Private Flight Trackers: How to Protect Your Privacy on Charter Flights
Imagine signing into your Twitter account and seeing your personal travel information being tweeted about by not just private flight tracker accounts, but hundreds of other strangers. This has been a more common occurrence in the last year or two, prompting some private jet owners to sell their jets and switch to on-demand charters.
This may have you wondering ‘How can I track someone else’s flight?’ so we’re here to answer that question and more.
Here’s a look at private jet trackers, who’s being tracked, and what this means for private jet privacy.
Can you track private flights?
Yes, you can, and there are a few different ways to do so. First, you can head to Twitter and join the thousands of others following Twitter accounts dedicated to tracking the private jets of certain famous people. These accounts harness flight tracking software to provide their followers with up-to-the-minute information about celebrities and their private jet locations.
Landed in San Francisco, California, US. pic.twitter.com/TKgAWuYqwP
— ElonJet (@ElonJet) November 14, 2022
In a recent article written by Business Insider, the authors discuss the creation of these accounts and who they’re tracking. The article then highlights what some celebrities are doing to prevent the tracking but admits there are ways to get around these attempts at blocking private flight trackers.
The article also states, “With jet-tracking becoming a major problem for the ultra-wealthy, the FAA has opened discussion on how to better block websites like ADS-B Exchange. At the National Business Aviation Association’s conference in mid-October, the FAA talked about how to mitigate real-time tracking, but admitted: “There are no silver bullets.””
Since there aren’t many options for protecting your privacy while aboard a personal jet, some private jet owners have decided to sell their aircraft and book on-demand charters instead. By doing this, the operator’s information is listed in the flight tracking software, providing a blanket of privacy over prying eyes and followers.
This isn’t just to keep their name out of the news, it also comes down to protection. Many celebrities worry about their safety and what some unstable fans could do if they knew the celeb’s location.
How can I track someone else’s flight?
Another way that fans and followers are tracking the private jet locations of their favourite celebrities and socialites is through private flight trackers like FlightRadar24, FlightAware, ADS-B Exchange and other sites that use open-source data to follow the movements of aircraft.
To track a flight, you only need to know the aircraft’s tail number. Using data from the FAA, both FlightAware and FlightRadar24 track aircraft but block some of the more personal details. ADS-B Exchange, which doesn’t rely on FAA data, does not.
Does FlightRadar show private planes? Yes, it does, but the data is limited. If an operator doesn’t want their personal details published, FlightRadar will block out that information or even omit showing the aircraft directly related to high-profile individuals, like Air Force One. Of course, a subscription to this platform can be purchased and could provide additional flight information.
Are there any free flight trackers? Most private flight trackers are free with some offering subscriptions to provide additional information.
What is the most reliable flight tracker? It really comes down to personal preference. FlightAware and FlightRadar24 offer apps that make tracking aircraft on the go a breeze, while others are strictly browser based. The best thing you can do is try a few different ones and see which one is best for you.
A Private Flight Tracker Cautionary Tale
In October of 2022, one high-profile individual decided to sell his aircraft and rent private jets instead.
In an article published by Business Insider, the author shared news of Bernard Arnault, CEO of Louis Vuitton, who sold his private jet following the creation of flight-tracking accounts on social media.
The article continues to say, “Arnault appears to have made the switch to renting jets several weeks ago. In September, @laviondebernard tweeted about the billionaire’s lack of recent flight data after noting several weeks earlier that LVMH had de-registered its plane in France.”
🧶 Le D-AGLO, ex-F-GVMA, a quitté Londres pour aller à Munich.
Pour rappel, le F-GVMA est resté cloué au sol plusieurs mois suite à notre suivi, puis a changé d’immatriculation. pic.twitter.com/6F7WxGLPnV
— laviondebernard (@laviondebernard) October 9, 2022
With so many eyes on his aircraft, plenty of news outlets were reporting on the amount of times the jet was in the sky and how many tons of carbon emissions he was producing.
This is also a matter of personal safety.
The article also says, “Other public figures have expressed safety concerns over the sharing of flight data on social media. Earlier this year, Musk offered $5,000 to the person behind a Twitter account that tracked his travel, asking the Twitter user to shut it down. He failed to get the account shut down.
“I don’t love the idea of being shot by a nutcase,” Musk said in a text about the issue, Protocol reported.””
Buying a private jet vs. on-demand charters
In some cases, owning your own private jet makes sense, even in the face of private flight tracker social media accounts. The ease and convenience of ownership can outweigh the loss of privacy.
However, for those that are deeply concerned with their private flights being tracked, hiring a private jet charter might be the best solution.
At Stratos, we’ve been providing our clients with some of the safest air charters in the sky. We heavily vet all our operators and carriers so you can enjoy an elevated flying experience in complete privacy. We’ll never share your flight data with anyone other than our team, the ground crew and loved ones that need to know.
If you’re ready to book a private jet charter on one of the safest and most reliable aircraft in the skies, please reach out to a Stratos Jet Charters private flight advisor today by calling 999.593.9066 or requesting a free online quote.