Online flight tracking provider FlightAware recently introduced pre-arrival flight alerts to its service offerings. The feature allows you to request an e-mail alert be sent when the flight you’re tracking is about to land, telling you to jump in your car and head to the airport if you’re meeting somebody. If you are using FlightAware’s app, the alert can be sent to your smart phone or iPad. The default time for the alert is 45 minutes prior to arrival, but you can select a different time as you’re setting up the alert.
The new feature eliminates the need to actively track the progress of a flight if you’re picking someone up at the airport. Instead, you can relax and wait until you get the notification. You can also share the alert with a friend, so if you’re the person traveling you can set the reminder for the person picking you up.
The tracking system is available for any airplane on an IFR or VFR flight plan. On FlightAware’s homepage, enter the flight number or N-number for the airplane you would like to track. When the page for the selected airplane comes up, click on the orange box that says “Get Notified of this flight’s activity.” Then enter your preferences for tracking the airplane.
In addition to pre-arrival alerts, you get alerts when the airplane files a flight plan, departs and lands. You can choose to receive the alerts for one day, multiple days or indefinitely. With a free FlightAware account you can set up as many as five alerts at a time or you can upgrade your service for a fee to receive notifications for more flights.