Traveling can get stressful when you’re trying to keep track of schedules and itineraries and stick to a planned schedule – especially if you’re traveling in a large group, or have your children to keep an eye on. When you’re planning the rest of your trip around departures and arrivals of flights, you’ll probably want a way to keep tabs on those too.
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That’s why in this post, we’ll be helping you out with just that! We’re going to cover:
- Reasons why you might want to track a flight
- 8 different ways to track your flights
- Important things you need to know about tracking flights
Let’s start off with talking about why you’ll want a way to track your flight.
Reasons you need to track your flights
- See how soon you need to leave – Check your flight status to see how soon you need to head to the airport.
- Check for flight delays – See if your flight has been delayed due to the weather or other complications.
- Check arrival times – If you’re picking someone up from the airport, you can track their flight to see when you need to be there.
- Find more information about your flight – Flight tracking sites may be able to provide you with additional information like an estimate of the length of your flight, etc.
- Keep you on track – If you want to make sure you stick to your travel schedule or itinerary, tracking your flight can help!
Those are some of the reasons you may want to track a flight. Now, let’s talk about eight different methods you can use to track flights!
8 easy ways to track flights (including 5 great sites and apps)
1. Airline websites.
Most airline websites will have features that allow you to track arrivals and departures of that airline’s flights. Look up the specific airline you’re flying with and see if they have a flight tracking feature on their site. Here are some shortcut links to flight trackers of some popular airlines:
- American Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- Air Canada
- Air Transat
2. Through your travel booking website.
The website you booked your flight through may also offer flight tracking. If you booked through a popular travel booking site, check to see if they have a flight tracker feature available. Some popular ones that do offer flight tracking are Expedia (on their mobile app) and Priceline.
3. Quickly find information from search engines.
Using your favorite search engine, you can try typing in the airline and flight number of your flight, followed by “flight status” and see what comes up in the search results. Likely, if a site has information about your flight’s departure and arrival times, it will pop up at the very top of the search results to make it easy for you to find.
Check out our Google Search course if you’d like to learn more about using this popular search engine!
A great website to use to track your flights is FlightAware.com. FlightAware offers data on flight departures and arrivals, delays, weather, flight routes, and more for flights in over 55 countries. It’s a useful tool for airline passengers as well as aircraft operators and other flight staff. FlightAware has over ten million monthly users, and their service is free to use!
Our next recommendation for flight tracking methods is GateGuru.com. GateGuru’s mission is to help out with the stress and anxiety of traveling. They provide information on flight times, delays, layovers, gate changes, and more. You can also find information about the airports you’re leaving from and arriving at, and even book rental cars for your trip!
6. iFly Airport Guide
iFly.com is a website that gives its users useful airport information like flight status, airport terminal maps, parking information, ideas for things to do during a layover, and even more! The site is free to use, and iFly also has a mobile app that gives information about wait times for airport security.
Next up on our list is Flightwise.com, which provides detailed information for flights. If you happened to need information about a flight you took previously, they have archived information from flights dating back to 2001! They offer both free and paid memberships on their site, but the premium membership gives you access to more features and information than the free one.
The last method of flight tracking we’re going to recommend is with Flightview.com. Flightview is run by OAG – a U.K.-based company specializing in information about air travel. On the Flightview website and app for mobile devices, you can track the departure and arrival of your flight, watch a family member’s flight progress on a map, find out what’s going on at the airport, and use helpful travel tools like information about delays, weather, and parking. Use their “My Trips” feature to plan and keep track of your travel itineraries, and get notifications of any changes that may occur with your flights!
Those are eight of the best ways to track your flights if you’re looking for information to help keep you on schedule. Next, let’s discuss some other important things we think you should know about tracking flights.
What you need to know about tracking flights
1. The information may not be up-to-date.
Though most flight tracking websites and apps have accurate information, it’s possible that they haven’t been updated to the most current status. To be completely sure, call your airline or the airport you’re flying out of to confirm information.
In addition, many flight tracking sites and apps don’t consider an airplane to be “in flight” until it actually takes off. Sometime an aircraft can leave the gate, and sit on the runway for quite a while. So remember to be patient, and wait for when the flight actually takes off so you can begin tracking it.
2. Arrive at the airport with time to spare – especially when traveling internationally.
Unless your flight happens to get cancelled, it’s important to get to the airport a couple hours in advance of the time your flight is scheduled to depart. Leave lots of time to go through security – you never know how long the lines might be. You may also need a while to walk from security to your gate. If you’re traveling with kids or someone with a physical disability, you’ll likely need to leave some extra time as well.
3. Find airline and security rules beforehand to save yourself time when going through airport security.
Be sure you don’t have any prohibited items in your baggage or carry on that aren’t allowed on the plane. You can find some helpful information about items that can and cannot be brought on planes here. To save yourself some time when going through the security check at the airport, check over your bags to make sure you don’t have anything in them that isn’t allowed.
4. Have your flight number ready before you start looking for information.
To use pretty much all of our recommended methods of tracking flights, you’re going to need to know your airline and flight number. Before you start looking around online to track your flight, gather the basic information about your flight so you’re ready to go.
That covers everything you need to know about flight tracking and how you can do it yourself! We hope these tips help you stay organized during your next trip. Haven’t planned your next vacation yet? Check out this article on how to plan your winter break getaway for some guidance.