FlightAware brings free flight tracking to Australian skies

By John Walton, March 28 2012
FlightAware brings free flight tracking to Australian skies

The flight tracking website FlightAware is now covering all flights in Australia.

While that's going to send Aussie aviation enthusiasts into paroxysms of delight, the free service also packs some nifty tricks for the frequent flyer.

We're big fans of FlightAware's flight alerts, which will notify you of delays, gate assignments and so on (often before the airlines do!).

You can receive flight alerts through email, SMS, Facebook and Twitter, with mobile Flight Tracker apps available for the iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7 and even Nokia Symbian.

If you're going to pick up a colleague or client from the airport and need an exact progress report (beyond the airlines' theoretical 'on time' reports), FlightAware provides a quick check. It shows exactly where an aircraft is in the sky in almost-realtime, so you can eyeball whether it's time to head to the airport yet.

It's especially useful for meeting red-eye flights, when you can check the progress of the flight before going to bed -- or on your smartphone or tablet before hitting "snooze" in the morning.

When you're overseas, FlightAware is also handy to check the incoming progress of the plane that will be your outbound flight. (You could theoretically do this in Australia too, but you'd need to figure out exactly which plane it is, which is a harder ask.)

And if you fly over something especially fascinating but have no idea what it is, the zoomable map of the exact track your flight took will help in figuring it out once you're back on the ground.

Australia is the first country outside North America to be included in FlightAware's comprehensive flight tracking services. Tracking of Aussie flights are now live – for example, here's a real-time look at flights arriving into Sydney Airport.

If you're keen to see how the mobile apps work, here's a video walkthrough...

Keep up to date with the latest news for Australian business travellers and frequent flyers: tune into @AusBT on Twitter.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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