Your globetrotting sister is coming into town for the weekend and you find yourself circling the airport byways awaiting her arrival. That’s right, her plane is late. Again.

Touchdown tardiness is a problem for the ages, whether you’re waiting for someone or someone is waiting for you, it’s inevitable that there will be a wait. Thankfully, technology is improving faster than the punctuality of your favorite airline and you can now know the exact location of your plane, or any plane for that matter, at all times.

Web sites like provide free real-time flight trackers that let you search for a flight in a number of different ways. For flights that are in the air, the flight tracker will display an image with the plane's position overlaid on a weather radar image. The flight tracker results also will show you aircraft type, altitude and estimated arrival time.

While flight trackers may not abolish airport waiting completely, at least can keep for you sanity by knowing just how much longer you’ll need to wait.

*If you're a MAC OSX user, simply add the handy flighttracker widget to your dashboard display.


Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".