Thursday, June 07, 2012

Airline Android apps - Air NZ, British Airways and Easyjet

Updated 8 June 2012

I'm doing a bit of a trip later this year, and for the first time, I've got almost all my pre-holiday planning organised [or at least available] on my Android phone. OK, so only 9 flight sectors and 2 hotels, but still - much easier than being totally reliant on paper.

I'm mainly flying Air New Zealand [5 sectors], plus 1 sector on Virgin Atlantic, 1 on BA Cityflyer and 2 on Easyjet. It's a good time to do a quick comparison of the airline Android apps which I use to track my flights.

Firstly, I was surprised to not be able to find any sort of mobile app from Virgin Atlantic. No great drama, as I'm travelling on an Air New Zealand ticket, but still...

Air New Zealand
The Air New Zealand mpass app perhaps has a bit of a "head start" on the others, as it is the one I use for most of my flying. I really like the fact that it is simple to use, fast, looks good. What's more, for domestic flights, it contains a barcode to allow me to check in [not available for international flights], and a very easy to read summary of upcoming flights. 2-3 days out from a flight, I get "on time" information and my seat allocation. New Zealand airport terminal maps are a bonus, and it's easy to check up on my frequent flier points. Nice.
Air NZ's mpass application. Home page and My Flights page
There are a few other features [take a look at the first screen shot], and the only big thing missing is any ability to search for an book a flight. It's a big omission, but one I guess Air NZ will correct in due course.

British Airways
The British Airways app is ok but not great. I'm not quiet so keen on the user interface, but it is not too bad. There are more taps than what should be neccesary, but information is easy enough to find.  It does allow for online check in, but for some reason, it requires the booking reference number and passenger surname to complete! A bit silly considering the app has your booking details available. However, upcoming flight details are easy to find and read though.

British Airways My Booking page
The bonus compared to Air NZ's app is the ability to search for and book flights. Sure's it looks like it's just embedding a mobile version of the full website, but at least I don't have to change apps. A bit of further investigation indicates that if I had an Executive Club account, there might be more features, but this is not available in this part of the world. In fact, BA refers me on to Qantas [who don't have an Android app at all]

The final one I installed was the Easyjet app. First impressions were not great with an annoying startup animation and the bright orange blaring out, but once in the app, the options to book a flight, view booking or check flight status are all there. Selecting the booking information is easy, although if you have more than once flight booked, you have to scroll. One thing I dislike are the attempts to upsell on the booking detail screen. Not pleasant, but I suppose that is what is to be expected on a cheapo airline. The flight booking page is much better than the BA version - it was clearly designed for mobile from scratch. Just a pity about the constant annoying attempts to upsell left, right and centre...
Easyjet My Bookings page
A glaring omission is any ability to check in using the application.

All in all, I prefer the Air NZ app. OK, so maybe I'm a little biased since I do most flying on Air NZ, but the app provides me with clear, concise, flight information, domestic airport maps, up-to-date frequent flier points and a good UI ... with the addition of a booking page it would be about perfect [ok, a booking page, and the ability to do seat selection would be perfect!].

One more point - I tried to get hold of a Qantas app, just to compare, but they don't have an Android version available! Nuts...! :-(

So, what are your experiences? Agree with me? Disagree? Have a preferred app from another airline? Share a comment. Except perhaps you AgentK - I know what you think of Android :-)

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