Popular flight tracking app Flighty, a 2023 Apple Design Award winner, is launching a new version that turns its handy flight information resource into something more akin to a private social network for close friends and family who want to track each others’ travels. With today’s launch of Flighty 3.0, users will have a new way of sharing their flight information with trusted others, without having to rely on forwarding airline confirmation emails or sending texts.
Instead, Flighty is introducing the concept of “Flighty Friends,” a way to track loved ones’ flight details automatically. The concept builds on the friends’ flights feature already available in previous versions of Flighty, which allowed users to share their live flight information with others through the app.
Now, users can connect directly with one another in Flighty — similar to how you would “friend” someone on a social network. Afterward, the connected users would receive updates about their family members’ or friends’ flights on an ongoing basis. The app’s notifications would then read something like “mom has landed,” instead of just noting a flight number has landed, and would include the user’s profile photo.
In addition, a new “Today” screen will show the flight locations of everyone you’ve added, if their flights are taking off within 24 hours.
Flighty assures users their flight info is only visible to those they’ve shared with, but this won’t include sensitive details, like a booking code. Plus, users can share their flight info with friends who don’t have the app. Users can also disable sharing at any time.
The feature, which is not a paid upgrade, makes the most sense for spouses or significant others, parents and children, and other close family members and friends as it provides real-time access to someone’s location, not all that different from Apple’s “Find My” or a location tracker, like Life360.
But while location tracking apps are tied to someone’s current GPS location, Flighty extends that tracking to the air, offering all the usual flight tracking information someone would need — like flight plans, weather conditions, delays, FAA advisories and warnings, late or canceled aircraft, connection information and more.
The app also makes clever use of Apple’s live Lock Screen widgets and Live Activities in the Dynamic Island (the notch) on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max for Flighty subscribers. Paying customers can also take advantage of other features like calendar and TripIt sync, email forwarding and more detailed information, among other things.
According to Flighty developer Ryan Jones, the app is the first to introduce this concept of a “flying private network,” a first of its kind. But he hesitates to call it a social network, noting it’s not about racking up follower counts or publicizing your information.
“No other service has ever successfully built ‘friends for flying,’” he says. “They all try to make it social and public. But that’s not what users want. They want to share with just a few friends and family, all privately, without signing up for a new service. We think people are going to love it,” Jones adds.
The app to date has been downloaded millions of times but doesn’t disclose its user numbers or subscribers. However, Jones notes Flighty is a cash-flow positive and self-sustaining company.