.
Aloft is run by the same company behind the “W” chain of hotels. Aloft New York Brooklyn will open this summer with 176 rooms in Downtown Brooklyn nearby Brooklyn Bridge and locals’ favorite “Junior’s Most Fabulous Cheesecake and Desserts” restaurant. Several subway and rail line connections are close by. Rates start at 9 for a double room.
A new Bed & Breakfast called “3B” will also be opening in Downtown Brooklyn this summer. The hotel will be run by eight young artists and writers and has high ceilings, wood floors, and large windows which provide plenty of natural light. This B&B has four rooms: two private rooms with queen beds, one private room with two single beds, and a fourth room with two bunk beds that can sleep up to four guests. A complimentary breakfast will be served with rates starting at 0.
Several chains are also opening locations in the outer boroughs. Best Western Plus opened a hotel in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park in late 2010. Fairfield Inn & Suites as well as Sheraton will open Brooklyn properties later this year.www.cheapfares.com
Hotel Freebies are a Big Deal
The same travelers who like flying on cheap airplane tickets and staying in discount hotel rooms or purchasing cheap vacation packages often highly value the freebies offered by lower to midprice hotels. Complimentary gifts and services in the form of newspapers, food (particularly breakfast) and cocktails are highly valued by many guests.
Hotels offering freebies spent at average of 3 per room in 2009 on such services. This is the real average cost per room to hotels. If free Wi-Fi, in room toiletries, and coffee were included in the calculation, this figure would be significantly higher.
While such an investment seems high for hotels charging as little as to per night, hotel brand leaders feel it is well worth it because the “value perception” of guests significantly is much greater than the actual cost of the freebies. Further, such freebies are often viewed by guests as giving particular hotels a strong competitive advantage.
Embassy Suites Hotels’ research has shown that a family of four in a single suite value their free breakfasts as much as to when compared to eating the same meal at a restaurant. However, that meal for four only costs the hotel on average to per available suite.
Holiday Inn Express recently introduced a machine that allows customers to make fresh pancakes in less than one minute. It rolled these machines out to all of its 1,800 locations in the states in less than 100 days.
Residence Inn has added a waffle bar where guests can choose from an assortment of toppings, including fresh fruit.
Guests clearly value these free breakfasts, with some brand surveys showing participation rates of over 85 percent. 70 percent of those surveyed by Ypartership recently indicated that a free breakfast was “very or extremely influential” in their choosing a hotel, indicating it was even more important than free Internet access in the room.www.cheapfares.com
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