My wife travels a lot for work, and navigating a busy airport when picking her up after a week of international travel is not easy when you have a four-year-old with you. The best option available to us is to time our trips that I pick her up in the drop off zone just as she walks out of the airport. This can only be done effectively if I know exactly when her plane is landing.
Using a flight tracking app will ensure that you can achieve this with ease.
Make sure that you are using an international prepaid SIM card to remain connected on your trip abroad.
Flight tracking is an exact science and relies on constant information being fed from the aircraft to the apps in real time.
The aircraft-based transponders use the GPS and other flight data input to transmit signals containing aircraft registration, position, altitude, velocity and other flight data. As of 2019, about 80% of aircraft in Europe are equipped with ADS-B and 60% in the US.
There are significant benefits to using a flight tracking app.
Some of the most important benefits include:
Track planes in real-time above your head, or all over the world. Easily track the status of your flight, check for any delays on the inbound aircraft, see weather radar, and set up alerts to be notified of any changes.
Downloads: FlightAware Flight Tracker (iOS) 4.7 star rating, FlightAware Flight Tracker (Android) 3.7 star rating, over 10 million downloads.
Planning an international vacation? Make use of a top travel app.
Further reading: Top 110 Best travel apps (2022 International tourist guide).
Track upcoming and in-air flights, and receive status alerts via push notification. Check gate assignments, delays and cancellations and use the attractive flight map to see a flight’s progress. Forward your itinerary confirmation emails and Flightview will automatically load them into your Trips.
Downloads: Flightview – Flight Tracker (iOS) 4.4 star rating, 10 million downloads.
Are you wondering how many times your favourite travel app has been downloaded?
Further reading: Top 10 most downloaded travel apps (2022 Tourist guide).
FlightStats is a free real-time flight status and airport tracking app
Downloads: FlightStats (iOS) 4.8 star rating, FlightStats (Android) 4.3 star rating, over 1 million downloads.
Do you know what a travel app is and the benefits that they can offer you?
Further Reading: What are travel apps & why every tourist needs them.
For the geeky aviation enthusiast to track and view planes flying in the local area as well as around the world using a radar style similar to the radar screens that Heathrow air traffic controllers use in the real world.
Downloads: ADSB Flight Tracker (Android) 2.7 star rating, over 100 000 downloads.
Remaining connected when you are travelling abroad is important.
Further reading: What is international roaming & how it works.
Plane Finder is incredibly easy to use and utterly fascinating. It enables you to see live air traffic patterns with real-time tracking of almost any plane you’re interested in, and in addition to the aircraft’s location you can see its current altitude, its speed and where it’s heading.
Downloads: Plane Finder ⁃ Flight Tracker (iOS) 4.7 star rating, Plane Finder – Flight Tracker (Android) 3 star rating, over 1 million downloads.
International roaming can be expensive. However, there are ways to avoid them.
Further reading: How to avoid roaming charges (2022 Travellers guide)
|Name||Description||Best for||Searches on Google||Cost|
|FlightView||There’s no need to search around while using the FlightView site. Front and centre is a box to track flights by number or route.||Tracking flights||Over 30 million||Free|
|Plane Finder||The home page is a map of the globe with a real-time look at flight route maps around the world, including both commercial and private traffic.||Tracking flights||Over 30 million||Free|
|Flight Arrivals||The top navigation bar is the best place to start when visiting Flight Arrivals. You can select from categories to search from including arrivals, departures, route maps, and more.||Tracking flights||Over 30 million||Free|
|There’s no need to rely on a specific flight tracking app or site if you’re looking for quick information about a particular flight.|
As long as you know the flight number, just enter it into a Google search and a quick snippet of its status will appear before any search results.
|Tracking flights||Over 30 million||Free|
|FlightAware||FlightAware is one of the best online flight trackers because of how much detail it goes into.||Tracking flights||Over 30 million||Free|
There are significant benefits to travelling abroad.
Further reading: 20 Benefits of travelling abroad (2022 International tourist guide)
Many companies, and travellers, do not use the most direct route to their destination because of the costs involved. A typical journey may include one or even multiple connecting flights. Using a flight tracking app allows you to plan your trip and keep in touch with where you need to be and if your connecting flights are running on time.
Yes. Flight tracking apps are updated in real time using the GPS position of the aircraft on its route.
The beauty of a flight tracking app is that you can be informed about this long before time and you will be able to use an accommodation booking app to search for last minute deals on hotel rooms that are close to the airport.
Yes, connectivity is important when using a public transit app. Make sure that you have enabled international roaming so that you can access a mobile network in the country you are visiting. Alternatively, make use of free WIFI.
Yes. These apps generate revenue through advertisements and through in-app purchases.
Make sure that you have the right flight number. Some airports have multiple flights landing at the same time, so keeping track of a flight when you only know the route can be confusing. It may be a good idea to enable push notifications on your app which will send you targeted messages about the current status of the flight that you are tracking.