Donald W. Reynolds National Center For Business Journalism

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Startups create new apps

May 11, 2015

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Apps for mobile devices that make travel easier and smarter are popping up almost every day. Startup companies are getting millions in funding from investors and venture capitalists to create services including airport lounge bookings and fare finders.

On April 2, I took a look at the economics of airline lounges. The LoungeBuddy app was created in 2013 to help travelers find and book access to airport lounges around the world. Thus far, its founders have raised $4 million.

Here’s how it works. Users create a LoungeBuddy profile, including any elite status, lounge memberships, and credit cards, along with a current itinerary. This leads them to available lounges. The app, available in iTunes and Google Play, provides users with photos, a list of available amenities and reviews from members.

Travelers are always looking for ways to save money on airfare, which is where the CleverLayover booking site comes in.

Instead of booking a roundtrip fare on a single airline, CleverLayover allows users to search for lower fares using non-partner airlines. Travelers buy each ticket segment from different carriers.

The good news is that fares can be hundreds of dollars lower than those bought on a single airline. The bad news is you do have to re-check in for your next flight, and there may be a chance you could miss it.

For story ideas, check social media to see if people in your area are using the apps, and also look at reviews online for any local users.

STORY IDEAS

LoungeBuddy

CleverLayover

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