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Apple Watch will make the flying experience more convenient for both casual and frequent flyers, with a number of airlines updating their apps for the Apple Watch in recent weeks, or announcing support coming soon, including American Airlines, Delta, United Airlines, JetBlue, British Airways, EasyJet, Ryanair, Qantas Airways, Air Canada, WestJet, Emirates and Japan Airlines.

Apple-Watch-Flight-Apps1.png
Notable airlines that have not announced or planned Apple Watch support include Southwest Airlines and Virgin Airlines in the United States, and Cologne-based Lufthansa, the largest airline in Europe. As more airlines begin updating their apps for the Apple Watch, however, it is likely that others will follow in an effort to keep up with their competitors around the world.

The roundup below provides a closer look at Apple Watch apps for several airlines across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Ireland, United Arab Emirates and Japan. A handful of other general flight-related apps are also listed that provide general flight statuses, notifications, real-time departure and delay information and more for an easier traveling experience.

United States

American Airlines

American-Airlines-Watch.jpg
American Airlines for Apple Watch provides comprehensive flight information on your wrist, including gate change announcements, an in-flight map with estimated travel time remaining until arrival, and baggage claim and connection details. You can also receive a notification when it's time to leave for the airport and check in to your fight directly from your Apple Watch. American Airlines is free on the App Store.

Delta

Delta Air Lines will also be joining the mix of airline apps for Apple Watch in a future update to its current Fly Delta app for iPhone and iPad. Delta for Apple Watch will deliver notifications about flights to users ahead of their boarding times, and it will give them access to the boarding pass stored on their iPhones directly on the wrist.

deltaapplewatch.jpg
Delta for Apple Watch will offer flight numbers, gate numbers, flight times, and other info. If a flight gets changed, for example, users will get a notification on their Apple Watch. There will also be a notification when a flight is approaching a destination city, with information about luggage pickup. Fly Delta is free on the App Store.

United Airlines

United Airlines has not released screenshots or in-depth details about its Apple Watch plans, but it has confirmed that support for the wrist-worn device is in the works. United's app will offer at-a-glance information on upcoming flights, including gate numbers and status, and let users view their flight reservations. It will also pull a traveler's boarding pass from the Passbook app, and it's able to alert users if flight times or gate numbers change. United Airlines is free on the App Store.

JetBlue

JetBlue has updated its app with Apple Watch support, enabling users to purchase onboard premium offerings from their wrists. The new Apple Watch app provides flyers with a Glance flight status, travel countdown and smart mobile boarding pass from the Apple Watch. JetBlue is free on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.

Canada

Air Canada

Air-Canada-Apple-Watch.jpg
Air Canada, the largest airline in Canada, recently updated their app with Apple Watch support for viewing the status of your flights departing within 24 hours, seeing your countdown to boarding time from your Glances, getting notifications for checking in and boarding your flight, using Handoff from your Apple Watch to complete your check-in and viewing boarding passes from Passbook. Air Canada is free on the App Store.

WestJet

WestJet, the second-largest Canadian airline behind Air Canada, recently updated its app for the Apple Watch to allow users to keep track of saved flight statuses and details in Glances, or view a countdown of time remaining until your next WestJet flight. WestJet boarding passes saved to Passbook will also be available on Apple Watch. WestJet is free on the App Store.

United Kingdom

British Airways

British-Airways-Apple-Watch-800x286.png
Keep up to date with the latest flight information using British Airways for Apple Watch. At a glance, the app allows you to view the status of your next flight, access both scheduled and estimated departure times, and view the latest weather at your destination. The app also provides up-to-date information about the flight's gate status and provides notifications on your wrist when your gate status changes at Heathrow Terminals 3 and 5. British Airways is free on the App Store.

EasyJet

Apple-Watch-EasyJet.png
EasyJet, a low-cost airline in the United Kingdom, has also updated their app with Apple Watch support recently, providing personalized flight information and real-time views of travel information checked most frequently by passengers. Apple Watch users can also tweet and post to Facebook at various stages of their trip directly from the watch face. EasyJet is free on the App Store.

Australia

Qantas Airways

Qantas-Airways-Apple-Watch.jpg
Qantas for Apple Watch is designed to eliminate the stress that can be associated with the flying experience. The app will provide a range of up-to-the-minute travel information and notifications on your Apple Watch including: departure time and gate information, in-air departure and arrival time-zone information, transit time information, lounge access eligibility, frequent Flyer login access, baggage carousel information (at selected destinations), boarding pass access (via Passbook) and delay or cancellation notifications. Qantas Airways is free on the App Store.

France

Air France

Air-France-Apple-Watch.jpg
Air France for Apple Watch will deliver much of the same functionality as the airline's iPhone app, access upcoming reservations, including the ability to check if your flight is on time or confirm that you are checked in. You can also view all of your essential trip information via Glances, including your gate or departure terminal, your seat and the time remaining before boarding, and obtain your boarding pass through Passbook. Air France is free on the App Store.

Ireland

Ryanair

Ryanair has pledged support for the Apple Watch when the wrist-worn device becomes available in Ireland.

United Arab Emirates

Emirates

Emirates-Apple-Watch.png
While the Apple Watch is not available in United Arab Emirates until later in 2015, the airline Emirates recently updated their app with Apple Watch support for a hands-free travel experience. Emirates will be the first airline in the Middle East and African region to offer an Apple Watch app, with similar functionality as others: review your list of upcoming trips, access real-time flight information, receive notifications and access your boarding pass through Passbook. Emirates is free on the App Store.

Japan

Japan Airlines

Japan-Airlines-Apple-Watch.png
Japan Airlines has developed an Apple Watch app that it will be available when the device launches on April 24. The app will offer similar functionality as the other airlines listed above. JAL is free on the App Store.

General Apps

FlightTrack 5: Flight tracking, real-time departure and delay information, and more
TripCase: Manage your trips, receive free flight alerts, and more
Foursquare: Find places to eat, drink and visit
Hotwire Hotels & Car Rentals: Hotels and car rentals and more from your wrist

Article Link: Apple Watch Brings Flight and Airline Apps to Your Wrist
 

surfingarbo

macrumors regular
Jun 12, 2011
114
294
Calgary, AB, Canada
This is great news. Very handy for getting through the airport.

I remember in 2011 when I tried to board a Greyhound bus with my confirmation ticket printed to PDF on my iPhone. The driver looked at me like I was an idiot; he had to stop the bus and walk me to the bus depot to refund me my PDF ticket, and then had to hand write me a new ticket. The whole process took about ten minutes. Of course, the week previous, Air Canada accepted my barcode on my iPhone to board a plane.

Glad to see the airlines making further progress with the Watch.
 
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duervo

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2011
2,404
1,164
Specs and looks aside, it's things like this (third-party app support) that will do more to determine the product's level of success more than anything else.

Still not liking the part that requires an iPhone to get the most out of it (the watch) though. I understand it ... I just don't like it. *suspicious sidelong glance*
 
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TXCherokee

macrumors 6502
Aug 24, 2012
338
180
I don't fly much (1-2 times a year) but I can say that the American Airlines App and Passbook have made for a pretty good experience. If that experience transfers over well to the Apple Watch I am patiently awaiting then I will definitely be....

....on board. :cool:
 
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budselectjr

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2009
995
1,836
Minnesota
The boarding pass feature will be awkward to use at TSA as you have you place your phone face down on their little scanner thing.
 
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2457282

Suspended
Dec 6, 2012
3,327
3,014
I am a United Frequent Flyer as I do enough business in Chicago. As I think about the watch and the Airlines, I am intrigued by how this could work. Somehow the mobil bording pass on the watch does not sound like it will work and yet I hope they figure out how to do so. That would be very cool. Pretty much everything else, I am less stoked about in the airline apps.
 
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ijeffgarden

macrumors newbie
Mar 24, 2015
10
2
Miami, FL
What's funny is we're going to Vegas in May on Southwest and Virgin Airlines :p

Didn't expect Southwest to update though as their iPhone app still looks like iOS 6 and only recently stopped being iPhone 4 size. Probably because it was made mandatory to stay in the App Store
 
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kdarling

macrumors P6
The boarding pass feature will be awkward to use at TSA as you have you place your phone face down on their little scanner thing.

Yes, a lot depends on the orientation of the scanners you run across.

If they're easy to twist your wrist to work with, it's all wonderful. If not, well... this writer tried out the Delta app last Summer on his Android watch:

"As modern as airports have become — and even my not-actually-international Pensacola International Airport has TSA Pre and mobile boarding passes — they're not really ergonomically designed for using a smartwatch — or anything else that is stuck on your body.

"At one TSA checkpoint I had to lean over the lectern and lay my arm on the scanner upside down. At the day's first gate scanner I had to first hope the damn thing would see the QR code on the watch in the first place, then fuss a little bit to position myself (again, me and not just a device) in the right place. It worked, and probably not in any more time than it would have taken me with a phone. (In fact, only the surprised exclamation of the gate attendant was the only thing that slowed me down — but it would have been rude not to explain.)

THERE'S NO GUARANTEE YOU'LL EVEN BE ABLE TO PHYSICALLY USE YOUR WATCH.

I didn't bother using the watch for my second flight from Atlanta — it was a bottom-up scanner that would have required some real contortion since I wear my watch as you're supposed to — with the face pointing up, away from the top of my arm.

In Austin, on the return trip, there was no way I was going to be able to use the watch at TSA — the scanner was barely in reach in the first place and awkward enough to use with a phone.

One thing that's worth mentioning: At no point did anyone question my using a watch for any of this. (That's not to say it won't happen to someone at some point, though — it most certainly will.) The woman working TSA in Pensacola thought it was cool, and we talked about it for a second, seeing as there was no one in line behind me. The woman at the gate in Pensacola thought it was neat, too. And they're both right. It is neat. And it is cool.

And it's also not anywhere near as easy as placing your phone or a paper boarding pass down on the scanner. You can do it. You might even be able to do it without inconveniencing someone else. There certainly will be a time and a place for this — anywhere someone's using a handheld scanner should be fine. But airports? They're just not ready for your wrist."

A smartwatch as a boarding pass is anything but first class


As more and more people show up with watches, perhaps the airlines and TSA will start to rethink their scanner locations and orientations.
 
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mdelvecchio

macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2010
3,119
1,057
The boarding pass feature will be awkward to use at TSA as you have you place your phone face down on their little scanner thing.

hmm i just tried it on my desk and...it wasnt awkward at all.

edit: i just did it again.
 
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3282869

macrumors member
Mar 27, 2015
83
1
Maybe it's me, but I don't see the need when all this is already on our iPhone's and you need an iPhone to make full use of the watch. Isn't this the opposite of "it just works"? Simplicity. I'll wait until the 3rd gen+ when another device isn't required to fully use another device. ;)
 
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Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
5,751
9,667
San Jose, CA
Hm, boarding passes on the watch seems like one of those ideas that sound useful in theory, but suck in practice (at least as long as barcodes are used as opposed to NFC). Gate change alerts would be useful, since it's easier to take a glance at the watch than getting out the phone while pulling a trolley and/or carrying bags. But looking up other information is probably not all that convenient on the tiny screen, and you'll have to use your other hand to swipe/tap etc. anyway.
 
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filmantopia

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2010
752
1,978
I'm flying out of NYC this Saturday. Can't want to blow the airport person's mind by using my watch as my boarding pass.
 
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friedmud

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2008
1,333
1,100
Maybe it's me, but I don't see the need when all this is already on our iPhone's and you need an iPhone to make full use of the watch. Isn't this the opposite of "it just works"? Simplicity. I'll wait until the 3rd gen+ when another device isn't required to fully use another device. ;)

I see. Because you often fly without your phone?
 
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3282869

macrumors member
Mar 27, 2015
83
1
I see. Because you often fly without your phone?

That's precisely my point. I always fly with my phone. A watch that requires my phone for full functionality isn't simplifying my life, it's redundant. Until technology advances enough to create an independent watch that has wireless, bluetooth LE, and in the distant future cellular, there's little need for this device. When it "replaces" my iPhone (bluetooth piece would be required), you'll have my attention.

Good luck traveling, especially internationally. Add another charging cable/mechanism to your arsenal along with international adapters and if you have an iPad and a notebook you'll need a case just for your cables and chargers.

It's an impressive piece and with time I'm certain it will open more doors, but I don't want to add more "things", most would rather simplify. :)
 
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PurdueGuy

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2010
239
2
Virgin Airlines? They mean Virgin America?

Virgin America would need any iOS app before they can have an Apple Watch app!!
 
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postpc

macrumors regular
Sep 3, 2013
158
115
Germany
messing with two dozen different apps is exactly what you want to simplify your life /s
 
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extricated

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2011
444
59
Arkansas
Personally, I feel most of the potential roadblocks to the usefulness of apps like these is the TSA. That said, I have high hopes that such tech will streamline our travel ... and not just be a novelty.

Admittedly, I don't fly as much as I used to, so I haven't been able to fully experience the newer e-boarding pass features and such.
Still looking forward to what the future holds!
 
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rekhyt

macrumors 65816
Jun 20, 2008
1,127
78
Part of the old MR guard.
I don't fly much (1-2 times a year) but I can say that the American Airlines App and Passbook have made for a pretty good experience. If that experience transfers over well to the Apple Watch I am patiently awaiting then I will definitely be....

....on board. :cool:

I think all of us are waiting for the... descent... :)cool:) of native apps for Watch OS.
 
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kdarling

macrumors P6
Personally, I feel most of the potential roadblocks to the usefulness of apps like these is the TSA. That said, I have high hopes that such tech will streamline our travel ... and not just be a novelty.

While I like to use neat things like this, I always also get a paper version... just in case. Technology can break. Could be your watch itself. Could be something else.

A good example was my step-son using his iPhone for his boarding pass coming back from Hawaii on a large airliner.

Just before boarding, the gate reps announced that the barcode reader was broken... and that anyone without a paper pass needed to go to a service area, half the concourse away, to get one.

As it turned out, there were dozens of people who needed to get one, and he had to stand in line for almost an hour to get his. The plane was delayed and no one was happy with the electronic users. After that experience, he's never gone without a paper backup.

It's like that old Reagan quote, "Trust, but verify." :)
 
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Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
5,751
9,667
San Jose, CA
Personally, I feel most of the potential roadblocks to the usefulness of apps like these is the TSA. That said, I have high hopes that such tech will streamline our travel ... and not just be a novelty.
Mobile check-in and electronic boarding passes are really useful. I've used them extensively in the last couple of years and it has saved me a lot of time and waiting in line. What I find questionable is the benefit of moving some part of this functionality to a watch. I wouldn't strap a paper boarding pass around my wrist either. ;)
 
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