Since we first blogged about Google offering direct links to online travel databases (Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz) a few days ago if city pairs are placed in the web search box, others have picked up on yet another Google test. The new service is primarily about accessing pricing info, timetables etc. This is DIFFERENT than the flight info "shortcuts", "Smart Answers," etc., that most of the major web engines, the airlines themselves, and others have been offering for several years.
For example, if you enter an airline and flight number into Yahoo, Google, or Ask Jeeves info about where the flight is located and when it will be landing is provided. Most of this data applies to flights in the U.S./Canada aviation system. So, if it's a European flight heading to the U.S. or Canada it should be in there. Exceptions do exist and not every service provides access to every airline.
Here are a few examples:
Other services, aside from the airline sites themselves, provide near real-time tracking info with data direct from FAA computers and other sources.
- RLM Systems/FlightView.com
Info about the flight and a map of the location of the aircraft.
- Flight Explorer/ FastTrack
Info about the flight, maps.
Need mobile flight tracking info? Here are a few options
(Mobile Web, SMS)
- Rovenet Flight Checker (Mobile Web)
Unlike other mobile web flight checkers, this service gives all sorts of data like altitude, air speed, direction etc. Just like what you would find from many web-based services.
Airport Delays and Status (U.S. Only)
Postscript: Thanks to reader Neurophys, here's what it likely to become my favorite web based flight tracking tool, FlightAware. Impressive!!!