My Experience Using TripIt Pro to Organize My Travel
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Barclaycard Arrival.
I recently signed up and was approved for the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard which comes with a sign up bonus of 40,000 miles after $3,000 in spend within the first 90 days and a complimentary subscription for TripIt Pro, worth $49 annually.
Having never really used TripIt's services before, I wanted to give it a try and log my travel plans for my trip to Brazil that I just returned from. First I had to activate my complimentary subscription by logging on to my Barclaycard profile and clicking on the TripIt Pro banner.
Since I had signed up for a TripIt account years ago, I just had to log in to my existing account and was then taken to the TripIt dashboard. The difference between the standard TripIt service where you can create itineraries and share them with family and friends and the Pro service is that you will receive mobile alerts about flights delays and cancellations, be able to see if your airfare is eligible for a refund, get alternate flight options and add people to your 'Inner Circle' so they will automatically be looped in on your travel plans.There is also TripIt for Teams which has the same capabilities of the standard service but you can assign an admin to create trips for travelers and a travel calendar/dashboard will be created for all team members.
I found adding trips to be extremely easy and you can do it in one of two ways. If you go into the dashboard and select "Add a trip" you can fill in the relevant information and choose if you would like to share your trip with your connections, or keep it private. Then you can add in any flights, hotel stays, tours or other activities that you have planned. TripIt will create an easy to read itinerary with all important information.
The second and most convenient way to add plans to your itinerary is to set up automatic forwarding of confirmation emails from your inbox. TripIt will extract the necessary information from your confirmation email and add it into a trip. If you don't want to set up automatic forwarding you can also manually forward confirmation emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and your trip will be instantly added to your account.
My Recent Brazil Trip
I added in my roundtrip flights from Miami to Recife and Recife to Fernando de Noronha, as well as my friend's Recife hotel information for my 5 hour layover and our hotel reservation for the 4 days I would be in Fernando de Noronha. Sergio, who I was traveling with in Brazil, had also signed us up for scuba diving and a tour around the island so I was able to add those into the itinerary so I could see what we had planned for each day. TripIt will also give you the option to view your itinerary in a map so you can see exactly where you'll be going throughout your trip.
Overall I was impressed with the tool, especially when I saw how easy it is to add in details of your trip - TripIt pretty much does all the work for you. It was also nice to be able to log in and see a note that says "Everything looks good, but TripIt Pro will keep monitoring this trip." Although it wasn't much use to me because I was able to choose the seats I wanted from the get-go, you can go to the 'TripIt Pro' tab and set a seat alert so that if a seat opens up that you want you will be notified and can then go change it.
On the TripIt Pro tab along with flight alerts and the seat tracker you'll see a banner on the right side showing exclusive offers for Pro members like Hertz Gold membership and a 10% discount on Hertz car rentals when using CDP# 1847596. There is also an offer for a one year Regus Businessworld Preferred Membership which I signed up for about a week ago.
The Regus membership comes with 15 visits to over 1500 Regus Business Lounges worldwide and gives you a 10% discount on meeting room, day office, co-work office and videoconference bookings, complimentary refreshments and business-class WiFi, special rates on office and virtual office, on hand administrative support and two complimentary business lounge guest passes. Visit these links to see all Regus business lounge locations in the United States and worldwide. I don't know if I'll ever visit one of these lounges but it's still nice to have the option if I need it.
One of the features I haven't fully set up yet is the Point Tracker. I linked a few of my programs so far and noticed that not all programs can be tracked, most notably American, Delta and United. When I entered my account information for those programs TripIt alerted me that they could not retrieve my point balance and in order to be able to track my balance through the service I would have to forward my reward-program statements to email@example.com. It would be nice if you can set up auto-forwarding of you reward-program balances just like you can do with your travel confirmation emails, but I don't see that option on the site of as yet.
I definitely want to get into the habit of using TripIt to keep track of my travel plans because they can get pretty complicated at times especially when I'm hotel hopping and flying on a couple different carriers throughout my trip. I also think it will be useful to add my TPG team members as connections so they will be able to view my travel plans as well and know where I'm going to be - maybe we'll even upgrade to the TripIt Team membership and give it a try since its free for the first 30 days, then the price varies by number of team members. What do you think of TripIt Pro, do you find yourself using it often?