I finally got myself an iPhone earlier this year. Some of the travel apps I have been using were discussed here and some of your alternative suggestions were listed here.
I didn’t write about My Flights at the time. That is despite the fact – disclaimer here – that I know its author Chris. It is most useful for people with heavy flight schedules and I rarely have more than two flights in the diary at any one time.
Chris emailed me recently to say that a new version was about to be released. By coincidence, I suddenly found myself with about 10 different return flights booked for future months. It was a good time to download and give it a trial run.
Like any other flight tracking app (eg FlightTrack), you input the booking references for your upcoming flights and My Flights stores them all for you. This makes it easy to pull up details of forthcoming trips.
That is the boring bit though.
This is the clever bit – My Flights is the only flight app to constantly interrogate Amadeus and Sabre, two of the largest flight booking databases. As soon as any changes are made to your booking, you receive a push notification to your iPhone or iPad.
Let’s imagine that you are booked to fly on a British Airways 747 in Club World. British Airways decides at some point to switch the flight to a Boeing 777 instead. You would lose your existing seat reservation and BA would allocate you something else based on the new configuration. British Airways would not tell you about this though.
With My Flights, you would get a notification within a few hours of the change being made. You would be able to select your choice of new seat before other passengers had noticed. (The screenshot above is an example of what My Flights shows when your seat is changed. If the aircraft model was changed, this would also be highlighted.)
Similarly, airlines do not always notify passengers promptly if their flight has a time change. More extremely, this week BA announced a raft of long-haul cancellations for the Winter timetable (full list on HFP next week) but it will be a few days before all impacted passengers are told to avoid a crush on the call centre. My Flights would pick this up and notify you.
As I found over the last few weeks, trialling the new version, it also picks up little things such as meal choices changing or frequent flyer numbers disappearing.
The only downside to My Flights is that it only works for airlines who use Amadeus or Sabre. This includes most major full service carriers. My Aer Lingus booking last week, though, could not be tracked.
What you can do in such scenarios is manually input the details of your flight. Alternatively, if you use TripIt you can sync your account with My Flights and it will pick up your reservations from there. Whilst you will not be notified of any changes, it does mean that your upcoming flights list in My Flights is comprehensive. My Flights can also import your past flights from TripIt so you have a record of your previous travel.
You can also access your My Flights data via their website should your iPhone run out of juice at any point!
There are two versions of My Flights in the App Store. The free version allows you to store details of your flights simply by inputting the 6 digit booking reference. It does not support offline checking of your booking and has advertising.
Alternatively, you can buy the full version as I reviewed here for just £1.49. The new 3.1.1 version that I was beta-testing is now available.
It is worth noting that The Sunday Times put My Flights in its list of the top 500 apps in 2011 and 2012, should you be worried that my review is biased by my connection to the author!