If you've tried Qantas' official Frequent Flyer app for iPhone, you might have been left feeling distinctly underwhelmed.
It's mostly a showcase for gimmicky animations of products in the Qantas Frequent Flyer Store (which we've previously discovered are the worst-value way to spend frequent flyer points).
It also allows you to see a horrible augmented reality view of holiday destinations if you wave the phone in the direction of Fiji or Phuket, and a way of finding restaurants that offer frequent flyer points. (Who even does that?!)
It seems to have been designed by an ad agency that wanted to tick all the boxes for iPhone apps: augmented reality, online store, GPS integration, points-earning goals, Facebook and Twitter integration, and so on.
You can see our full review here.
In other words, the official app lacks useful functions that most actual frequent flyers would value, such as flight itinerary info, the ability to calculate status credit and point-earning levels for different routes, a Qantas/oneworld Lounge Finder, a directory of Qantas customer service phone numbers, and so on.
To fill the gap, Australian frequent flyer Adam Ware has built an iPhone app that handles the points/status credit calculation side of things. The app is called Frequent Flyer First Class and is available for $1.19 in the iTunes Australia Store, or $0.99 in the iTunes US store.
There's also a free version with a cut-down feature set, but we kinda like the idea of spending a buck to support an Australian developer picking up where Qantas left off! If you are feeling miserly, you can get it here: iTunes Australia / iTunes US.
It's also available on the Android Market for Android-based handsets (though in this review we've focused on the iPhone version).
It can handle trips that are multi-segment (e.g. Sydney-Dallas-New York-Sydney) and it also factors in your travel class and Frequent Flyer status level with Qantas when working out the points calculation.
Once you've worked out the route, you can email the details to yourself. The email includes a link to Adam's website, where you can see the route details.
You can see a video demo of how the app works with narration by Adam here, though we noticed that the version of the app used in the video is not quite as good as the release version (for example, the release version has a drop-down that suggests airport names when you type in a city code, whereas the app used in the video doesn't.)
Australian Business Traveller regularly drills into frequent flyer point earning tips and strategies, the best ways to burn them once earned, and how to extract the most value from frequent flyer memberships.
Are you a point maven? Do you do mileage runs in your sleep? Are you merely a Woolworths grocery shopper who has discovered a particularly good points earner? Send your earning and burning tip-offs to [email protected].