With more vaccines being rolled out, the world is slowly but surely creeping back to normalcy, and traveling to different parts of the globe is definitely imminent.
Keeping up with flight information whether as a traveler yourself or if you’re trying to pick someone up from the airport can be daunting without the right information.
The good thing is that right on your iPhone, there is a hidden feature that can ease the pain while planning to travel by air.
And on top of all that, if you’re flying or picking someone up at the airport, you need to stay updated on flight information. Luckily, there’s a hidden feature on your iPhone that could make your life at the airport much easier.
Some airline applications are horribly designed and have a bad user experience but even if you decide to go with the high-end five-star airline, juggling through mobile applications with the need to stay online might not really be the only way to keep up with a flight.
What if you can just go through the simpler route which can be gotten directly on your smartphone via SMS.
The most important flight information needed often includes the arrival terminal and gate, baggage claim number, and possible delays all of which can be accessed via a text message.
Track your flight via SMS on iPhone Messages app
This might be for you but in order to check whether you can make use of the feature, below are some criteria you must meet first.
- First of all, the iMessage app needs to be enabled (it doesn’t work with SMS/MMS).
- You need your flight details somewhere on your text messages – either the information had been sent to someone or sent to you.
- The flight info was sent in this format: [Airline] [Flight number], e.g. American Airlines 9707.
Next is to launch the native Messages application on the iPhone and then click on the text message threat which contains your flight information.
From here, you’ll see if the flight tracker feature works when the text with the flight information appears underlined – meaning it’s a hyperlink that can be clicked – so click on it.
However, if your flight is still several months away or it’s already passed, you might see a message that says, “Flight information unavailable.”
You might also see another flight that’s not yours because airlines recycle flight numbers.
Several methods can be implemented to track flight on iPhone Messages app
Even though the aforementioned airline name and flight number format are often regarded as the best practice, there are in fact other ways by which you can get similar results.
So let’s say we stick with American Airlines 9707, other options that may bring up the flight tracker include:
- AmericanAirlines9707 (no spaces)
- AmericanAirlines 9707 (only one space)
- AA9707 (airline name is abbreviated and no space)
- AA 9707 (abbreviated and space)
There is a need to spell out the airline’s name completely as well as add a space between the two pieces of information because some airlines may not support these alternative options.
Flight information can be tracked in real-time via the Messages app
When you’re ready, click on the flight information in your text message and if everything works well, you should be able to see a quick-action menu with the following:
- Preview Flight: View the flight’s details. Tap this if you want to view more information about the flight.
- Copy Flight Code: Copy the flight code to your clipboard (in case you want to send your flight details to someone else via text or email).
Now if you click on the first option (Preview Flight), you will see the best part of this feature which is a real-time flight tracker map.
There will be a virtual line that connects the two destinations and a tiny airplane that moves between the two points (starting and ending points).
Underneath the map, you’ll see important flight information:
- Airline name and flight number
- Flight status (arriving on time, delayed, canceled, etc.)
- Terminal and gate numbers (for arrival and departure)
- Arrival and departure time
- Flight duration
- Baggage claim (the number of the baggage carousel)
If you swipe left on the bottom half of the flight tracker, you can switch between flights, but only if there’s a return flight.