Flights can be unpredictable at best, but when you rush to get somewhere on time, and your flight has been delayed or canceled, it’s an entirely new level of frustration. Flight tracking apps can keep you up-to-date on your flight’s schedule to save time sitting around.
These apps could also benefit flight attendants, giving them a quick reference for what to expect on their next trip, whether delays, cancellations, or early arrivals.
They’re instrumental if you connect through an unfamiliar airport because the apps will show you which terminal to go to and how to get there. Some apps also give you information about how far along your flight is—how many minutes until it starts boarding or departs, or even how late it’s running behind schedule.
The most popular app among frequent travelers is FlightAware, which lets you track every plane in the air and find out where they’re flying from and going to, what airline it’s with, when it took off and landed last, and so on.
Still, trying to decide which one to choose? Here’s a list of the top flight tracking apps that should help you find the right app for your needs.
1. FlightAware – Top rated Flight tracking app
FlightAware is one of the best tools for frequent travelers. It’s a flight tracker and air traffic radar, allowing users to view planes in real-time as they fly, including information like the airline, flight number, current position, and estimated time of arrival. You can view both scheduled and actual position for a given flight as well as create alerts for flights or routes that interest you.
For example, if you’re interested in finding out when a friend’s plane will be landing or how long it will take to get from New York to Miami, this is an invaluable tool.
There are also several other features that make FlightAware particularly useful:
- Flights can be filtered by airline carrier, airport, and route
- Real-time flight tracking can be shared with friends on social media
- Flight status can be tracked via text message if you have an account with FlightAware
With just a few clicks of your mouse, it’s easy to find out what time a flight will arrive at its destination, and if it’s running late or early. The site uses the GPS tracker records from aircraft to display its data and shows the location of every plane in the air above the earth in real time.
You can also choose to track one specific flight and receive updates on its location every few minutes, or you can set up an alert that will notify you when a plane has reached a certain location or changed direction.
FlightAware’s tools are used by pilots and aviation enthusiasts when they want to track flight status or receive tailored alerts about their favorite flights. The company’s website provides users with free access to live flight status information provided by FlightAware’s network of more than 5,000 receivers around the world. The site also includes comprehensive coverage of all major airports in the United States and Canada.
- Track your departing and arriving flights by flight number, origin or destination.
- View detailed flight information, including your gate number, plane type, on-time performance, altitude and air speed.
- View a full list of airports you can search for.
- Get live weather radar maps with rain, snow and ice conditions, wind speeds and more.
- Get estimated departure and arrival times (based on historical averages).
- Perfect for frequent travelers and aviation enthusiasts – you’ll always know exactly where your flight is and when it will arrive or depart with FlightAware.
2. Flightradar24 – Live Flight Tracker – Real-Time Flight Tracker Map
Flightradar24 is a website and app that shows live air traffic. The site is used by professional pilots and aviation enthusiasts, who can use it to track flights in real time. The site is particularly useful for those who are interested in seeing the flight paths of their favorite aircraft.
There are two versions of the site: a free version with limited information, and a premium version that costs $9.99 per month.
It’s incredibly easy to use. All you have to do is go to flightradar24.com or download the app and enter your location, or search for a specific flight number, airport code, or airline code. Entering an airport code will also show flights that are leaving or arriving at that airport. The site claims to be able to track 90% of all aircraft in the world, but my experience is that it’s much more limited than that.
Unsurprisingly, the site is most popular with people who are passionate about flying, like pilots and aviation enthusiasts. They’re able to track flights from their home computers or phones and get feedback from other users about why a plane is where it is, what direction it’s going, if it’s late or on time, etc. Some users even set up alerts for flights they’re interested in so they’ll get an email when something changes about it.
Flightradar24 collects this information using ADS-B technology—the same method used by most private aircraft to communicate with air traffic controllers. By monitoring ADS-B signals from airplanes with onboard equipment, Flightradar24 can track over 110,000 flights every day. This includes everything from planes flying under Instrument Flight Rules (which means they are controlled by autopilot) to commercial jumbo jets flying above 20,000 feet.
If you zoom out on the map, you’ll be able to see a lot of flights at once. Watching all of these planes move around the globe creates an experience similar to watching ocean waves in real time. You can see which areas are busy and which are relatively free of traffic. At any moment, you can click on any airplane’s icon to find out more about it—its name, flight number, airline and registration number.
- Follow your family’s flights in real-time
- Get notified about flight delays, gate changes and cancellations
- Customize your settings to get just the alerts you want
- Plan your trip by checking out flight history, on-time performance and more
- You’ll also see a full list of every flight currently in the air and can tap on any one to get more information.
- There’s a “search flights” tab at the bottom that lets you search by flight number or callsign.
- You can then tap on it to see a 3D view of the aircraft, which shows you its altitude and direction.
- You can also see the aircraft’s call sign, speed, flight number, altitude, origin and destination, and the route the plane is taking.
3. App in the Air
When you’re traveling on a plane, it’s easy to get distracted from what’s going on around you and lose track of the time. For anyone who wants to keep up with their itinerary, a phone app called App in the Air is an effective solution. It syncs your flight information with your calendar event and sends push notifications when it’s time to board—a lot easier than having to check a boarding pass. It also displays your flight route, has airport maps available for each terminal and lets you know which terminal your flight is leaving out of, so you can plan ahead for long layovers or connecting flights.
Once you’ve tried a few different methods and aren’t sure what’s best for you, it’s time to try a different tack. Some of the most popular ways of staying organized are apps. There are many different apps out there, but one that has been very successful is called App in the Air. This app starts by asking you what kind of traveler you are—do you prefer to travel in an aisle seat or a window seat? Do you want to stay closer to the front or back of the plane? Would you rather be on a small plane or big plane? Answering these questions will help the system find your perfect seat.
Even more helpful is the way it helps you pack. When it comes time to pack, it keeps track of how much space is left in your carry-on bag, and based on what items you have packed, tells you if your bag is underweight or overweight. It even warns you if your carry-on is over the maximum weight limit allowed. The app also tracks how much space each item takes up in your suitcase, which means that as soon as you decide to pack something new, it’ll tell you how much room there is left in your suitcase.
While there is no single solution to all of these issues, App in the Air is trying to provide the tools necessary to make your next trip better. This app helps you keep track of your flights and connections, gives you access to real-time flight information about delays and gate changes (with airline apps sometimes lagging behind), provides weather at your destination so you can dress appropriately for your time away from home, notifies you when it’s time to go through security (so you don’t miss your flight), and even helps you find a place for some peace of mind—a hotel room for the night before your flight if you’re flying out at odd hours. This app does all of this for you automatically through its integration.
The app is much more than just a flight tracker. It allows you to track your progress through each airport—it can even tell you what gate to go to for any particular flight! It also offers feedback about delays and cancellations, so you’re never caught off guard by a missed connection or an unexpected layover.
In addition, App in the Air lets you see a history of your trips. You can even filter the results by length of trip, destination, airline, and many more options. The comprehensive calendar feature also helps schedule upcoming trips and view your itinerary as it changes on the fly.
With App in the Air installed on your phone, it’s easier than ever to stay on top of your travel schedule—and with so many features that improve upon existing flight tracking apps, it’s easy to see why App in the Air has become such a popular travel companion for millions of travelers around the world!
- App in the Air makes it easy to track your flight status and stay connected with fellow travelers across the globe.
- Some of the industry-leading features include smart search, curated results, and the ability to book flights and hotels – all within the app. With a vibrant community, you can network with frequent flyers around you.
- Make sure to keep an eye out for App in the Air’s new feature: Access to real-time info on airport amenities.
- App in the Air is a great way to find good deals on flights and hotels.
4. FlightStats – A simple and fast flight tracker
The company offers a number of products and services to airlines, as well as consumers. It provides flight tracking and airport information on its website, and it also offers flight information application programming interface (API) services to other companies.
Airport data includes the ability to look up flights by airline, airport, origin and destination cities and dates, as well as detailed flight schedules for specific days within the next six months. The site also features news headlines pertaining to air travel.
The FlightStats API offers similar functionality in an online programming format. This allows any app or website to display flight information for any particular route or airport through a simple online request process. This offers access to many more options than just being able to enter a specific flight number into a search field. You can have the results appear dynamically in your website or application instead of just printing out what you find when you go to FlightStats.com yourself.
FlightStats is one of the most comprehensive flight tracking services available, and it’s always been a favorite of frequent travelers. It provides detailed information on flights—their status, altitude, distance traveled, and more—and even has a Today view widget. If you’re looking for flight statuses on your Apple Watch or Siri shortcuts to keep you updated without opening the app, FlightStats can do that too. The service also supports Apple watch and lets you track your flight with just a few taps on your wrist.
5. Plane Finder – live air traffic patterns
Plane Finder is an easy-to-use flight tracker app that helps you monitor the status of your flight or those of others. You can track flights on a map or in list format, and you can also view airport status information directly from the app as well.
You can enter up to 25 flight numbers at one time, so you’ll know right away when any of them are delayed or canceled. If you choose to upgrade to Pro, you’ll also be able to change the map color, turn on a jet stream overlay, and view airport information for individual flights.
You can use Plane Finder for free for up to 5 flight numbers at a time. If you need more than that, you can sign up for PlaneFinder Plus. This will grant you access to all of Plane Finder’s features and give you unlimited access to flight numbers that you want to track. You can also see the exact location of major airports around the world and their weather conditions at a glance. Plus, if your flight is delayed or cancelled and your airline provides that info online, Plane Finder will find it for you automatically as soon as it becomes available.
Not only can you track flights via this website, but you can also view live air traffic patterns (which could be helpful when you’re trying to figure out if your child’s plane will be taking off on time), days of operation (to find out whether a flight is going to be cancelled due to inclement weather), and complete flight history (very handy if you are looking to find out if the airline is reliable when it comes to punctuality).
6 Flighty – first-class flight tracker
The airline industry is full of frustratingly opaque information. As a passenger, you want to know when there are weather problems or other delays, but getting this information can be difficult and time-consuming. Flighty is designed to fix that. It always show you real-time information on your flight’s status so you can rest assured that your trip will go smoothly—and that if it doesn’t, you’ll have the most accurate information available to make sure it does.
Flighty works with airlines’ APIs to get information about delays, gate changes and cancellations. When there’s a problem, we’ll send you an alert that includes all the relevant details: which flight it happened on, where it’s going and what alternate flights or routes might be available (we work with other apps like Google Flights to give you these options). You can also set up notifications for specific flights—if the airline makes a change, we’ll let you know so you can act quickly.
From the second you start typing your flight number into the search bar, you can get instant updates on any delays or other problems that might affect your flight. Even more convenient, since Flighty is constantly monitoring your flight, it will send you an update as soon as there are any changes—no need to check in every few minutes.
And if you’re just not sure whether your flight is going to be delayed or not, Flighty provides predictions based on a proprietary algorithm that takes into account factors like air traffic volume and historical data. You can even sign up for notifications so that you’ll be informed immediately when a delay is announced by your airline carrier or airport. It’s everything you need to keep travel stress-free!
Real-Time Flight Status: Why I’m Attracted to the World’s Simplest Apps: a blog around real-time apps and why they are preferred.
I think that these real-time apps are a great example of the power of simplicity in app design—not to mention they are very easy to use. In any case, getting flight times and delays on the go is now easier than ever, which I think will be appreciated by many travelers.
Whether you travel regularly or are just a curious airline enthusiast, these apps can help you get the most out of your time in the skies.
Hopefully, this blog has help you find a few great real-time flight trackers for your needs. If you want something simple, try FlightAware and FlightStats . Looking for a more robust experience? Give Flightradar24 a shot. Whatever you choose, be sure to download the app while you’re at the airport so that you can track your flight’s status once it has departed. You’ll be glad you did—especially if there’s a delay or a cancellation!