(Because you've reached the end of the internet)
Being at home for the past couple months has lent itself to perhaps too many hours on the web. Are you also at the point where you feel like you’ve read EVERYTHING there is to be read on your social feeds? Great, me too! With that said, I wanted to put together a quick blog on a topic that I can almost guarantee you haven’t read about during your time at home, or ever…. Let’s look at the ever so exciting world of platforms for tracking private flights! Before we look at the good and the bad of some of the more popular flight trackers, you might be asking yourself, “Why to people like to creep on specific times and other random details of charter flights? Kind of stalker-ish. behavior”. Well…. you’re right! There are many different types of reasons why folks might be interested in know the exact minute an aircraft takes off or touches ground again, and it's not just air charter brokers, airlines and airports. One of my personal favorite uses of information from flight tracking sites is impressing my older relatives. Last summer, on a trip to visit family in Florida, I sent Grandma a link to our flight ahead of boarding. She was amazed by this sorcery and was convinced this was very special and sensitive information that I was only able to obtain from my connections as a high-level air charter broker. I may or may not have let Grandma the reality of this magic internet page… she’s always been proud of my professional accomplishments!
Tracking Charter Flights
And speaking of air charter brokers, we use these sights regularly as we remotely orchestrate operations with our customers throughout North America, the Caribbean and worldwide. Would I have liked to have been with our incentive travel customers in the Caribbean on their return flight home to personally ensure an on-time departure… of course! But it is just not a reality. We need these resources in order to convey accurate information to customers that maybe aren’t on the flight, such as travel agents or athletic staff waiting for their team to arrive If you’re directly involved with large group air charter coordination, there’s a good chance you’ve used one of the websites below.
Flightaware- Some consider Flightaware.com the “big dog” of flight tracking platforms. This Houston based company’s CEO, Daniel Baker, wanted to make a tool that help him track his family’s private flights around the country (must be nice to be a Baker). But we’re glad he created this user-friendly interface for both desktop and as a mobile app.
Pros: Aircraft type photos, “past flight” log on commercial flights, ability to modify alerts (in paid version), non-intrusive advertisements, discussion boards Cons: Flight alerts not available in free version
planefinder: “Excuse me, are you from London?” planefinder.net is! Maybe that’s why I found their site to be the most polite and proper! planefinder provides a user friendly, approachable vibe. Using this site feels more natural and doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve hacked into top secret, classified information. Pros: welcoming, warm interface, point at plane capabilities on app, Plane Finder TV on Apple
Cons: more visible ads on free version, (although easy on the eyes it was less clear on how to get started on their home page)
Flightradar24: the Sweeds are coming in hot on this other popular real-time flight tracking platform. It received broad exposure in Europe when the media relied heavily on it to describe flight disruption caused by the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruptions. In 2014, this bad boy of aviation websites got reprimanded for posting the position of the Japanese Air Force One. Woops! Pros: Hot aviation tweets on side banner, easy access to aviation blogs, most affordable premium plan (Silver Plan) Cons: Uninviting dark appearance, and advertisement visibility.
Leadership at our company has shared stories of the “old days” of air charter brokering and flight following, and I feel lucky to have these resources in place now. So again, regardless if you’re coordinating an emergency evacuation, helping move an incentive group or Grandma, you’ll all have your reasons to use flight tracking platforms.
So now that you're more familiar with how to track a private charter flight, are you curious to learn about the process as a whole? Contact our team today! And if you're feeling shy, don't hesitate to use our cost estimate tool to see if charter is good fit for your group.