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April 10, 2014

Cabin fever: our favourite apps, websites and Lumia flying tips

Whether it’s a short-haul hop or a long-haul slog, making air travel more bearable is essential. Handy, then, that the Nokia Lumia 1520 can help with that.

Please ensure all phones and electronic devices are switched on before, during and after take off…


Digital loading

Loading up your Lumia 1520 with enough offline material to last you days, let alone hours, should be par for the course for any self-respecting smartphone owner.


You can never be 100% sure of a) the quality of in-flight films or b) the quality of in-flight entertainment system, so invest in a maximum-capacity 64Gb MicroSD card and add it to the 32Gb of on-board storage to ensure there’s enough space for at least half a dozen high-definition movies and a bunch of games of your choosing.

The same goes for music. Whether you’re on a Mac or PC, download the Windows Phone app to transfer your tunes. Alternatively, generate a bunch of offline MixRadio and Spotify playlists to see you through the 38,000ft experience.


Seat Guru

Regular flyers should know all about this brilliant website. Optimised for mobile, Seat Guru shows you the best seats in the house. Or the class you’re travelling in, to be precise.

Search by flight, route or airline to discover whether a seat is compromised in terms of space, proximity to the toilets, or has extra leg-room due to being located on an exit row. It’ll even tell you which seats have power and/or a TV.

When you’ve made your choice, hop onto your airline website and change the seats they gave you. Indispensable.

Flight Checker

Arriving at an airport in good time, only to discover your flight has been delayed, is up there with annoyance akin to a permanent squeaky hinge. Banish pre-boarding frustration with the Flight Checker app, which gives you (almost) real-time flight departure and arrival status. It costs $4.99 (there are free ones) but we’ve found it pretty accurate on a number of occasions. Great when picking people up from the airport, too.



In-flight entertainment


Screen if you wanna go faster

If your Lumia 1520 is your travelling companion, we’d be surprised if there was a better mobile phone screen on your flight. The six-inch, ClearBlack, IPS LCD display will show off those HD downloaded movies and TV shows with aplomb.


In terms of longevity, the Lumia 1520’s chunky 3400mAh battery capacity means almost 11 hours video playback, 124 hours music playback and 32 days standby time. That should do you.

Oh, but don’t forget packing your carry-on luggage with a quality set of headphones. Plump for a wired set to save on battery, the Nokia Purity HD Stereo Headset by Monster and the Coloud Boom for Nokia are both perfect flying partners.




When you’re all movie-d and music-ed out, delving into a digital tome can offer great solace. On the Lumia 1520’s huge screen, reading a digital book is almost like the real thing. And when you’ve landed and are at your destination, pick up where you left off – on any Kindle-compatible device – with the clever Whispersync technology.

Kindle on Lumia


Landing gear



Here Transit

Available in more than 760 global cities, Here Transit should be your first point of call in any new terminus. Plan a trip in advance or jump on the local network to find how to get to your destination; taking local public transport or getting turn-by-turn walking directions.

If you’re smart, you’ll download offline HERE maps before you get to your destination, too. Searching for a free WiFi connection after a ten-hour flight isn’t recommended.





We don’t need to tell you about the phenomenon that is TripAdvisor. However, it’s now updated for Windows 8.1 and currently contains more than 75 million reviews and opinions by active users. Brilliant for any country, city or village you find yourself in.


What’s your favourite travelling app, accessory or tip?