Nothing can be worse than being stuck in an airport. Manage your time well with these tips to make the most of a surprise layover.
Most flights tend to be on time, but frequent travelers are used to an occasional delay or cancellation. And sometimes, you can miss a flight due to unforeseen circumstances (otherwise known as “showing up late.”) If you’re lucky, you’ll get a seat on the next available flight.
In case you’re not so lucky, here are a few tips to avoid or to make the most of an unexpected wait and to plan for your trip to the airport.
Reach the airport in advance
Major airports typically recommend arriving two hours before the departure of a domestic flight and three hours if the flight is international.
Thanks to Cortana, your personal digital assistant on Windows Phone 8.1, you won’t have to worry about staying on schedule. Currently available in select markets, she can track your flight and monitor traffic congestion to alert you when it’s time to leave for the airport.
To set this up, launch Cortana and tap settings. Next, select the “detect tracking info, such as flights, in messages on my phone” box. That’s it!
Check connecting flights and hotel bookings
A delayed flight can wreak havoc on your schedule. Manage abrupt changes to your flight and hotel plans with just a few taps on your Lumia.
Expedia Hotels, Flights, Cars & Activities (free) is your one-stop shop for all your last-minute travel needs, from booking interconnecting flights to hotel reservations. Filter your flight search by price, duration or time and getthe best deals.
The app also lets you check hotel reviews from travelers and offers Expedia rewards points for mobile bookings. You can also share your travel itinerary with your friends, colleagues, or family.
The free Marriott International app makes booking and managing your hotel reservation easy. Confirm your hotel room, make requests for an early check-in or a late check-out, and ask for extra pillows or towels and other amenities, even before you reach your hotel.
Check hotel photos, city guides, and plan your activities on the move. Make
reservations for more than 4,000 Marriott hotels and resorts in 70 countries. You can also browse the app in five languages: English, French, Spanish, German, and Chinese.
Don’t forget to claim your reward points on your next trip.
Likewise, the free Hilton HHonors app lets you book reservations at 12 top hotel brands worldwide. Modify and cancel upcoming reservations on the go and redeem your HHonors Points for reward stays.
This app has a current-location function for booking last-minute hotel reservations– perfect for an unanticipated overnight stay. You can even select your room before you arrive.
When a delay happens, make sure you can still get a ride after you land. Check your flight status and update yourairport pick-up or book a rental car or cab before you touch down.
Track the status of your flight with the Flight Factory app (99 cents) on your Lumia. See your flight’s progress on a map and find the flight status of more than 1,500 airlines from 16,000 airports across the world.
The app also displays airport information, local weather, and local time. You can also share your flights via e-mail or through social networks. Pin your current flight on your Start screen to monitor closely.
If you prefer to drive to your destination, book your rental car on the go with the free AVIS app. Manage your rental car reservations and get real-time price estimates. You can even check your rental details or contact roadside assistance with voice commands.
You can also try the free National Car Rental app, which lets you see details like mileage and other features when choosing a car.
However, if you prefer a chauffeur-driven car, use Uber (free) to request a ride.
Best gear for your Lumia
Don’t forget accessories! Here are the must-haves to get your business done when you’re on the go.
Microsoft Portable Power
If you will be out all day and return late at night, you might consider juicing up your Lumia.
The Microsoft Portable Power charges your smartphone quickly, just like a wall charger and comes with a 6000mAh rechargeable battery.
For more details on the Microsoft Portable Power, read here.
Before you leave for the airport, don’t forget to activate a Treasure Tag and attach it to an essential belonging, such as your keys or luggage. That way, you can always keep track of your stuff.
Check out an earlier story featuring some travel apps for your Lumia that work without Internet here.