Business travellers with an iPhone in their pocket or purse, or iPad tucked under their arm, have an increasingly wide range of Australian airport apps to speed their path to and from the airport -- and through the terminal.
Here are five iPhone apps for Australian airports, from the big guns of Sydney and Melbourne to the regional hubs of Alice Springs, Avalon and Darwin.
What about Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Hobart and the rest? They still haven't stepped into the smartphone app age, but not to worry – at the end of this article you'll find an app which can do the job for every Aussie airport!
The Sydney Airport app is the most advanced on the market, especially as it sends live updates for domestic and international flights direct to your iPhone. This is done by 'subscribing' to a particular flight number.
In addition to information on which check-in desk to use you'll receive boarding calls and a "your flight is closed" message for flights out of Sydney, to baggage carousel info and landing notifications for incoming flights.
(Unfortunately you can't 'subscribe' to flights to and from Qantas' domestic Terminal 3, as the Red Roo doesn't seem to share that data with the Sydney Airport app.)
For more info on the Sydney Airport app, read our full picture review – and you can download the app from iTunes (AU link | US link).
Melbourne Airport's iPhone app has the standard arrivals and departures board information, and you can also subscribe to a flight to receive specific info -- gate details, time until departure and any changes to the schedule.
There are also maps that show how far away your gate is. (Yours is probably the one furthest away...)
One of the more enlightening parts of the app is the map section that shows you just how much of your trip through the terminal is taken up by inescapable labyrinthine duty-free mazes, the bane of many a business traveller.
The iPhone app for Avalon Airport is most useful for ground transport, and includes bus info and a car parking cost calculator.
The Darwin Airport app is mainly an arrivals/departure board display.
You'll also find calculators for parking and taxis. (Yes, it'll calculate a cab fare from anywhere in Australia. Guess that business class fare doesn't look so bad after all...)
Alice Springs Airport
The app for Alice is made by the same people who created that of Darwin Airport, so it's again primarily an arrivals/departures board.
Specific airline contact information is a useful addition, though, as is some truly fascinating information (we jest) about the airport's solar panels.
Unfortunately, there isn't a single app which covers all Australian airports. But if you're after a flight tracking app and you don't mind one that verges fairly strongly towards the plane geek, you could do worse than FlightAware, which is free on iTunes (AU link | US link).
About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.