No matter how hard you try to avoid them, flight delays are an unavoidable part of visiting the world. Traveling is already stressful enough, so having a flight delayed can take a bad day and make it much worse.
The good news is that there is some relief. While iPhone apps can’t stop bad weather or maintenance issues, they can help you be prepared. These apps will help you be on time, stay on time and give you instant alerts of flight changes.
When your preference is to check the status of any flight by flight number, route or airport code, it is FlightAware to the rescue. Available for free with in-app purchases for removing ads, FlightAware is a standout option. Capable of tracking general aviation including private and charter flights, it covers the entirety of the United States and Canada.
With its “NEXRAD” radar overlay, you can see air traffic in real time as it happens. Want to know what weather stands between your flight and its destination? That’s available at the push of a button. Push notifications are at your disposal, and you don’t even need to open the app to see gate changes or flight status. That it has a desktop site with all of this info is just icing on the cake. Just be sure to check out the “Misery Map” on the Web.
2. The Flight Tracker
When simplicity rules the day, The Flight Tracker is the go-to app for checking flights. Living up to its name, you’ll find plenty of details related to arrival/departure time, seat maps, gate change alerts and more. If you want information on the terminal so you can pre-plan where to eat, this is the app for you.
When a layover is unavoidable, the app displays all relevant information including a layout of the airport. Rest assured if a delay is five minutes or five hours, there are a plethora of notifications available from email, text message, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. The app syncs with your calendar and, for frequent or business travelers, with a TripIt account as well. Best of all, it works anywhere in the world from the smallest airport to the largest.
While it isn’t the prettiest app on the list, FlightStats is well deserving of a shoutout. Right away it grabs attention with its price tag. It’s 100% free and includes an Apple Watch app as well for even easier flight tracking. All of the essentials are here with in-depth information on flight times including arrivals and departures, gate changes and weather status.
What helps separate FlightStats from the rest is built-in support for Siri’s Shortcuts app. Want quicker information to flight status? Just add the shortcut. Want even quicker access to all of your flight information? Just add the Today Widget to your home screen. There’s so much to love about this app that it’s easy to overlook its somewhat bland design. In the case of FlightStats, function truly is more important than form.
Maybe seeing information about flights all over the world isn’t your thing. There are millions of travelers out there who just want information relevant to their trip. Enter Flight Board. From the moment the app loads, you’re presented with real-time flight status that updates every sixty seconds. With more than 16,000 airports and 1,400 airlines available, there’s a very strong likelihood that FlightBoard has your flight info.
There’s no doubt those numbers impress, but what’s really great about this app is its presentation. Mimicking the look of the old school Charles de Gaulle airport flight board, flight times look incredible. Fortunately, the information is as accurate as it is attractive. That it’s all free with no in-app purchases or ads to remove just makes it an even better selection.
Sometimes you don’t even have to be flying to just love seeing air travel in action. Perhaps you love knowing what flights are overhead right now. That’s why Flightradar24 is a must-download. There’s something both serene and chaotic watching aircraft around the world moving in real-time. And if you want to see what the pilot sees, flip on 3D mode and be in awe.
Whether or not it’s your flight or a flight at random, tapping on any plane on the map shows you all relevant flight info. You’ll see route, time of arrival, speed, altitude and so much more. With the ability to set up custom alerts, you can track any flight into a destination by aircraft type, airline or flight number.
A simple search on the App Store will show hundreds of flight trackers, but only a few are worth downloading. The apps listed have been applauded across the Web as some of the best. What’s your favorite flight tracker? Be sure to call it out in the comment section below.