An iPhone/iPad App Which Is All the Better for Ignoring My Suggestions

The excellent Airport Transit Guide app - now improved and extended.
The excellent Airport Transit Guide app – now improved and extended.

Usually I find it hard to write positively about products that ignore my suggestions for improvements, but in this case, the product is all the finer for having ignored the suggestions I offered to the company’s owner.  Please read on, I’ll explain.

One of my favorite ‘tools’ that helps me appear as an all-knowing Travel Insider is Ron Salk’s Airport Transit Guide.  For many years this was an annually updated tiny book that one could travel conveniently with, giving one valuable information on how to get between airports and the cities they serve.

I first reviewed the print version of Salk’s Airport Transit Guide way back in 2005.  At that time it was a $10 book, and I happily pointed out how, the first time I used it, it saved me over $50 by telling me an easy and much less expensive (than taxi) way to get from the train station to the airport in Munich.

I’ve kept a copy close to me ever since.  Then in 2010 Ron released the latest version of his guide as an iPhone app, also selling it for $10.  I reviewed his iPhone Airport Transit Guide here and was delighted to see its positive transition from a print to an electronic form.  Sure, the 144 page small-sized book didn’t take a lot of space and weighed only 3 oz, but adding the app to my iPhone helps reduce the bulk of everything I travel with even more.

Since that time, I’ve regularly used it, both for myself, and occasionally for answering reader queries; and Ron, for his part, has continued to update it on an ongoing basis, keeping the data fresh and up-to-date.

He has also dropped the price, and what was a high value product for $9.99 is now an even better bargain for $4.99.  How amazing that a product which, ten years ago, was selling for $10, is now improved, updated, and extended, and now only $5.

Which leads to the two suggestions of mine that Ron Salk – a long time Travel Insider Supporter – has ignored.  I’ve told him that he should take the price back up to $10, and I’ve also told him he should start charging an annual subscription for his ongoing updating.  But he has ignored both my suggestions, meaning that a single $5 investment on your part continues to get you a wonderfully valuable app and with ongoing updates stretching who knows how far into the future, all included.  With the print edition, most people would happily buy each year’s new edition for another $10; with the electronic one, so far, we’ve all received up to 2.5 years of free updating (it is now on its fourth electronic version) in return for a single $10 or, more recently, $5 purchase.

As the headline says, his app is all the better for ignoring my suggestions!

New Version Now Released

The main reason for bringing this to your attention now is the release of the latest (1.3) version of his app.  If you’ve already purchased the product, you’ll of course have been prompted to update it for free; if you’ve not already purchased it, maybe now is a good time to do so.

The new version not only has updated information, but some new features too.  It now has the ability to search for an airport by name or airport code, rather than needing to scroll through the alphabetical list of airport names.  This is particularly helpful if coming across an unrecognized airport code somewhere – as you surely know, airport codes don’t necessarily even start with the same letter as the airport name.  The app also has a few extra airports added, and of course has been refreshed with some further hundreds of updates.

It also now has added links to airport websites, so if there are other things you wish to understand about an airport, you can click from the Airport Transit Guide to open up the airport’s official website.   The linking to the airline websites is a bit clumsy, so if you prefer, you can also simply copy and paste the link from the Guide into your browser (and if you’re like me, you’ve loaded Chrome onto your iOS device and use that in preference to Apple’s default browser).

You can see more about the product in my two earlier reviews (linked above), and Ron also now offers it in a free trial version with data on two representative airports so you have a chance to try before you buy if you need further reassurance about its value and convenience.

One piece of advice – and a frequently extended request – that Ron is accepting, however, and that is to release the app for Android phones, too.  He says it will be available for your Android devices by the end of this month.  Yay.

So, if you’ve an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, you can get Salk’s Airport Transit Guide right now, for only $5.  If you’ve an Android device, you’ll only need to wait a few more weeks.  And if you have a Blackberry or WinPhone device – oh, wait.  No-one has those, do they?  :)


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