What is a Flight Tracker?

A flight tracker is a handy tool that allows you to get up-to-date flight status and airport information.

Having access to a flight tracker is invaluable when you are in certain airport scenarios like needing to catch a connecting flight on time, trying to find out the status of a plane or finding out your flight has been delayed.

This is because a flight tracker helps take the stress out of such situations by capturing airline information in real time, which makes it easier to plan your next step.

Furthermore, when you are responsible for collecting someone at the airport, it follows that you’ll need certain information to make your pick up run smoothly. For instance, you’ll want flight information like departure time, gate changes and delay updates.

The good news is due to flight trackers, it’s possible to find out vital airport and flight information as and when you need it.

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How Do I Track My Flight?

One way to follow a flight is by checking the flight status on the website of the airline you are travelling with.

Another way to track a flight is by using flight tracker apps. Flight following apps are available for Android, iPhone and iPad users.

For travellers on the go, downloading a flight tracker app will mean you’ll get up-to-the-minute information which includes the whereabouts of a delayed plane and being notified of gate boarding changes.

These flight tracking tools help travellers by saving time, money and allowing them to make the necessary plans at the right time.

How Do You Access a Flight Tracker?

People can follow their flight of interest either on a designated flight tracking website or flight following apps.

Flight tracker apps are easily downloadable on a tablet, smartphone or Android.

These tracking tools are a great stress buster because you are able to have flight information in real time. This means that you can track your flight, be aware of delays and pinpoint your exact location for interested parties when you are sky high.

Who Uses Flight Tracking?

The type of people who find flight trackers useful range from aviation geeks who are curious about aircraft in the sky to those who have a personal interest in certain flight information.

This non-exhaustive list includes;

  • Travellers

  • Aviation professionals

  • Plane spotters

  • Taxi drivers

Flight Status: What Information Do I Need to Get Details About a Flight?

In general, you need the following details to access information about a flight:

  • Airline

  • Date

  • Route

  • Flight number

  • Aircraft registration

  • Airport code

Why Should I Use a Flight Tracker?

Flight trackers allow you to easily find the status of an aircraft. Using a flight tracker also helps to eliminate the guesswork from a journey.

Having a reliable tool you can use as a central platform to search for the flight information you require also reduces stress and panic levels.

Depending on which flight following tool you use, specific trackers are able to update you on the following:

  • If a flight has arrived

  • When an airline has left the tarmac

  • Location of a delayed flight

  • Speed

  • Ascertain what the aircraft pilot is viewing in 3D

  • Estimated security wait times

  • Airport amenities (e.g. Wi-Fi availability, ATMs and parking rates)

  • Transport options when you arrive

  • Altitude

  • Route

  • Weather conditions at an airport

  • Gate assignment changes

  • Delay statistics

How Do Flight Trackers Work?

The common denominator with all flight trackers is that they are wholly reliant on data.

However, flight following tools do have different ways in how they collect facts and statistics.

Some flight trackers gather data from over 80 sources, which can include ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance broadcast), aeroplane cockpits, airlines’ operations systems and air traffic control systems in different countries.

Flight trackers receive data from many sources, and use software to fuse together all the information they receive. By aggregating data, flight trackers are able to combine information such as an aircraft’s departure time with up-to-date gate changes and  share it on easy-to-use websites or apps.

Despite the many available tracking sources, the most useful technology in this field is the global sensor system called ADS-B.

ADS-B is used to broadcast updates of aircraft GPS in real time. It works like the GPS on your phone, as it allows the aircraft to determine its position from a satellite.

This flight tracking tech source also does more than track flights. ADS-B helps airlines fly more direct routes at more efficient speeds and altitudes. It gives pilots a better idea of aircraft that are close by. Finally, it allows better air traffic organisation in the often overcrowded skies.

Track My Flight – Which Flight Tracker Should I Use to Follow My Flight?

The perfect flight tracker app does more than tell you basic flight information like when your flight will be arriving.

As more flight enthusiasts and travellers enjoy the benefits of tracking their flights, flight tracker apps have increased their range of features. For instance, these flight following tools are able to share your precise location when you are sky high, get up-to-date flight information and more.

Trying to decide which is the best app for you? Let us guide you by sharing our favourite flight trackers based on user interface experience.

Flightradar24 (iOS and Android)

Flightradar24 tracks planes around Europe, the US, Asia, Australia and more. This app is a must for aviation enthusiasts. Its Cockpit View feature allows you to see through the eyes of a pilot in real time.

Via the app’s Augmented Reality View, if you’re ever curious about a plane flying overhead, you can point your phone towards the sky and get the flight information you desire. This includes where the plane’s headed and its flight number.

In addition, you can also use Flightradar24 to find out basic flight information like schedule, speed and more.

For travellers on the go, the app’s handy notifications will make sure you’re up to date with key flight details.

FlightAware (iOS and Android)

Aviation geeks can spend hours tracking planes with FlightAware.

This global aviation tool powers one of the largest flight tracking websites in the world in terms of users. FlightAware is able to track the real-time airline status and location of any commercial flight worldwide.

Its advanced GPS system allows you to do activities like pinpoint your exact location and spot the aircraft near you when you’re sky high.

Have fun by experimenting with its full-screen global map and radar overlay which lets you zoom and pan at leisure.

For convenience, you can opt to receive push notifications which will alert you with flight information like delays, cancellations, gate changes and more.

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