Despite the economic downturn, many of us web workers still travel frequently, and that means dealing with always unpredictable airports, airplanes, weather conditions at destinations, and more. I’ve written before about a few of the sites that can ease the whole process, and one of them, the truly useful FlightAware, has been adding a lot of useful new features.
As always, FlightAware is a carrier-independent, database-driven site that tracks airborne aircraft, arrivals, ETAs and much more. It uses air traffic control data that is up-to-date on a nearly real-time basis and is very dependable.
You can check the status of any flight, including ones in the air, by using the Flight Tracker module on the left side of FlightAware’s home page. You can even see graphical displays of departure and arrival activity at any major airport.
With an eye toward being more of a travel hub than just a database of flight information, FlightAware includes many features added in recent months. You can get estimated departure times, which are based on many factors, including weather, traffic at the airport your flight originates from, and more. FlightAware also now tracks airline schedules many hours before flights take off, while it used to provide snapshots only about an hour in advance of flights.
Among other new features, you can check real-time weather conditions at arrival airports, and track commercial flights. If you fly frequently, I also continue to recommend SeatGuru highly. On each page for any plane SeatGuru.com lists, you’ll find an In-Flight Amenities list, which can tell you what kinds of audio, video, Internet and power options your seat will offer. You’ll find complete instructions for making selections on the site at the bottom of the home page.