United Airlines App a Big Win

United Airlines has one of the best apps on the App Store. It does all the basics, purchase, upgrade, check-in, boarding passes etc.

The real advantage for me is a feature that no other airline offers. When you look at flight status it allows you to check where the aircraft is coming from. You can use this to trace the plane back throughout the day and it helps anticipate delays. Because the airline doesn't "delay" a flight until its wheels up time is in jeopardy this is a big help. Also it allows you to set flight updates for the inbound flight so you can tell when your aircraft reaches the gate. This is extremely helpful if your waiting for the flight in the United Club or somewhere else in the airport.

On the lines of predicting delays it does not give you information on the status of the crew (in the event a crew is coming in on another aircraft). Overall this has made traveling on United more predictable and easier. Recently I've tried out apps from Delta, US Air, Southwest and Alaska. None of these carriers provide this type if data on a mobile app.

Mail.app Trick

So here's a quick pro tip for Apple's Mail.app. I often need to reference emails that people in my team have corresponded on or emails that I've sent to them. I don't segregate emails into folders rather I have a "completed" folder where everything goes once I've acted on it. This is easier than having a large folder structure for every conceivable topic, customer or co-worker. The search app is robust enough that I can usually find what I'm looking for quickly. This is specifically more helpful when using an iOS device.  

When a need to find an email from a teammate quickly, rather than search in the completed folder under their name I've developed smart mailboxes for them. This includes email in the sent folder so when I click on the smart mailbox it brings up a chronological history of my email correspondence with that person. I've listed some screen grabs below for reference. 



Airspace Lounge

I had my first experience with Airspace lounge at Baltimore Washington airport this afternoon. I am a United Club member however United does not have a lounge at BWI. I wanted to try this out and see what it's like.  The club at BWI is fairly small, about 20 tables or couch areas. I had to wait about 10 minutes before I could enter as the person watching the front desk is also the bartender. The cost is $20 ($22 with MD tax) and you get a card that's loaded with $7 towards a drink. The soft drinks are complementary. The bar is fully stocked with decent domestic beers and some local's along with normal spirits. Their website promotes complimentary food in the club. The only complimentary food I was able to find was a dispenser of bar nuts and Chex. Each table had a menu which listed drinks as well as made-to-order food priced between $6 and $21 dollars. I'm not sure how one would order this as there are no "servers" attending to the tables. There was ample space to plug in, just about every table had a power port. Wifi was pretty dismal with speeds at around .14 mbps (via speedtest.net). The ambiance was the same as a typical airline club however did not have a TV, quiet or kids room. The bathrooms were very clean. 

Overall I was a little underwhelmed. I guess I'm spoiled by being a member of a mainline airline club. If your like me this club might seem like a downgrade or not worth the $22 dollars for the day pass. If your not this will be a nice upgrade to sitting in the concourse or a restaurant, especially if your trying to conduct business at the airport.