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Apple is four days away from taking pre-orders for its Watch, and over two weeks away from release, but that hasn’t stopped airlines, train lines, hotels, booking sites, and other travel brands from announcing their app for the new wearable.
We scoured Apple’s App Store to pinpoint Watch-friendly updates to iOS apps and spoke with developers that specialize in apps for airlines and hotels to discover which brands are ready with a product when the wearable launches on April 24.
Airlines are, by and large, sticking to the same features: departure and arrival notifications, flight check-in, and mobile boarding passes. Some have thrown in seat selection, while others throw the destination’s weather into the mix. British Airways has an interesting twist: It promises that those using the lounges at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 will receive iBeacon-powered welcome messages.
Mobile check-in and arrival and departure information is standard for most of these hotel apps. Some also feature loyalty information, while only Starwood offers wearers the ability to use the Watch as a key to enter rooms at W Hotels, Aloft, and Element properties. Accor will alert wearers that online check-in is open, too.
IHG takes a totally different approach, though. It’s app is all about Dick Tracy-style translation. The hotel has had success with a similar iPhone app, so it ported over certain features to the wrist.
InterContinental Hotel Group