Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

More iPhone and iPad travel apps, chosen by our readers

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Last Monday, I ran an article about the travel apps that I had downloaded to my new iPhone.  This brought a fantastic response from Head for Points readers who submitted lots of other ideas for apps to try.

I thought it was worth summarising all the reader suggestions.  This is partly for the benefit of email subscribers, who do not see the comments unless they pop over to the site later in the day (which you should!).

To prove that I listen to your ideas, I have loaded up four new apps based on reader suggestions:


Heathrow Rewards.  Whilst not an app – in fact, they don’t have one – it turns out that you can add your Heathrow Rewards card to Passbook.  You need to go to the Heathrow Rewards website on your phone, log in, go My Account, go to (of all places) Order Replacement Card and there you see a button saying “Add to Passbook”.

Citymapper.  This is very impressive, giving you the quickest route (bus, tube, train, walk, taxi) between two points in London.  You can prestore your home and office address, so effectively you only need to press one button from anywhere to immediately get the quickest route there.  Also operates in some other major cities.

Oyster Info.  A quick way to check your balance (if on PAYG) and check you haven’t been fined for an incomplete journey.

Genius Scan.  Not a travel app, but one that will be useful for running HfP.  It lets me scan receipts and automatically upload them to my Dropbox account.

These apps were also recommended by readers, although I haven’t installed them myself.  That doesn’t mean they are rubbish – after all, readers have recommended them! – it just means that they don’t fit my circumstances.

Lounge Club and Priority Pass.  For Amex Gold or Amex Platinum cardholders, you can look up participating airport lounges.  Works offline as well.

Travelling Connect.  I wrote about this company, which lets you earn airline miles or hotel points by using specific mobile networks abroad, here.

Flightboards.  Displays real-time arrivals and departure boards for most major airports.

Flightradar24 (and Planefinder HD).  Shows all of the planes in the air around you, and can even identify specific aircraft if you point your phone at them.  It was the technology behind BA’s recent advertising campaign which I covered here.

Tripit.  A clever app which pulls together all your travel plans in one place.  You can either forward it email confirmations from airlines and hotels and it reads them and files the data or, with Gmail, give it access to your account and it reads all your emails to pick out travel information.

There was also praise for Google Now, which is not available for iOS as a stand-alone app but is part of the Google Search app.  It basically organises your life behind the scenes as long as your calendar is being used.  Without you even asking, it will give you directions to your next appointment based on your current position, give you traffic reports on the route, check if your flights are on time, provide weather at your destination, suggest useful phrases in the local language, suggest tourist sights, look in your email for your hotel reservation and give you a routing along with tips on best rooms to ask for etc.  The future has arrived …  (except for me, who still has a paper diary!).

Other recommended travel apps:  Google Maps, Expedia (for Passbook), Kayak, Highways Agency Traffic, TripAdvisor, Skyscanner, XE (currency conversion, I have got this one), Shell Motorist (has special bonus point promos), BT Smart Talk (can add overseas charges to your home BT phone bill), RealTimeTrains, OnTheFly, MyFlights (lets you track your bookings across all airlines in one app, automatically picks up changes), SyGic (GPS navigation, can project info onto your windscreen!), CoPilot (GPS navigation).

Comments (17)

  • signol says:

    Will you be covering Android soon? After all, there are far more droid users out there 😉

    • Alan says:

      Hehe indeed so 😛

      BTW for those Android users looking at upgrading or switching across from another platform, the Nexus 5 is now £240 at Carphone Warehouse – cracking value, I picked one up yesterday (naturally making use of the £25 credits that I’d collected on the previous Amex/Foursquare promos, so it actually only cost me £120!)

    • Rob says:

      No, because I don’t have one! If someone wants to knock up a guest post on Android-only travel apps I am happy to run it.

    • Andy says:

      You lot sound like broken records, give it a rest. How could Raffles do a list of droid apps, he does town one.

      • Rob says:

        If Sansung want to send me an S5 I am happy to load it up with a few things

        • Alan says:

          Haha, here’s hoping 😛 In general many of the travel apps are also available on Android so I wonder if perhaps more just a generic ‘smartphone travel apps’ article that might be useful, highlighting for each example which platform(s) they’re available on? Happy to help with this from the Android POV but I don’t have a Windows Mobile or Blackberry.

          • Rob says:

            My assumption, ie guess, is that 80 per cent of iOS apps would be on Android as well. I also assumed there isn’t much only on Android and not on iOS, since all developers know that iOS is where the money is.

            Anyone running Windows Mobile or a Blackberry should focus on getting a more useful phone!

      • MKB says:

        Perhaps Raffles could solicit and collate reader recommendations for us Android users, as he’s done here for iOS users. Doesn’t need to own one for that.

        My recommendation is “First off the Tube” for knowing which carriage/door to be at in order to make a quick transfer/exit.

  • Chris says:

    Lounge Buddy is another great app for folks who have amex platinum / priority pass etc

  • pazza2000 says:

    My LHR rewards card won’t add to passbook. Passing through tonight, can I simply provide the card number if it can be entered in manually? Saves scanning / faxing later. Easy 1k Avios for a £10+ spend thanks to last weeks promo…

  • Jermyn says:

    Award wallet is the travel app that I use the most on Android. I’m sure there must be a version for iOS.

    It tracks all your points, their expiration date and your status with any program you can imagine. I even have my Starbucks card on there!

    Best bit is, it intelligently pulls your bookings from your accounts and pieces together itineraries for you, including Google maps between flights and hotels.

  • Joe says:

    I would suggest worldmate. Its basically blackberry travel for android/iphone. Tracks all the hotels, flights etc.

  • Neil says:

    Pocket Earth offline maps with GPS are fantastic, use zero data allowance whilst abroad. Many a time i have fired up the map of a city on a first visit and directed the cab driver myself!

  • GL says:

    triposo is another excellent all in one offline guide, you download the city you are going to and can use the phrasebooks, currency conversion tools as well as local maps. Doesn’t take up too much space. Used it successfully bargaining in Vietnamese markets by showing the phrases on the screen – just for a bit of fun