Airports can be hectic, and just about every traveler knows the stress of visiting an airport they have never been to before and trying to quickly navigate the maze of terminals to find their gate so that they can board a plane on time. A great trick that can ease the stress of travel and help you plan your travels better is to use Apple Maps on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, to virtually navigate within an airport beforehand.
With Apple Maps airport exploration mode, you can explore inside airports to find terminals, boarding gates, baggage claims, check-in counters, security checkpoints, bathrooms and toilets, restaurants, shops, and more. This makes travel planning a bit easier and takes some of the stress out, particularly if you’re visiting a huge airport, or one you’re just unfamiliar with.
All you need is an iPhone or iPad to get started. The rest is super easy.
How to Use “Look Inside” Airport on Apple Maps
- Open the “Maps” app on the iPhone or iPad, be sure the map setting is set to map mode and not satellite view
- In the “Search” section, type in the Airport you want to browse and look in (you can also use airport codes, like “LAX”)
- Zoom in a bit and locate the terminal you want to investigate, then tap on the “Look Inside” text
- Now zoom in further or navigate around the airport map, tapping on a Terminal to view even more information, including check-ins, gates, security, bag claims, food, drinks, shops, restrooms / toilets, and more
In the example screenshots here, we’re using an iPad to browse Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which is a large, busy, and particularly sprawling and complex airport to navigate around with its myriad shuttles, many terminals, parking garages, as well as many food and shopping options.
You can use this feature anytime from an iPhone or iPad as long as you have internet access on the device, but it’s probably best to browse around an airport before you’re actually in it, or when you’re in it. Of course you could also use in-flight wi-fi service to browse through a destination airport before you land, which would certainly make the process of landing a bit easier too. If you already know where to go before you land, you’ll be navigating the airport like a seasoned traveler!
If you’re traveling with a companion but on different flights, or you’re looking to meet-up with someone in an airport, a great way to use this feature is to use this in combination with either Mark & Share Location in Maps for iOS or “Share Current Location” in Messages on iPhone, to share where you are, or where you want to meet up, with your travel partner, so that you can meet up with each other in the airport for a quick bite to eat, or to pair up and find your baggage together. That’s particularly great if you’re flying to the same destination as someone else but you’re on different flights.
Oh and as a bonus tip, don’t forget that you can also see the weather reports of locations in Apple Maps too (it’s in the corner of the Maps screen), so if you’re not quite sure what the weather will be upon arrival or departure, you can check that as well.
Do note that not all airports are supported by this Apple Maps feature, yet anyway, but most major international airport hubs, busy US airports, and international airports are supported and can be browsed through this way. Considering that it’s usually the biggest and most busy airports that are the most complex, this makes some degree of sense, but don’t necessarily expect a tiny airport in a rural location to be included in the Look Inside feature of Apple Maps, so if you’re flying into some tiny remote destination you’ll have to just figure that one out on your own.