Never Miss Your Flight Again: The 5 Best Apps to Track Flights
(Graphic: Ryan McCullah)
There are few things more stressful than flight delays—whether you’re the one traveling or the one picking someone up from the airport. We’ve all gotten used to plugging and chugging info into an airline’s website to find the most up-to-date info on a flight, but that doesn’t really give you an accurate picture of exactly what is going on in the skies.
I’ll just admit it. I am a sky stalker. Not only do I stalk my own flights, I stalk my friends’ flights and sometimes my parents’ flights. (I stopped stalking ex-boyfriends’ flights in my twenties.)
These are some of my favorite apps for flight stalking that actually make travel much more efficient and sometimes even more fun.
What does it do: Want a bare-bones flight tracker, free of bells and whistles? Flightaware is your app. Tell it an aircraft number and it tracks it for you. Easy peasy. It also provides push notifications for flight departure/arrival info, as well as cancellations, gate changes, delays, and diversions. You want basic, this is it. Fair warning, the ads can become a little distracting.
What does it do: This is, hands down, the best tracker for flight nerds. This app actually turns your phone into an air traffic radar system that lets you see planes as they move in real time on a detailed map. The app allows you to identify planes flying overhead just by pointing it at the sky (with GPS enabled on your phone this works about two-thirds of the time … which feels like a win). It is also easy to search for individual flights using flight number, airport, or airline.