Staff App Pick: American Airlines and LiveATC

Each week, we bring you a new app recommendation from one of our colleagues. This week’s Staff App Pick comes from Brian Moore, Director – Consumer Apps & Startups, Developer & Platform Evangelism, at Microsoft.

I am a frequent traveler. I travel at least once or twice a month for my job. I get upgraded to first class fairly often. I squeeze on standby and board early. And I have hundreds of thousands of frequent flyer miles that I use to take trips with my friends and family to places like Edinburg and Prague. But all those perks come at a cost: flight delays, bad weather, mechanical issues and more.

To maintain my day-of-travel sanity I rely heavily on two tools – the free American Airlines app for Windows Phone and the LiveATC app for Windows ($2.99 in the Windows Store.)

The team at American Airlines has published a very nice update to their Windows Phone app. While I’ve always had their app pinned to the start screen on my Nokia Lumia 920, I am deeply impressed with the enhancements and now use it every time I travel. I use the new and improved Live Tile to get richer flight information: gates, times and status. I use the app to check in and access my mobile boarding pass so I can get through security with ease (and save on paper). I also use the app to get on standby for earlier flights – and monitor my standby status without always having to look at the monitors at the gate.

The LiveATC app may be the most useful day-of-travel app and service ever invented. It provides a quick and easy way to listen in on live conversations between pilots and air traffic controllers near many airports around the world, and also lets you search for airports by name, country and more. When everyone else is staring at the big monitor with all those flight delay statuses, I am listening to the real story thanks to LiveATC. The app also provides the current weather radar map for many U.S. airports.

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