Before You Panic, Try

Remember Erica? She was the lady who raged against US Airways for listing her husband’s delayed flight as UNKNOWN, thus spinning her into a terror-induced seizure of fears about exploding airplaines and raising her children as a single parent.

Some of our readers thought Erica blew it all out of proportion. You shouldn’t get paranoid over the results from a web page… there’s other ways to check on the flights. Our good buddy Better Living Through Miles at Upgrade Travel weighed in on it, giving some advice on the best way to track a flight. His advice?

    Never just rely on the airline’s own website for flight status. Instead, check out FlightAware, the site devoted to tracking all flights in American airspace. You’ll see the actual time of takeoff, landing, a neat map of the flight route, and some dorky data on speed, altitude, etc.

    But most importantly, FlightAware reports two different pieces of information than most airline websites: Wheels-up and wheels-down times. Airlines categorize flights by the times the plane is out, up, down, and in. “Out” and “in” refer to the departure and arrival at the gate. “Up” and “down” refer to the takeoff and landing on the runway.

Add it to your list of resources to consult before you panic, kids.

Getting more accurate flight tracking [Upgrade Travel]


Edit Your Comment

  1. lpranal says:

    “OMG! What if the terrorists see this!” said the uninformed commenters, one by one.

  2. Kos says:

    That’s a cool site. Get to work on a mobile phone and I’ll be a happier traveller.

    Now if they can just track where the baggage handlers are with my damn luggage…

  3. Okay, I bit my tongue when the original story was posted, but here’s a hint to Erica and everybody else who likes to imagine planes falling out of the sky in flames or making fiery crash landings incinerating crew, passengers and cargo in a ball of kerosin fueld fire:


    If a plan finds its end in any of the above mentioned ways you can bet that every TV Station in the country (and probably a few more) will broadcast as much information as they have (and don’t have).

    If you don’t have access to a TV try: they will tell you too.


  4. Ishmael says:

    But will it tell you if there are snakes on the plane? That’s information I feel I really need to know if my loved ones are in the air.