My sister flew in for a visit today, and I had the honor of picking her up at the airport. Since I was working until the last minute before her arrival, I was trying to watch her flight times very closely. Though most airlines post departure and arrival times, they do not update their sites between take-off and landing. With very little searching, I found a couple of sites that perform this real-time tracking during a flight.
FlyteComm was the first site I found. It allowed you to track a specific flight by entering the airline and flight number or by searching routes between cities to find a flight to track. You can also take a chance and click the random flight link and see what you get. Once you are viewing a specific flight, you can not only see departure time, but you can get an estimated arrival time, altitude, speed and a map to graphically see the progress of the flight.
The second site I checked out, RLM Software Flight Tracker offered the same tracking features as the first site, with the exception of the random flight link. To make up for this, they have a link to watch Airport Traffic. Here you can look at all the inbound traffic for 10 major US airports or view all traffic over the entire US.
While I am quite sure there are more sites that offer this, it is surprising that the major airlines don’t offer this on their sites. The information these sites provide is very interesting and entertaining. In my case, this information was quite valuable…my sister’s flight was an early arrival. Who would have imagined that?