Pop Culture

Former airline employee shares her top hack to make your flight day so much simpler

This is also a game-changer for the people coming to pick you up.

woman on phone pulling luggage

One text can make your flight day much easier.

There's no question that booking and tracking flights has gotten so much easier with the advent of the internet and smartphones, but there's a little-known travel hack that makes navigating your actual flight day even simpler.

TikTok creator Darby (@durbinmalonster) shared the No. 1 flight hack she learned when she worked for the airline industry in a video that's been viewed nearly 10 million times in one day. In the caption, she wrote that she learned this trick seven years ago, so it's remarkable that more people aren't aware of it, but that often seems to be the case with iPhone features in particular.

If you have an iPhone (don't worry, Android users, we'll get to your workaround in a moment), and you want to be able to access to your specific flight updates and all of your flight information—including gate and baggage claim numbers—in one click, all you have to do is text yourself your flight number.

The flight number in the text becomes a link. When you click on it, all your real-time flight info comes up. You can also send it to someone who is coming to pick you up so they have easy access to your updated flight info without having to look it up or download an app or anything.

The only two caveats are: 1) It has to include the airline code, so if your flight was American Airlines flight 387, you'd type "AA387" or if it was Alaska flight 294, you'd type "AS294." And 2) Only use this hack the day of your flight, since airlines will often reuse the same flight numbers. If you do it the day before, you might get updates for the wrong flight.

Watch Darby demonstrate how it works:


S/O @Brooke Webster for teaching me this in my bag loading days 7 years ago

Some people were blown away simply by the fact that you can text yourself. Apparently, this is also not common knowledge. As one person wrote, "I’ve learned more on TikTok than 8 years in college."

Some people shared that they text their flight number every time they fly and love it.

"I’ve always done this and made family share with me when they’re flying. My partner didn’t have time between flights once to send his connecting flight in a rush and I was able to find his new flight," shared one person.

"I do this all the time and it’s even better than having the airlines App," offered another. (A lot of people said, "You can just use the airline's app!" but people don't always fly the same airline and there's a good chance you're going to be using your texting app already at the airport, so it's more seamless this way. Plus the benefit of being able to easily text it to someone else.)

"Omg this is so much easier than flight tracker," wrote another.

"Ty but I prefer printing my boarding pass at the kiosk and spending the rest of the time frantically trying to relocate my boarding pass and rechecking the info on it and asking ppl where my gate is," another person joked.

If you're an Android phone user, there's a similar hack that's just one extra step. You can type your flight number into Google, grab the link that comes up, and text that to yourself. Any time you want to check your flight status, just click the link in your texts. And if someone is coming to pick you up, you can text them that same link so they can track your flight in real time.

Technology can make our lives so much better when we actually know how to use it. Thank you, Darby, for the valuable lesson.

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