six colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

My FlightTrack replacement is Flight Update Pro

Your winner: Flight Update Pro.

So a couple of months ago my go-to travel app died, and I’ve been searching for a replacement—with the help of Six Colors readers as well as other stranded FlightTrack users like Yahoo’s David Pogue.

There are so many apps out there, and while none of them matches all of my needs, I’ve settled on a strategy for using my phone (and Apple Watch) to keep track of my air travel.

Before I get to the all-purpose app I’ve decided to go worth, let me put in a few words for a class of apps that many readers recommended to me, namely apps from the airlines themselves. Early on in the app era, I remember trying airline apps and finding them severely wanting. Not only are they uni-taskers—you’ve got to keep one on your phone for every airline you fly—but they weren’t very good.

Prodded on by readers, I downloaded several airline apps and discovered that they’ve come a long way. They’re not fantastic, but if you’re flying on a specific airline, it’s a good idea to install that airline’s app and make sure it’s up to date. I used the United Airlines app on my recent European trip, and it was actually helpful.

My favorite all-purpose app is probably the $10 Flight Update Pro, which isn’t as pretty as FlightTrack but is quite functional, providing current and future trip information, push notifications about flight status, and email integration with TripIt, so I can forward my flight receipts and have them automatically show up in the app.

The best app I tried is probably App in the Air, but I can only recommend it if you’re a hard-core traveler. App in the Air costs $5/month or $30/year. There’s also a $50 lifetime option. I don’t fly enough to make that worth it for me, but if you do, you should give it a try.

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