Flying can be a stressful experience, with the potential for disrupted travel due to delays and/or cancellations and incredibly busy airports don’t help to ease the experience. Fortunately, if you’re travelling with an iPad in tow, you can utilise it with the fantastic app we’re going to cover today.
Flight+ is a beautiful flight tracking application that puts a whole world (quite literally) of airline and airport information into your hands, tracking flights in real time and offering up information on both airlines and airports. You can even utilise iCloud to automatically synchronise flight information between multiple devices, so you’re always up-to-date on whatever device you’re using.
The core feature of Flight+ is tracking flights, and checking up on their current status. From the “Flights” tab, you can add a new flight with the plus icon in the top-right corner of the app. Here, you’ll need to add a departure data and then, optionally, more details to narrow down the search results. These include a departure airport (if not entered, the app will default to your closest one, an arrival airport, an airline and a flight number. When you hit search, all the flights that match your specified criteria will be returned.
The results will show flights scheduled and already en route, also returning the airline, flight code and times, dates and locations relevant to the journey. To add one to your roster, you need only tap on it, and then select to add the flight individually, or grouped together as part of a trip.
Once a flight is saved, you can get tracking. The expanded details of the flight will not only show the flight code and airline, as well as the departing and receiving airports and cities, but also the local date and time at arrival/departure (including offset to what I presume is your own time zone). If available, the app will also tell you which terminal and/or gate the flight will be associated with.
Alongside these details, you’ll be given a map that marks the departing and arriving location, alongside the local weather and time. Marked on the route will be the current location of the plane if the flight is en route (if not, the icon will remain at the departing airport).
Along the bottom of the flight details page is a progress bar, showing how long the plane has left of it’s journey, along with statistics like the duration of the journey and the distance covered. Atop the page is a convenient countdown, that shows the time left to either departure or arrival (dependent on the status of the flight).
You’re able to use the tabs on the right side of the app to view the details of the aircraft, set push notifications for a variety of criteria (such as status and time changes) and assign yourself tips and notes for the flight. The former includes a short description of the aircraft, a photo and some key specifications such as capacity, average speed and wingspan. If available, you’ll even be able to see a seat map which is pretty awesome.
The sheer detail the app can go into about your journey is amazing and incredibly useful if you’re actually taking the flight.
Airports and Airlines
Like how the app can return details on the aircraft in use, Flight+ also offers up details on airports and airlines.
The “Airports” tab allows you to research over 16,000 airports around the world. When you’ve found which airport you want to read about, you’ll get a short description, a photo and key statistics like airport code, average delay, time zone offset (and time difference to you). You’ll even get weather details and sunrise/sunset times alongside a clock showing the local time and date. Again, this is pretty cool, being all live and instantly relevant.
There’s also a tab dedicated to terminal maps, allowing you to research the layout of the airport before you even arrive, saving time and frustration.
The “Airlines” tab is very similar, but for airlines instead of airports. You’ll once again get a brief description of the subject, alongside a relevant image, but also access to their Twitter feed if applicable. As many airlines use Twitter as a platform for major announcements, this can be a useful way of staying up-to-date with any issues or news your airline may have.
Both the airports and airlines have a flight map, showing all their flights with destinations/origins and the route marked, in addition to a tabular flight board.
Design and Interface
Flight+ is just beautiful. With a design reminiscent of Apple’s Reminders app, Flight+ presents all this information to you in a fantastic design that’s perhaps one of the best interfaces I’ve ever seen on the iPad.
Living up to the skeumorphic trend of iOS, Flight+ is designed to look like an airmail postcard, with the use of red and blue stripes on the left, as well as in the colour scheme throughout.
It looks fantastic.
Flight+ is an amazingly detailed app that knows anything you would ever want to know about flights, aircraft, airlines and airports. Whether you want to know how long left a flight from Melbourne to Hong Kong has or you want to see what the average delay of a Chicago airport is, Flight+ knows.
If you’re travelling by air anytime soon, the small investment into Flight+ is one you should definitely make. It’s as useful as it is beautiful.