What is this?
JetTip is a smart flight alert service for aviation enthusiasts. Flight alerts are sent by text or email, and the filterable arrival/departure boards make aircraft spotting a breeze. Fully configurable in less than two minutes, JetTip tracks flights of interesting and unusual aircraft at major US and Canadian airports.
JetTip analyzes each aircraft coming and going from your airport and determines if it’s unusual there - usually this is based on the airline and the type (think “Delta A330-200”), but there are several factors (special livery, alliance livery, etc.) that get considered. A high priority alert gets sent for the first two visits, low priority for the next two. Users can subscribe to alerts for high or low priority separately, or opt out of alerts entirely.
Is JetTip an app?
No, JetTip is just a website, but we've bent over backwards to make sure it works brilliantly on your phone, and you can add an app icon to your home screen to open it quickly (see below). JetTip's smart flight alerts come via text message or email and include a summary and link for more details.
Which Aircraft are Shown on the Flight Boards?
Not all flights are shown. Best effort is made to show unusual visitors, special liveries, and anything else of general interst to an aviation enthusiast. Some aircraft (especially VIP and military) are blocked from flight tracking by request of their operators.
High priority alerts (red) are given to interesting flights with two or fewer visits in the last 30 days; low priority alerts (blue) for the next two.
How can I add a JetTip app icon on my phone?
If you'd like to add an icon to launch JetTip on your phone, open up your favorite airport’s arrival/departure board, and tap "add to home screen."
Apple / iOS / Safari
- Open your favorite airport’s arrival/departure board in Safari
- Tap the "+" icon on the bottom of the screen
- Tap "Add to Home Screen"
Chrome / Android
- Open your favorite airport’s arrival/departure board in Chrome
- Tap the menu icon (three stacked circles) in the upper right
- Tap "Add to Home Screen"
Can I get alerts for multiple airports?
Yes, subscribers get unlimited text/email alerts from up to five airports, and you can easily change and manage them when traveling. The arrival/departure boards are available to all users for all airports at all times.
What do people think about JetTip?
Can I setup alerts for specific aircraft?
No; you can configure timing for when you get high or low priority alerts by text or email (or opt out of them entirely), but JetTip doesn’t offer configurable alerts for specific aircraft. FlightAware offers a handful of alerts for free; FlightRadar24 offers customizable alerts for a modest fee; both are fantastic apps that compliment JetTip very nicely.
What about glitches?
As with any data entered by humans, information coming from the flight data providers is subject to error - JetTip can filter out repetitive issues and prevent many one-off's, but a few will get through from time to time. If you get an alert in error, please send an email so filters can be adjusted.
What about diversions?
If it's an unusual aircraft for your airport (an airline + type that doesn't usually visit, for instance), JetTip will alert you (and JetTip generally outperforms the other apps in this respect).
What about special liveries?
JetTip has a database with thousands of aircraft, including special and commemorative liveries, large private jets, war birds, fire tankers, testbeds, and so on. Chances are, if an aircraft is publicly trackable, and is on its way to your airport, JetTip will let you know about it.
The same rules that govern high and low priority alerts also apply to special liveries – for example, Alaska Airlines has a large fleet of special livery aircraft, and virtually all of them operate out of Seattle on a daily basis. These aircraft will show up on the SEA flight board, but they won’t trigger alerts after their first round of visits.
If there's a new interesting aircraft you’d like JetTip to track, please let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or email.
My airport's missing! Can you add it?
Probably! JetTip currently tracks flights at most major US and Canadian airports. JetTip coverage will be added to any Canadian or US airport by request - contact us on Twitter, Facebook, or email.
More international coverage is coming, eventually. Ingesting additional flight data will greatly increase our costs, and we’ll also need to add lots of additional aircraft to our database, comply with additional data privacy laws, accept payment in other currencies, make sure accounting/tax rules are being followed... it's a large can of worms for a small company.
Who took the photo on the homepage?
The Virgin Atantic A340 at MSP, which is shown by default or in light mode, was captured by Chris Lundberg, who you really ought to be following on Instagram, Flickr, and JetPhotos.
Dark mode's IL-76 at PAE is from David Honan, who's worth following on Twitter and Flickr.
How about some actual "About" content?
JetTip is operated by Nick Benson, a freelance web developer from Burnsville, MN - just a few minutes from MSP. Over the course of the past couple of years, what started as a side project to build an MSP avgeek twitterbot snowballed into the system described above.
Kudos to the small squadron of beta testers for their invaluable feedback and putting up with all of the texts and emails as bugs got worked out. Tip of the hat to Sarah Lynn Design for her incredible design work. Last but not least, thanks to my wife Emily for picking up overtime to keep the lights on while I worked on this – you’re the best!