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Flight tracking gives users the opportunity to monitor commercial flights in real-time. Important information such as flight cancellations or delays, where the aircraft is at the moment and what terminal and gate have it departed from, what terminal and gate will it arrive at can be viewed. Also, flight stats are often available: the kind of aircraft, average travel time, or the exact route taken. Flight tracker offers essential information for travelers as well as people picking up friends from the airport by up to date information.

What are the advantages of flight tracking?

There are a number of advantages for tracking a flight. Track your own flight and you get flight alerts once your flight is delayed or your departure gate has changed. Stay comfortably in your lounge, take your time to finish your shopping or enjoy a glass of wine knowing ahead that your flight is delayed.  In the unfortunate event of a flight cancellation, you get an immediate update and you may have not left for the airport yet. You can also collect information on other details of your flight such as altitude or distance covered. Flight tracking for friends and family wanting to pick up friends from the airport provides all the details needed in order to be in time for pick up at the airport, not having to wait unnecessarily. Track the flight and you’ll know about early or late arrivals as well as arrival terminals and gates.

What flights can I track?

Flight tracking is possible on all commercial airlines worldwide. To track a flight you either need to know the flight number or departing airport as well as the destination. 

What is a flight number?

Every single commercial flight has an individual flight code. This code consists of a two-character airline designator as well as a 1 to 4 digit numeric part, the flight number. Even though the flight number refers only to the numeric part, it is colloquially being used for the whole flight code. For example ‘LH 402’ is a service run by Lufthansa. ‘LH’ refers to the airline carrier Lufthansa and the number ‘402’ is the flight number for a service from Frankfurt, Germany to Newark Liberty International Airport, USA.

It is confusing but one flight may have more than one flight number. This is the case if an airline is part of an alliance of airlines. The flight will then have a flight number with the local airline carrier as well as with the alliance airline - even though it is the same flight. Interesting enough, there is no global rule on the way airlines are to set up the 1 to 4 digit numeric part of their flight numbers. It has become common usage though to have even numbers for flights north or eastbound and odd flight numbers indicate flights south and westbound. But this usage is not consistent with all airlines. In order to track a flight, you need to know the flight number. 

What is the IATA code?

The flight industry is full of abbreviations. Fortunately, this is very simple - and above all useful. IATA codes abbreviate the often long names of airports into unique 3-letter codes. Due to this abbreviation, most airports around the world can easily be identified. Referring to destinations by IATA code is shorter than writing out an airport name (e.g. Suvarnabhumi Airport), fast and simple so IATA codes are being used on baggage tags and often in flight schedules.

As said, IATA codes help to make sure to identify an airport with 100% certainty. One example, flying to New York city you want to know if you are arriving in John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) or LaGuardia Airport (LGA) so talking about New York City airport does not make sense. IATA is an abbreviation for International Air Transport Association, with headquarters in Montreal, Canada. Less known then the airport codes, IATA also provides codes for many railway stations.

Which flight number belongs to which airline?

Every single commercial flight has an individual flight code. This code consists of a two-character airline designator as well as 1 to 4 digit numeric part, the flight number. Even though the flight number refers only to the numeric part, it is colloquially being used for the whole flight code. While all airlines, even military and state airlines, have their individual airline designator, here is a list of most commercial airline designators: 

Adria Airways     JP
Aegean Airlines    A3
Aer Arann     RE
Aer Lingus     EI
Aeroflot Russian Airlines     SU
Aerolineas Argentinas     AR
Aeromexico     AM
Air Algerie     AH
Air Astana     KC
Air Canada     AC
Air China     CA
Air Europa     UX
Air France     AF
Air Indi     AI
Air Malta     KM
Air Namibia     SW
Air New Zealand     NZ
Air Seychelles     HM
Air Tahiti     VT
Air Zimbabwe     UM
Alaska Airlines     AS
Alitalia      AZ
All Nippon Airways      NH
American Airlines      AA
Arik Air     W3
Asiana Airlines      OZ
Atlantic Airways       RC
Aurigny      GR
Austrian Airlines     OS
Avianca     AV
Azerbaijan Hava Yollary     J2
Bangkok Airways     PG
Blue1     KF
British Airways     BA
Brussels Airlines      SN
Bulgaria Air     FB
Cathay Pacific     CX
Czech Airlines     OK
China Airlines     CI
China Eastern Airlines     MU
China Southern Airlines     CZ
Croatia Airlines     OU
Cyprus Airways     CY
Delta Air Lines     DL
Eastern Airways     T3
Egyptair     MS
El Al Israel Airlines     LY
Emirates     EK
Estonian Air     OV
Ethiopian Airlines     ET
Etihad Airways     EY
Eva Air     BR
Finnair     AY
Flybe     BE
Garuda Indonesia     GA
Gulf Air     GF
HAHN Air     HR
Hong Kong Airlines     HX
Iberia     IB
Icelandair     FI
Japan Airlines      JL
Jet Airways     9W
Kenya Airways     KQ
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines     KL
Korean Air      KE
Kuwait Airways     KU
LAN Colombia     LA
LOT - Polish Airlines     LO
Lufthansa     LH
Luxair     LG
Malaysia Airlines     MH
Middle East Airlines     ME
Meridiana     IG
Mexicana     MX
Monarch Airlines      ZB
Northwest Airlines     NW
Norwegian Air Shuttle     DY
Olympic Air     OA
Oman Air     WY
Porter Airlines     PD
Rossiya-Russia Airlines     FV
Qantas Airways     QF
Qatar Airways     QR
Royal Air Maroc     AT
Royal Brunei Airlines     BI
Royal Jordanian     RJ
Siberia Airlines     S7
Saudi Arabian Airlines     SV
Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS)     SK
Singapore Airlines     SQ
South African Airways     SA
Spanair     JK
SriLankan Airlines     UL
SWISS International Air Lines     LX
TAM Airlines     JJ
TAP Portugal     TP
Tarom     RO
Thai Airways International     TG
Transaero Airlines     UN
Tunisair     TU
Turkish Airlines     TK
Ukraine International Airlines     PS
United Airlines     UA
US Airways     US
Uzbekistan Airways     HY
Vietnam Airlines     VN
Virgin Atlantic Airways     VS
VLM Airlines (Cityjet)     VG

Flight tracking with the FLIO app - how does it work?

Flight tracking with FLIO is simple. You can either auto import your flight data from your google calendar or you add your flight by entering the flight date and flight number. Ideally, you have enabled push messages to receive updates on your flight immediately. And then you are all set. Is your flight delayed? You won’t need to rush to your gate but stay relaxed in your lounge. Your departure gate has changed? FLIO will tell you - very often even before airport announcements. You will get all the flight alerts you need. 

Additionally, in the ‘My flights’ section of FLIO you will see a summary of your flight details including flight number, departure and arrival time, the airline used, distance covered, the time needed and a map with the flight shown. Tracking your flight with FLIO has another advantage: you will receive tips and special discounts for your departure airport as well as arrivals airport. 

Tracking flights with FLIO is even fun. All your tracked flights are shown on your personal 3D globe. Move the globe and you will see all the flights you have taken on this planet. In ‘My achievements’ have a look at your total number of flights, the miles flown, and the number of airports and countries you have visited. If you want to you can compare your mileage and number of flights with other FLIO users on the FLIO leaderboards - but only if you want to share this information.

FLIO flight tracker: really useful - really fun.

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