Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Link of the Week: Flight Aware

Here's an extremely useful link for travelers, and friends and family of travelers, and rather appropriate for me to post as I sit here drumming my fingers waiting for it to be time to go to the airport. Flight Aware, a free service, allows the user to track any flight anywhere in the United States and Canada. It offers up-to-the-second information.

Simply visit http://flightaware.com, and in the fields provided on the far left column (gray areas), enter in the required information. The site offers two different modes of tracking a flight: by the airplane number and the flight number, or by the airline and the flight number. All of this information is found on your ticket, e-ticket and/or itinerary.

For instance. Elder Freeman is traveling SkyWest on flight 1000A, in jet #DL 4006 from SLC to IAH. He is currently at 35,000 feet flying at 477 knots, has traveled 371 miles, with 827 miles to go. And, his flight is riding the wind and will arrive a few minutes early. Better alert the dad so we can be sure to be there when the son disembarks.

It also offers real-time Doppler satellite imagery so the user can see if the traveler will hit rough weather which may cause a delay, or worse still, a redirection. The bottom left gray field allows the user to review airport information such as weather, delays, alerts, security issues, etc.

This site was especially useful to us last Christmas when Dallas and Lynda got into bad weather, got redirected, and had to spend the night in Phoenix, Arizona. Keeping track of their many difficulties on Flight Aware was a lot easier than hoping that they'd eventually get where their cell phones would work and hopefully remember to call us.

So here it is. I hope it is found of use. Especially if you're pacing for someone in your family to come home after a two-year absence, you'll find this page a great stress reliever.

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