People are still traveling this month for vacations, and there is a good percentage of us taking to the skies on a regular basis. Airline travel used to be a luxurious, indulgent experience, with great service, meals in economy class, and lots of other perks. Loved ones could even say “goodbye” at the gate.
Nowadays, flying has been relegated to a necessary evil, unless you’re a Rockefeller or similar. You stand in line for security, customs, immigration and to get on the plane. If you’re not a platinum member, traveling with children, an airline cardholder or a diplomat of some ilk, it probably means you’re a Group 5 flyer with a middle seat and no overhead bin space.
Knowing all of the above, wouldn’t you like to have any tool at your disposal that would actually help you on your way? Make airports more inviting? Give you access to nice amenities?
The free FLIO app may just bridge the gap between an unbearable experience and a pleasant one. With inside information on most major airports, particularly ones in Europe, this app can help make you a savvy traveler.
How it works
It’s all pretty simple to use, hence the lack of tutorial. The app will ask you your location, but will make suggestions not necessarily relevant to it when you first try it out.
Again, this kind of started as a European-based app, but has expanded to include other worldwide airports. That being said, don’t expect every airport to be covered. For example, it doesn’t have the Owen Roberts International Airport listed.
You can either type in the airport code or the destination you’re interested in, to see what facilities it has. If it doesn’t yet have information on that airport, it will simply say, “Location not recognized.”
Should it recognize the code or location, any information that FLIO has on that particular airport will then be displayed below, including percentage discounts exclusive to FLIO users.
Looking for free showers or where you can charge your device? Check the airport you’re in or will be visiting to see if there are insider tips.
Tired in the Atlanta airport? Head to Minute Suites in Concourse B where you can pay for a suite with a daybed starting at US$38 per hour to get some shut-eye. Dying for a coffee fix? Get 15 percent off at Starbucks in London’s Heathrow airport with the FLIO app.
Learn about luggage storage areas; whether your airport has a gym; and if you have a long layover, where to go outside the airport that’s interesting but close by.
You’ll also find tips on transport, smoking areas, good places to eat, and tourist refund schemes (well worth a look as you’ll get money back).
Did you know that there’s a 3D IMAX cinema in the Hong Kong airport? Free Playstation use in Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris? A kids play area in Concourse D at Las Vegas’s McCarran airport? You’d be surprised at all the information you’ll glean from the FLIO app, which is much easier than wandering endlessly through long concourses looking for what you need.
There aren’t many icons on the main screen, apart from the search field (marked by the standard magnifying glass symbol); a settings icon (the cog symbol you’ll see in the top right-hand corner); and a 1x/2x toggle in the bottom right-hand corner that can make the screen area smaller or larger.
When I tried it
As it happens, I am traveling to Las Vegas on Saturday, flying from Cayman to Atlanta and then on to Vegas, so I was interested to see what facilities there were in the two U.S. airports I was visiting.
I was going to be overnighting in Atlanta on the return journey, and it was interesting to see that the hotel I had originally chosen might not be the closest one to the airport. Hmmm … I might have to rethink my choice.
FLIO also had advice on how to get to baggage claim quickly, and even where there might be live jazz music in the airport. After all, nothing soothes the stressed passenger’s soul more than a bit o’ jazz.
Being a Brit, the Village Pub & Poker might appeal to me in the main Las Vegas airport, as it offers beer-battered fish and chips and supposedly some excellent fried chicken.
There’s also the Centurion Lounge – free to American Express Platinum members. It’s a good place for getting ready to face the flight home.
The FLIO app does not cover all airports, but it does have information for a lot of major stops and hubs, which will no doubt be expanded over time.
In the end, this is a free app that may improve your travel experience, and anything that can make travel more pleasant is well worth a look.
Free. Has tips for many airports. Discounts on services.
Doesn’t feature all airports. Could be a bit more involved.
- Cost: Free
- Seller: Upspring Marketing GmbH
- Devices: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
- Rating: E for Everyone