Fly through your home airport enough times and you know all its secrets; we're at the point where we can book flights around our gate's proximity to Natalie's Candy Jar (offering the best chocolate-covered gummi bears between SFO and EWR).
This is the middle, though, of the holiday travel season — which means many of us are connecting through unfamiliar places. Under the right circumstances, a two-hour layover in Detroit is a solid opportunity for getting work done. Or for walking in circles around the terminal, in search of a working electrical outlet and free wi-fi.
This is the logic that led to the creation of a new app called flightSpeak.
What you'll find on the app:
- Information on lounges, restaurants, shops and more for 301 airports
- Comprehensive wi-fi availability details for around 100 airports
- Crowdsourced security wait times
- "Tips" from other users
All of this information is already out there — some copious Googling will help you figure out exactly where to find the pre-security Chili's at Newark or the Kiehl's at SLC. It's a pain, though, when you're inevitably trying to find it literally on the way to the airport, juggling bags, looking for passports and trying to finish the rest of that coffee before causing an incident at security.
Consolidating all that in one place is useful enough to get us to download the app.
We actually find that consolidation of information more useful than the security wait times. Want to avoid waiting in line at security? Get PreCheck. Unless you're battling to make a flight, we don't see the advantage in knowing ahead of time whether your wait's going to be five minutes or 25 minutes — and if you are cutting it super-close, you'll end up doing what we all do: begging a TSA guard to let you cut the line. You gotta do what you gotta do.
With apps like this, critical mass makes the biggest difference, and the "tips from fellow travelers" aspect could prove in time to be the app's biggest benefit. Regular travelers love to show off — and really can help you find the best place for shrimp tacos at PHX. (We recommend Blanco!)
And for the record: anyone looking for chocolate-covered gummi bears, head to Terminal 2 at SFO, next to Gate 51. It's worth the trip.