Here’s how to track any flight from text messages on your iPhone

The holidays arrive, and with them they come winter storms ravaging parts of the countrywith flight delays and cancellations as a result.

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Expect busy highways and packed airports, with many people traveling across the country to visit loved ones for Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve in the coming days. Vacation travel can be a nightmare if you’re not prepared for the journey home.

read more: What to do if your flight is canceled or delayed

Whether you’re going on vacation or expecting guests, that expected travel turmoil means it’s important to keep an eye on flight information, such as potential delays or gate changes.

Obviously, you can get this information from an airline app on your phone or by looking at a flight information display system at the airport, but there’s an easier way that doesn’t involve downloading anything or walking anywhere. All the flight information you need can be found on your iPhone, within your text messages.

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How to track a flight via text message on your iPhone

Before we start, there are a few prerequisites you must meet:

  • Make sure iMessage is enabled (it doesn’t work with SMS/MMS).
  • You’ll need your flight number somewhere in your text messages, whether you’ve sent that information to someone (even yourself) or it’s been sent to you.
  • The flight number must be sent in this format: [Airline] [Flight number]for example, American Airlines 9707.

Launch the Messages native texting app on your iPhone and open the text message thread containing your flight information. You’ll know the flight tracking feature is working when the flight information text is underlined, which means it’s actionable and you can touch it.

However, if your flight is still several months away or has already passed, you may see a message that says “Flight information not available.” You may also see a flight other than yours because airlines recycle flight numbers.

Access the hidden flight tracker in different ways

While the airline name/flight number format highlighted above is the best way to go, there are other text messaging options that will get you the same result. So let’s say we stick with american airlines 9707Other options that can bring up the flight tracker include:

  • American Airlines9707 (There are no spaces)
  • American Airlines 9707 (only one space)
  • AA9707 (the name of the airline is abbreviated and without space)
  • AA 9707 (abbreviated and space)

I suggest you keep the name of the airline fully written and add a space between the two data, as in the previous section, because for some airlines these alternative options may not work.

Flight code in text message

Text the code to preview your flight.

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Track your flight in real time: view flight status, delays, baggage claim and more

Once everything is set up, tap on the flight information in your text messages. If the feature works correctly, you should see the following two options appear in a quick action menu:

  • flight preview: View flight details. Touch here if you want to see 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).

If you select flight preview, at the top of the window, you’ll see the best part of this feature: a real-time flight tracking map. A line will connect the two destinations, and a tiny plane will move between them, indicating where the flight is at that exact moment.

Below the map, you will see important flight information:

  • Airline name and flight number
  • flight status (arriving on time, late, cancelled, etc.)
  • Terminal and gate numbers (for arrival and departure)
  • Arrival and departure time
  • Flight Time
  • 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.

Your iPhone comes with a lot of hidden features, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Verify iOS hidden features and tricks You didn’t know what you needed the hidden app that lives on your iPhone Y the information hidden in the photos of your iPhone that could be revealing your location.

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