Apple: Swipe Your iPhone 5 'Passbook'

Apple on Wednesday unveiled the iPhone 5, powered with an upgraded operating system iOS 6 that includes new travel features, benefiting road warriors.

Apple Passbook apps
Apple Passbook apps

Five airlines have committed to Apple's new Passbook feature that comes with iOS6 — Delta Air Lines , American Airlines, United Airlines, Lufthansa and Virgin Australia. United's parent is United Continental Holdings .

A kind of digital wallet, Passbook aims to be a one-stop shop for passes including boarding passes, retail coupons, coffee cards and concert tickets.

With Passbook, mobile boarding passes will appear on your iPhone’s locked screen, when you arrive at the airport. Instead of using the airline's specific mobile app or searching for your electronic boarding pass through emails, the electronic boarding pass will be easily available.

"And if your gate changes after you’ve checked in for your flight, Passbook will even alert you to make sure you’re not relaxing in the wrong terminal," according to Apple.

A recent graphic of Passbook features several businesses including Starwood Hotels & Resorts movie tickets from Fandango, a Delta boarding pass, a Target coupon and Starbucks store card.

Battery Life, 'Lightning' Adapter

Improved battery life on the new iPhone will also help travelers unable to plug in. The smartphone can be used for up to 225 hours of standby, 40 hours of music playback, 10 hours LTE use (a kind of wireless technology), 10 hours video, 8 hours 3G use and 8 hours for Wi-Fi.

One potential downside when traveling with the new iPhone will be the power adapter. The smaller plug, called Lightning, means you’ll need to purchase a special adapter to continue using most iDevice accessories such as docks and cradles. They cost $29 each, or $39 if you want one with a cord attached. A Lightning-to-USB cable goes for $19.

Many hotels offer docking-device alarm clocks for current model iPhones, so this might be a big inconvenience.

The new phone is available for pre-order Friday, and for delivery September 21. iOS 6 will be available for download on September 19. (Read more: Apple Introduces Thinner, More Colorful iPhone 5)