iPhone Traveler Pt. 8 – Tracking a flight

Earlier this month I wrote several posts about preparing to travel with your iPhone. Now, it’s time to hit the road. Now I’m going to look at using your iPhone while you’re en route. It’s a big topic, that this post starts it off with tracking a flight.

The iPhone is your pocket-sized, always-connected, tireless travel agent. With its small size, cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity, Internet access and apps, it’s extremely handy for tracking flights. There are a tremendous number of flight tracking apps available for the iPhone. Be sure to check the App Store and search for “airline” or “flight.”

Flight apps are extremely convenient and useful. On several occasions, I’ve had my iPhone relay information faster than the airport itself. Delays, arrivals, and much else all show up on my iPhone. There’s no need to search out information, strain to hear every announcement, or speak with agent after agent. My absolute favorite flight-tracking app is Flight Update Pro ($9.99, universal), and it has been for years. Here’s how to track a flight with this fantastic little app.

To get started, tap New Trip to bring up the New Trip screen, and then fill in the details. Give your trip a name and enter the beginning and end dates. Finally, enter your confirmation number and any pertinent notes (the “Re” field means “Regarding”).

The next step is to add flights. Tap the Flight button and the flight screen appears. Choose your airline and enter the flight number. The app will retrieve the following information for you:

1. Flight number and airline
2. Date
3. Status (on time, delayed, etc.)
4. Departure airport, time, terminal and weather
5. Arrival airport, time, terminal and weather
Flight Update Pro even gives stats on how frequently a given flight is late or on time on average, the day’s alternative flights, a section for notes, and even a map of the plane’s seating, so you can know just where you’ll sit.

My favorite feature lets me communicate quickly with those not traveling with me. With a tap I can send an email or text message to any recipient I like. Best of all, those messages are pre-written with statements like:\
• I am now departing [Airport X] now on [flight number]
• I have arrived at [Airport Y]
• I am delayed at [Airport X]

Additionally, you can include flight status automatically so your partner knows where and when to meet you, without requiring you to remember or type any of that information. Since it often relays information more quickly than the airport, Flight Update Pro has alerted me to delays and — on extremely rare occasions — early arrivals, before the airport’s information kiosks. All from a tiny device in my pocket. At $10 it’s more expensive than some others, but it’s absolutely worth it.

Flight Card – Another great option ($4.99)

Flight Card by Sylion is less informative than Flight Update Pro, but still useful and even more beautiful. Each flight is represented by a color-coded “card.” The colors denote a flight’s status (delayed, departed, on time, etc.). Each flight’s departing [Penny Mattern, 7/25/12 9:23 PM
I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here. Departing flight and airport? Flight’s departure time and airport? Please clarify.]airport and destination airport are listed by code, as well as flight number, terminal and gate. Finally, each flight’s departure and arrival time is displayed.
It’s very legible, handsome and less expensive than Flight Update Pro. Those who fly infrequently will enjoy Flight Card. Frequent air travelers should download Flight Update Pro.