by James A. Martin

Why the TripIt Pro plan is worth $49 a year

Jul 31, 2015
Consumer ElectronicsMobileMobile Apps reviewer James A. Martin hesitated in renewing his TripIt Pro plan — but the service almost immediately helped him save money on an upcoming flight.

When it was time for my annual TripIt Pro renewal, I wondered if it was worth the $49 a year. After all, at least some of its travel organizing tools are available at no cost, either with a free TripIt plan or from other sources.

But I renewed anyway, and I’m glad I did. Not long after, TripIt Pro alerted me that I may be able to save $41.16 on an upcoming trip due to a drop in airfares. I called the airline, Virgin America, and discovered that I was actually eligible for an $81 credit.

I love this even more: TripIt Pro’s “Flight Refunds” feature didn’t require any action on my part. I had set up TripIt to automatically scan my Gmail inbox and import airline, hotel and rental car confirmation emails into my TripIt account. The service then scanned Virgin America’s airfares looking for a better deal. When it found one, I received both text message and email alerts, telling me to call Virgin America ASAP about a possible refund. The email even supplied the airline’s phone number.

TripIt Pro has saved me drama as well as money. On a trip not long ago, TripIt Pro’s real-time flight alert informed me that my connecting flight had been delayed. So I settled down to order a meal at a restaurant — only to get another alert telling me there had been another change. My flight would, in fact, be leaving just a little later than originally scheduled, rather than an hour-long delay. I scrambled to the gate and made the connection.

The paid TripIt plan offers other goodies, such as its Seat Tracker, which alerts you when a seat you want becomes available. The TripIt iOS app was just updated with LoungeBuddy, designed to help you find find airport lounges. (Currently, the TripIt Android app lacks this feature.) All the TripIt apps, regardless of whether you’re using a free or paid plan, organize your travel plans in an easy-to-read itinerary. 

TripIt also has some worthy competitors you should check out, such as TripCase. And not all of TripIt Pro’s features soar. For example, the frequent-flier mileage point tracker is hit or miss in terms of the rewards programs it supports. But how can you not love a service/app that can automatically save you money?