Little-known flight hack stuns travellers: 'Game changer'

This simple iPhone trick will help you get to your flight on time.

Travellers are calling a little-known iPhone feature a "game changer" for anyone about to hop on a flight, with the "mind-blowing" hack already built into most people's phones.

It's no secret that people are losing faith in our airlines, particularly in Australia in the wake of the pandemic, with travellers slamming frequent flight delays, regular cancellations, exorbitant fares and a general decline in standards.

While there's little the average person can do to improve those issues, there's one handy feature built into most people's phones that can make life a bit easier in the lead-up to flying. If you're an iOS user, including anyone with an internet connection on iPhones, iPads and Macbooks, all you need is access to iMessages for the "must-know" hack to work.

A screen shot of the travel hack on iPhone iMessages showing a flight's status.
Anyone with access to iMessages can use the handy flight feature. Source: Yahoo News Australia / Apple

iPhone hack gives quick access to flight info

How it works is very straightforward: Simply type your flight number, including the airline code — so for example if you're flying from Sydney to Los Angeles with Qantas, you'd type "QF11"— into any iMessage, whether it be to yourself or to a loved one and press send.

The code will then appear as a link, which you tap, and then all the details you could possibly need for your upcoming flight will appear.

Departure time, gate, arrival time, flight duration and baggage claim numbers are all instantly available at your fingertips as well as an up-to-the-minute flight status, including delays.

A screen shot of the travel hack on iPhone iMessages.
The iPhone hack instantly brings up details about all live flights from around the world. Source: Yahoo News Australia / Apple

Map provides up-to-the-minute updates

In addition, there's also a handy little map that tells you, or your loved ones following along at home, exactly where the plane is in the world at any given point in time from when it departs to when it lands.

People on social media catching on to the hack have spread the word about how much it's impacted their travel. "I worked in the airline industry for three years and this is my number one flying hack," a woman said in a TikTok this week. "It's the greatest," she continued, adding that she "never has to look at the airport screens anymore".

In this image the tails of a Virgin Australia and Qantas planes are seen.
The feature has impressed people online, with many branding it a "game-changer" for air travel. Source: Getty

"If you have a connecting flight" the traveller explained, "text yourself both flights, so the second you land you can just click your link and see exactly where your gate is."

People responding were impressed.

"I’ve learned more on TikTok than eight years in college," a person wrote. "This is absolutely mind-blowing information," said another. "Not me not even knowing you can text yourself," a third joked.

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