4 Cool Ways to Track Flights

If you have traveled by flight anytime, you know how unpredictable flight schedules are. It is even worse when you are trying to pick or drop someone at an airport. Sometimes it’s bad weather. Sometimes it’s bad luck. Sometimes it’s just plain incompetence on the airlines’ part. Now, you can be a little bit more prepared for such instances when planning to make a flight or trying to schedule picking up or dropping a loved one at an airport.

GMaps Flight Tracker

Gmaps Flight Tracker.com site tracks incoming flights for a few US airports (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, JFK NY, LA, Miami, SFO & Seattle at the time of writing) with data from fboweb.com. This data is shown on a Google Maps overlay based on position reports for each aircraft once per minute.

Once you pick a city of interest, a list of incoming aircrafts are shown. Click or mouse over a flight number to see altitude, height and heading for that flight.

The new beta preview shows way points for the flights showing the flight travel path as trails which is pretty cool.

If you are a Google Earth user, you could download the .kml file and view it in Google Earth to look at past flights and height profiles for aircrafts. Pretty cool if you ask me.

Flight Tracker at FlightStats.com

Flight Tracker is another Google Maps mashup from FlightStats. Apart from showing the flight path on Google Map, this service is much more useful to a traveler or someone receiving a friend or family at an airport.

A few features at FlightStats are:

  • Shows Arrival and Departure times
  • Shows flight status
  • Shows estimated Gate Arrival time
  • Weather at departure and arrival cities

  • Email or SMS alerts about flight delays are very useful
  • Free registration gives you access to extended info such as access to forums, historical flight data, etc.
  • A US map shows airports with delays as red dots

FlightView Live

FlightView Live! is another live flight tracker. A major difference between this and the other services is that you can view info about flights that are in-air as the data is from the flight itself. If the flight you want to look up is still in the ground, you won’t find it here.

Couple of features that sets this service apart are:

  • You can pop open the map window, so you can surf or work while this data keeps loading real time.
  • You can turn on weather to see a light fly around or through bad weather systems. Very cool.
  • Hit Replay to view the flight path from the point of departure to its current position.

Although a little slow to load, the weather information is great to look at. You can see it’s raining in Florida but the sky is clear in the flight path.

FlightAware

FlightAware is yet another Flight and Airport activity tracker service. You plug in your flight number to get a map and other flight information.

Some features here are

  • Flight stats like the other services
  • Has a nifty feature of looking at other flights between the same airports as the flight you are looking at
  • Great Airport information
  • Tracks commercial as well as private aircrafts
  • Watch Airport activity like Arrivals, Scheduled departures, etc.
  • Looks like it is geared for pilots as well as travelers.

Hope you enjoyed these sites. Besides being a great way of wasting some time gawking at flights in real time on maps, they can really come in handy when you or someone you know are traveling.

[via Webware]

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9 Responses to “4 Cool Ways to Track Flights”

  1. Sheila @ GoVisitHawaii September 14, 2007 at 6:57 pm #

    Those are some really cool features!

  2. Nirmal September 15, 2007 at 4:50 am #

    Good features, but worst thing is that available only for US? :-(

  3. K-IntheHouse September 15, 2007 at 1:32 pm #

    Sheila! Thanks.. a couple of this sites, IMHO, is going to be essential for anyone traveling via air. They are so information rich!

  4. K-IntheHouse September 15, 2007 at 1:38 pm #

    Nirmal, most of the new web services are unfortunately US only. But, eventually they all make it worldwide if the service is useful enough. If you look at it, in a way, US is a test bed and the rest of the world gets the filtered best. :-)

  5. Website Design September 17, 2007 at 8:11 pm #

    The only thing I like about flying is the 2 very strong Whiskey Cokes it takes me to get on a plane.

  6. K-IntheHouse September 18, 2007 at 12:04 pm #

    Alfred.. I had to rescue you from Akismet. :-)

    I know. Especially on longer flights I used to love my Glenfiddich flask but I cant take it onboard with me anymore! I still get a scotch or two.

  7. Wahoo October 7, 2007 at 2:32 am #

    Thank you for sharing!

  8. K October 7, 2007 at 3:31 pm #

    You are welcome, John! Glad you liked it.. :-)

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