If you're feeling lost in the air, these flight tracking apps will keep you grounded!
If you fly with any amount of frequency, you're probably always keeping track of when one plane lands and another takes off. Will you make it to the gate for your transfer flight on time? You'll need to know whether your first flight is running late and if the transfer gate is across the terminal. With a flight tracking app, you can manage your travel days, and even just find out what planes are in the air above you. These are the best flight trackers in the App Store right now.
App in the Air
App in the Air is my personal favorite. When you enter your flight number, it will keep your entire trip organized from start to finish, including check-in times, boarding times, take off and landing times, delays, gate numbers, and more. If you are picking someone up from the airport, you can search for flights by location, arrival time, and flight numbers to get their current status. You can also set up notifications to keep track of any changes to your flight. If there has been a gate change or delay, you'll know before you even get in the car to drive to the airport.
If you are a frequent traveler or like keeping track of the flight status of family, friends, and business associates, App in the Air is your tracker.
- Free - Download now
FlightView is a popular flight tracking website that lets you view real-time flight statuses. The same company has three tiers of iOS apps, each with progressively more features. You can track your flight and even see, in real time, where it is over the Earth. You can manage your itinerary, including car rentals and hotel reservations, get alerts about delays, get the local weather report before the captain announces it, and even see how the worldwide weather is affecting general airport delays.
If you have a bad case of FOMO (fear of missing out) and need to see the status of every flight coming in and out of an airport, FlightView Elite includes access to flight boards, which you can also filter by airline, origin, destination city, and arrival or departure time.
If you fly regularly in bad weather, FlightView will keep you abreast of how that weather will affect your flight.
- Free Download now
When I go on vacation, I kinda hate the first and last day ... because travel. Getting to the airport on time, making sure I've got my reservations all squared away, hoping there isn't a long line at TSA — it can all be very stressful. GateGuru is designed specifically for those travel days with tools that help organize your itinerary. When you enter your itinerary, it will let you know which terminal you should go to, the day's weather, your gate information, flight status, TSA wait times, airport food information, airport maps, and car rental information.
It's less about tracking your flight and more about making that day of travel as comfortable as possible for you. If you normally worry about how long you might have to stand in the security line (like I do), you can check the estimated wait. If you end up at an airport for a lengthy amount of time, you can look up the best place to eat or find some entertainment at your terminal.
If travel days stress you out when you're on vacation, get GateGuru to help see you through the anxiety. Who knows, maybe travel days will actually become fun for you.
- Free - Download now
If you're less interested in tracking your flight and more interested in the general aesthetic of aviation, you should check out Flightradar24. Not only can you track planes around the U.S., Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and more, including where they are in the air, but you can also see what the pilot sees in real time with the Cockpit View's dashboard cam. When a plane flies overhead, you can point your iPhone at it and, using augmented reality, find out the flight number, where it left from, and where it's headed. Flightradar24 also has some fun tracking tools so you can set up notifications, filter by airline or aircraft, find out weather conditions for a particular airport, and even view the entire flight board at an airport.
If you're an aviation enthusiast, you'll be able to spend hours tracking planes with Flightradar24.
- $3.99 - Download now
Sometimes, you don't need all the details of where a plane is, how long it is in the air, or whether it's raining at the airport. Sometimes, you just need to know what time to pick someone up. Now Arriving is a simple app with one main purpose: to tell you when a flight is supposed to land. Enter a flight number and you'll see when it will arrive, what gate it will pull into, and how long it will take you to get to the airport from your current location.
This app is great for someone like me. I pick up friends and family from the airport all of the time because I live close. I estimate my drive time, and assume the flight arrival time is correct, but sometimes I get it wrong, and either have to drive around the airport for 15 minutes, or my poor family has to wait around in the rain for me to get there. Now Arriving takes out the guess work.
If the only thing you care about is what time you have to pick up the in-laws from the airport, then Now Arriving is your cup of tea.
- Free - Download now
Do you use a particular flight tracking app that you just love? Put it in the comments and tell us why it's so amazing.