Flight-tracking apps have become popular among aviation enthusiasts and travelers in recent years. By tapping into real-time aircraft location data, these ingenious apps allow you to view live flight positions worldwide on your phone. You can track planes overhead, get up-to-the-minute flight status details, set custom alerts, visualize traffic patterns in 3D, and even identify airplanes with augmented reality.
The top flight trackers feature intuitive interfaces with interactive maps, flight visualization tools, airport information, and extensive flight data coverage across private and commercial aircraft.
Flightradar24 is one of the most feature-packed flight-tracking apps available. On its interactive map interface, you can view real-time aircraft positions from private jets to commercial flights worldwide. One of Flightradar24’s most helpful features is its advanced AR tool that allows you to simply point your phone at an aircraft overhead to instantly get flight details like the flight number, aircraft type, altitude, origin airport, and destination.
The app also has some of the most detailed plane profiles available, allowing you to tap on any aircraft icon to view specifics like the plane’s age, serial number, number of flights that day, cruising speed, and more. While the app is free to use for basic features, upgrading to premium adds perks like more extended flight history playback, more flight detail filters, weather map layers, and a view of air traffic control regions.
- Real-time worldwide flight tracking
- Point phone at plane to instantly get flight details
- 3D cockpit views and plane models
- Extensive flight playback and filtering
- Detailed plane profiles and flight information
Note: free, premium version starts from $1.49
Trusted by millions of travelers worldwide, FlightAware is a top choice for flight tracking and alerts. Like other leading apps, it displays real-time flight trackers on a map to watch aircraft fly worldwide. But FlightAware truly shines with its flight alert features. You can configure highly customizable alerts for departures, arrivals, gate changes, delays, and diversions, and even get alerts when an aircraft lands at a destination airport.
For travelers, FlightAware can quickly tell you if your incoming flight is delayed, so you don’t need to hurry to the airport. The app also incorporates helpful weather radar overlays so you can see which flights may be impacted by storms. The FlightAware apps have an excellent interface that is intuitive and easy to use. You can save your favorite flight and airport for quick access. Upgrades unlock premium features and remove ads from the iOS and Android apps.
- Real-time global flight tracking
- Highly customizable alerts for flights
- Easy flight delay and status notifications
- Clean, intuitive interface
- Advanced tools for pilots
Note: free, premium version starts from $0.99
3. The Flight Tracker
Promising to be the “World’s most accurate and reliable flight tracking app”, The Flight Tracker focuses on an elegant and intuitive user interface. Enter a flight number or route, and you instantly see the flight status, aircraft type, departure and arrival times, flight duration, and more. The Flight Tracker sets itself apart with Apple Watch support, allowing you to receive real-time alerts right on your wrist.
The app also has one of the best airport directories available, with detailed info on terminals, gates, baggage claims, airport services, transportation options, and even airport tips submitted by travelers. The Flight Tracker stores your previous flights so you can quickly bring up historical flight details. You can also upload travel documents like your boarding pass, ticket, or vaccine card and add notes to keep all your records in one place.
- Slick, user-friendly interface
- Apple Watch app for flight alerts
- Airport terminal maps and tips
- Document upload for travel records
- Automatic calendar syncing
Note: free, premium version starts from $1.99
Combining worldwide flight data and an interactive map, FlightStats is trusted by many airlines and airports for its flight-tracking capabilities. The app makes it easy to view the most essential real-time flight details like departure/arrival times, gates, delays, aircraft type, altitude, and more. You can set up push notifications to get important flight alerts delivered directly to your device.
The highly detailed flight timelines provide a running timeline of all major flight events from boarding to takeoff to landing, which can help give you a sense of exactly where your flight is. FlightStats has 3D Touch shortcuts to quickly see My Flights, Departures, and Arrivals or search a Route for easy access. The Today Widget also shows your most relevant upcoming flights. You can even deep link from the FlightStats website into the app.
- Worldwide flight status tracking
- Interactive map with flight details
- Smart flight alerts
- Flight timelines
- Deep linking and widgets
RadarBox taps into the largest network of ADS-B receivers worldwide for accurate real-time global flight tracking. With over 9,000 online receivers, RadarBox pinpoints aircraft positions from private planes to commercial jets worldwide. You can get extensive details on any flight, including altitude, speed, route, photos, and even view the full altitude and speed graphs over time.
RadarBox allows you to watch full replays of flights up to the past seven days. There are helpful map layers like Terrain, Satellite, and Weather to see how the flight navigated. While RadarBox has a free ad-supported version, upgrading to premium removes ads and unlocks far more advanced features based on your subscription tier, like unlimited flight history playback, control tower audio, raw data downloads, and fleet tracking tools.
- Largest network of ADS-B receivers
- Precise real-time worldwide flight tracking
- Detailed flight data and graphs
- Full radar replay and tracking
- Map layers and smart filters
- Premium analysis tools
Note: free, premium version starts from $2.49
6. Plane Finder
Plane Finder enables you to uncover live aircraft positions and flight details worldwide through an easy-to-use interface. It provides real-time tracking of planes via an interactive map along with altitude, speed, origin, destination, and other technical data. An augmented reality mode lets you instantly point your phone’s camera at the sky to reveal information about overhead aircraft. Plane Finder also includes 3D tracking to view global air traffic patterns from any plane or airport.
For travelers, the app delivers handy flight status alerts and extensive airport information like real-time arrival/departure boards, gates, baggage claims, weather, and more. Plane Finder is featured by Apple and trusted by aviation enthusiasts and professionals for its unique combination of live tracking, augmented reality, 3D visualization, unlimited alerts, airport info, social sharing, and global coverage spanning private and commercial flights.
- Real-time global flight tracking via interactive map
- Augmented reality mode identifies overhead planes
- 3D tracking visualizes traffic from any airport or aircraft
- Unlimited flight playback and custom alerts
- Social sharing and mapping customization
Note: free, premium version starts from $3.49/month
If you want a flight tracking app strictly focused on airport flight status boards, FlightBoard is an excellent choice. The iPhone and Android apps recreate traditional airport departure and arrival screens to see flight statuses in real time quickly. Search for an airport or tap into FlightBoard’s database of over 16,000 airports worldwide to see scheduled and estimated departure and arrival times. You can also easily search for a specific flight by route, flight number, or airline to check its status and details.
FlightBoard makes it easy to switch between Departure and Arrival views or filter the results in different ways like by destination city or airport terminal. The app also shows delay times, gate changes, and cancellations to help you stay on top of your flight’s status.
- Real-time airport flight boards
- 16,000+ airports worldwide
- Search and filter flights
- Departure and arrival times
- Delay and status alerts
- Simple, clean interface
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