“Paper” plane tickets are over, even if many of us still print the “electronic” ticket with the QR code that we will need to scan at the boarding gate. Why ? Mainly to reassure ourselves in the face of these technologies that we sometimes still have trouble mastering. And also, faced with the risk of a phone running out of battery which would be unable to display the precious sesame. However, technology brings comfort to air travel that did not exist 15 years ago.
Example: you want to visualize the cabin of your plane and the characteristics of your future seat, in particular to know if you will have an electrical outlet? Go to seatguru.com, enter airline, date, flight number. The site references 1,278 devices and 175 companies.
Unthinkable 15 years ago: being able to follow the flight of an aircraft, in real time, anywhere on the planet, knowing its estimated time of arrival, to the nearest minute, its altitude, its speed and above all, the see progress on the world map. Just search for the flight with its number, or by indicating the departure and arrival airports.
Dozens of apps offer a comparable service: Flight Aware (iOS and Android), Flight Stats (iOS or Android) or “The Flight Tracker” (iOS only). They draw on the same publicly available data. Basically, these apps are free. The paid versions add information on the weather and cloud cover, in particular.
Personally, I use Flightradar24 (iOS and Android), in particular for a function that fascinates me: by clicking on “AR“, you activate the camera: you just have to point your smartphone towards the sky, aim at a plane that passes to obtain the identity card of this plane which flies over us, from where it left, at what time, and where it will land. It is magic. We also take advantage of the pilot’s point of view in 3D, as if we were in the cockpit.
Following other people’s planes is good, but waiting for your own is even better! Did you arrive at the airport early? Cheer ! Maybe you can access the cozy airline lounge. This is the specialty of the Lounge Buddy app (iOS only), depending on the class of your plane ticket, your possible frequent flyer status, and the credit cards you use. It will even tell you in which airport you can take a shower!