I was on a press trip for the past week in Mexico, so I spent some time in both O’Hare and the airport in Cancun while waiting for my flights. In both cases I overheard folks talking about needing to find more information about their flights because their flights had been delayed which caused a slough of problems for the next legs of their journeys.
The biggest issue? The airlines’ mobile apps weren’t updating like they should.
My Frontier app never updated to say our flight was delayed by over an hour. Honestly, that in and of itself could be enough for me to cut ties with an airline. I needed it the app for two simple reasons, flight schedules and my boarding pass. And only one of those functions served a purpose on my trip. The app never even updated to say what gate our flight was at.
#FirstWorldProblems for sure, but frustrating nonetheless.
Folks were frantically reaching out to customer service agents through the apps trying to ensure they wouldn’t be sleeping in an airport when their flights landed at 9 p.m. Why? Because the service desks were largely abandoned. In person service agents are being replaced by digital ones and when our apps aren’t working we’re a bit out of luck.
At the same time other folks were updating seat assignments or trying their best to get on the upgrade list. Travel has become so much less complicated because of apps (thank you mobile boarding passes) but it is also so much harder when things go wrong.
Small businesses can feel intimidated by these major corporations that have these highly complex apps, but there isn’t any need to feel that way. If someone needs something it doesn’t matter if your app cost $1000 or $100,000, if it doesn’t work it cannot help them.
And, if it doesn’t exist, it definitely can’t help anyone.
I cannot stress enough how much more efficient my life is because of travel apps for transit by land or by air. I love being able to pull up the app and know (generally) if my plane will be on time or if I have time to go grab another coffee. They’ve made our lives so much easier simply by existing.
I don’t need a fancy interface, I just need real time information so my travels can be smooth sailing.
Amanda Finn is a Chicago based freelance writer and social media manager. She loves writing about things that make life interesting.