Friday, February 22, 2008

Cool Site of the Week: FlightStats

Universal Rule of Travel #1: Flying stinks. And it’s not getting easier anytime soon.

Enter FlightStats, my "can't live without" travel guru. The site covers everything — from delays across the county shown in an easy-to-understand map, airfares, frequent-flier promotions, and airport parking to weather forecasts, flight status, and travel warnings.

You can look up any flight, see how often its on time, set up mobile and e-mail alerts, and even study flight performance summaries (if you’re really bored and/or truly geeky - I am usually both). Traveling to a new airport? They have forums and guides on what to expect, where the best food, gifts, etc are, and how the airport is rated overall.

My favorite feature though is the realtime flight tracking. If you're awaiting a loved one, you can literally watch the flight on the map. As the website says:

The FlightStats Flight Tracker enables you to track most commercial flights in the US and Canadian airspace on a Google Map. Key Features:
  • Updates aircraft position automatically
  • Displays altitude, position, speed and distance from airports
  • Displays other relevant content such as current airport delays, on-time flight performance and weather
  • The map supports both automatic and manual pan/zoom

Tres cool. Check it out next time you or a loved one are winging your way across the country!

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