Last Updated on July 22, 2022
Flight tracking is a valuable tool that air travelers can take full advantage of to make traveling easier. The ability to know an airplane’s precise location, the estimated arrival or departure time and available seats help passengers know when they can board a flight and if there are any issues with the flight. Flight tracking is one of the best solutions for handling air travel chaos, which usually worsens during the summer.
The following is what you need to know about inflight trackers in 2022:
You Require A Flight Number
The first thing you should know about inflight trackers is that you will require the flight number to get information about the flight. Getting information about a flight will help you save money when traveling as you can use it to find a better deal. However, you must have the pertinent details before getting the flight data.
The flight number will typically be on your plane ticket. However, some websites or services may not work based on a flight number, making inflight tracking very difficult. The solution is to go to their airline website and check if you can get the airplane’s registration number, which is like an airplane’s license plate, and use it to track the flight.
The Accuracy Will Vary
You should also know that though inflight trackers are helpful tools, they are not always as accurate as touted. Many flight tracking services have appeared online in the recent past. However, most have updatability issues, especially for airports outside the United States.
It usually depends on the source of the data, which is typically obtained from the airline’s website. To make your travels more enjoyable, you should use an inflight tracker, which uses information directly from the airplane.
Thanks to automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast technology, or ADS-B, the airplane transmits data on a particular channel so pilots can get accurate information. If you can get the channel’s frequency, you can get accurate data about a flight.
Inflight Trackers Use Call Signs
A call sign is an identifier that an airplane uses when in flight. Private airplanes typically use their registration numbers as their call signs. On the other hand, commercial aircraft use call signs that depend on their routes.
Therefore, you can use the flight number on your boarding pass to track a private aircraft. However, call signs for commercial flights can change depending on the flight, and sometimes they change mid-flight.
So, a Southwest inflight tracker can show multiple call signs in a day which is why you may have difficulty tracking an airplane. It is especially so if the airplane is making multiple flights a day.
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Technology Powers Inflight Trackers
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology enables air travelers to track their flights. More airplanes worldwide are being equipped with ADS-B Out modules that send information from the airplane to antennas on the ground.
You can easily acquire the equipment you need to receive ADS-B signals as it is cheap and straightforward to set up. Despite being a complex process, anyone can receive the information sent via the signal as the information is encrypted, which is how flight trackers can provide air travelers with in-flight information.
You can receive ADS-B signals as far as 150 miles from the airplane’s position. The data is sent to the ground in real time, which is why ADS-B is so accurate. ADS-B technology will become even more widespread due to its benefits over ground-based radar technology.
Flight trackers are crucial tools air travelers can use to know the status of their flight and aircraft. There is much you need to know about inflight trackers, but it is a sophisticated subject. The above points should help you develop a cursory understanding of the trackers and how they work, so you can use them to your advantage when traveling.