Move over Tinder, there’s a new app on the market, one aimed at frequent flyers.
Though not specifically designed to spark romance between travelers, that could very well be the outcome for App in the Air users thanks to its handy “nearby” feature, which is designed to connect travelers who happen to be in the same airport at the same time.
MORE Travel Technology
Launched in 2015, App in the Air’s main functions include providing real-time flight updates, TSA wait times, gate changes, boarding times and more. There’s also a leaderboard of frequent fliers in the app, thus gamifying the travel process based on miles flown and incentivizing users to fly more often.
Since launching, the app has grown from a small network of dedicated users to more than one million active users, with 20 million itineraries tracked per year.
But back to that “nearby” feature. App in the Air founder & CEO Bayram Annakov told TravelPulse that users are very active and have created a tight-knit community of frequent fliers.
“We’ve heard numerous anecdotes from users of about the new networks formed from the app—a recent is that two travelers connected through App in the Air to grab lunch at JFK and share a cab into Manhattan,” said Annakov.
So, how does “nearby” function work exactly? Annakov explained further.
“For each flight a user has queued up, they can view fellow app-using travelers who are on their same flight, or in their departure airport or arrival airport. The app prompts users with friendly conversation starters like ‘Let’s grab a coffee’ and allows you to see nearby fliers’ occupations, countries of residence, miles and hours traveled,” App in the Air founder & CEO Bayram Annakov explained to TravelPulse.
Sounds like the key elements of a dating profile, albeit one for the flying obsessed, no?
Annakov says the brief icebreakers provided in the app such as “Let’s grab a coffee” have created numerous friendships, both professional and personal.
“Although not primarily applied for romantic connections, this function provides the opportunity for other travelers to network with fellow business leaders, entrepreneurs, and frequent fliers—all part of this tribe that views miles flown and airports visited as proud accomplishments, worthy of sharing,” Annakov added.
For the privacy conscious, it’s important to note that the “nearby” feature is entirely optional. Those who are looking for tips more anonymously can also obtain them through crowdsourcing information on the app from more than one million fellow users.
Annakov says users can ask about everything from the quality of Wi-Fi at JFK to where to grab a beer in Singapore.
Another one of the app’s celebrated functions is the augmented reality luggage measurement tool. How does this work exactly?
“For every single flight a user has stored in their app, which syncs to email so flights upload automatically, users can see baggage requirements including weight and size in inches for personal, cabin and drop-off luggage,” said Annakov.
Still, it is the “nearby” feature that’s perhaps the most intriguing and entertaining, at least among the current crop of travel apps on the market.
“You never know what sort of connection will be created between two travelers, from entrepreneurial to romantic,” said Annakov.
Happy Valentine’s Day to frequent flyers everywhere.