With its latest update, TripIt — the freemium trip organizing app — now tells you when to leave for the airport for your upcoming flight. It’s a welcome new addition to an essential app for business travelers.
The new feature, Go Now, provides a countdown clock that displays how long you have until it’s time to head to the airport. After upgrading the app to the latest version, tap on the trip in your list of upcoming trips. Tap on the pending flight in that trip’s itinerary. Then, if you’re a TripIt Pro subscriber (and I recommend becoming one if you aren’t), tap ‘Go Now.’ In this screen, you can ask TripIt to always alert you when to go. TripIt suggests how much time you should allot for getting to the airport (usually it’s 90 minutes before departure).
The countdown begins
Go Now also suggests what time you should leave for the airport, based on your current location, flight status, and local traffic conditions. For example, in a test I performed with a fake itinerary, TripIt recommended I leave my home in San Francisco for the city’s airport by 1:58 p.m. for a 3:50 p.m. flight to Los Angeles. A few hours before 1:58, the countdown clock started ticking off the remaining hours, minutes, and seconds before I needed to split for SFO.
Pick how you’ll get to the airport
TripIt Navigator, another recently added feature, provides an at-a-glance review of your transportation options for getting to the airport. You’ll see how much time and money it should take via public transportation, taxi, shuttle, driving or Uber to go from your current location to the airport. A quick glance at Navigator for my upcoming fake trip to LA showed that a taxi would cost $40 to $55, vs. an Uber, $22 to $30, which looks accurate to me, though both would take about the same time.
TripIt Pro is $49/year and well worth it. You get text message updates on flight delays, cancellations, gate changes, and baggage claim information; quick access to alternate flights for rebooking; and refund tracker, which automatically tells you if your flight’s fare has dropped and you’re eligible for a refund. Nearly two years ago, the refund tracker saved me $81.
You can get some of TripIt Pro’s benefits, such as messaging alerts, from your airline. And TripIt is not your only trip organizing option; others include TripCase and Google Trips. Still, TripIt’s Pro plan is reasonably priced and super helpful for frequent travelers, especially with the new Go Now feature. And the app/service could become even more compelling in the future. Current TSA line wait times is another data point TripIt's developer is considering adding, among other features, says Jen Moyse, director of product for TripIt at Concur Technologies.
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