I don’t know about you, but I travel quite a lot, and tracking my flights is a pain. I need to enter takeoff time, flight number and all of that other stuff into the calendar manually just to be sure I never miss my plane. And to top it all off, I have to somehow remember to check the weather and if, god forbid, there is a delay, then I usually end up stuck in the airport for hours. Well, Mobiata has come up with an answer for me and all of you frequent fliers out there!
The basic idea behind FlightTrack is elegant in its simplicity. You enter your airline (by name or by code, selectable out of almost 1500 preset ones), your flight number, and departure date and the app pulls up all of the info on that flight including departure and arrival times, airports, current weather conditions at destination airports, schedule changes (provided by FlightStats™) and even a flight map of the trip (provided by FlightView®).
Sounds good in theory, doesn’t it? Well it is, and then again, it isn’t. To get full info on the flight, including all weather information, gate changes and delay forecasting, your airport has to be in the US. Even the highly acclaimed FlightStats™, who provide the info about the flights and are rated #1 by Wall Street Journal, didn’t give any extra info, apart from the airport, departure & arrival times and the current weather on my flight from Moscow, Russia to Almaty, Kazakhstan. I know I live in a barbaric country, but still…
One thing added in the latest update which I found really useful is the flight status change Push notification. What it does is send any updates on flight status such as delay or cancellation, but again, this relies on the information available from FlightStats™. Another recent feature, great for Twitter junkies like me, is the ability to tweet the flight info straight from the app. And if you’re more old-fashioned, then you could just e-mail it as well.
One can’t forget the completely useless but very entertaining feature – the live flight map. It is provided by FlightView® and the main downer is that it requires internet access to show and update. I don’t know how it is in the civilized countries, but internet access is rare to come by on the flights I get assigned. And since the map and approximate movement along the flight path is not saved, then this really is useless, at least in my part of the world.
Last but not least – FlightTrack Pro integrates with TripIt and pulls any scheduled flight info from there. Since you can easily add your flights by simply forwarding the e-ticket to their e-mail, this makes for a very convenient feature. No wonder this feature is the only difference between the regular and Pro versions of FlightTrack and no wonder they charge an extra 5$ for it. Actually Push notifications may also be present only in the Pro version, at least at the moment. Anyway, getting back to integration; I was really appalled at how little information is actually pulled from TripIt. It seems that only the most basic info was used, and all the really useful stuff, like booking reference, for example, missed boarding time. Also, if you expect that FlightTrack will update TripIt with flights, don’t kid yourself, it’s strictly one-way.
I spent a fair amount of time with this app, had a couple of flights and must admit that FlightTrack Pro is very useful, if you know what to expect from it. Unfortunately, since it largely relies on information available to from 3rd party sites, it doesn’t provide the same quality of flight data for every airport and airline. I would say it is a definite must buy for any frequent flyer in the US, and even if you’re flying outside, you may still find it quite useful.
|Title:||FlightTrack Pro (v.2.6)||Developer:||Mobiata|
|Price:||9.99$||App Size:||1.1 MB|