The iPhone has cemented its status as a cultural icon, which is why Apple sells boatloads of them every quarter. Its popularity, however, is not without reason, because it has tons of nifty and practical features that people rely on every day.
One of them is flight tracking. To monitor flights, you do not need to install an app because the feature is built right into one of the most used features of the iPhone: iMessage. This is significant because installing another app might be difficult if you are almost out of space on your phone.
It might be hard to keep up with all the flights this season. Either you or your friends and family are moving from one place to another on a vacation, business, or relocation. If you are responsible for picking them up from or driving them to the airport, you will find the flight tracker in the iPhone very useful.
In this article, we will show you how to track a flight like a pro with your iPhone!
What is the flight tracker on the iPhone all about?
This feature of Apple’s iPhone relies on an iOS tool called Data Detectors. The OS uses the feature to identify information like phone numbers, addresses, dates, etc., within messages. They are then turned into links that you can click and be taken to the map app, calendar app, etc.
Flight tracking happens within the iMessage app. However, it works whether the person on the other end of the chat uses iMessage or not.
The flight tracking is available in the iMessage app on the Mac.
How to use the flight tracker feature within iMessage
To track a flight, you need the flight number and the airline’s name in some cases. Open to the conversation where you have the flight details. It makes no difference whether you sent or received the flight information.
If you haven’t sent the flight details, send them to somebody. In an instance where you are tracking your own flight, or you do not want to expose the information, send a message containing the details to yourself. The important thing is to have the message in one of your conversations.
After the message has appeared in your conversation, the flight detail will be underlined. This shows you can click on it. However, if the flight number is not underlined, you need to add the airline’s name to the message.
Tap on the underlined part of the message, and iMessage will present you with two options: “Preview Flight” and “Copy Flight Code.” The former is the correction option as we want to track a flight.
Your iPhone will present you with an overlay screen without leaving the iMessage app. Here, you will see all the essential information about the flight. It includes the flight number at the top, arrival and departure times, flight duration, take-off city, and destination, whether the flight was delayed or even canceled.
There is a map above the details that shows the take-off and landing airports. If the plane has taken off, you can track its position in real-time as you will see the plane icon moving.
You can zoom in or out as required on the map. When you are done, click on “Done” at the top of the screen to return to the conversation.
Note that you need an internet connection to use this flight tracking feature.
If you long-press on the flight information in the message, you will see a preview that shows the plane’s location on a map. However, you won’t see all the details.
For flights that are still days away, iMessage might display incorrect information, but that is not a problem as the flight details will be updated as the departure date gets nearer.
But wait, you can use the flight tracker feature outside iMessage
It is possible to track a flight while you are within other apps on the iPhone. For example, you can follow the steps above to get flight information inside the email app.
When you are in other apps, the steps are different. For example, if you have the flight details in your Notes app, you have to highlight the flight number and select “Look Up.” Select “Flights” to see the details of the flight.