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  • Complaint to Flightradar24

    As aviation spotter living very close to Amsterdam Schiphol and near the approach to runway 27, i followed on my PC Flightradar24 with pleasure the approaching aircraft to my home airport, but only one week after the disappearing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, the owners of this site turned off row 3 of the aircraft labels where the altitude and speed could be read off and now only availabe as premium service for 1,99 per month. It seems the owners don't run this site for the love of aviation, but pure for the hard cash they can make with this site. What will be the next move? 15 minutes delay for the aviation trafiic flying around? I have been a contributor to this website reguarly, but the fun is completely gone.

    Rgds,
    Ger Buskermolen
    Amstelveen
    The Netherlands
    Visit my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/307865168157/

  • #2
    Flightradar24 is investing lots of money in expanding the coverage. We are sending out 30-40 receivers per week where every receiver has a value of 500 EUR+. We have also hired several new developers last time to help us handle the increased web traffic, database load when amount of data increases, and last weeks event has also forced us to upgrade the internet bandwidth.

    At the same time we hear about different airports, professional users and see pictures from airline operations centers around the world using the free version of Flightradar24. We can't really invest more and more money and at the same time have more and more or professional or commercial users asking for more features and using our capacity for many hours every day, completely for free.

    There is a big demand in increasing the data quality and adding more features and we will do this, but this will primary be done for paying customers. All feeders to Flightradar24 receive a premium account for free and they will be able to use all the new features for free.

    Comment


    • #3
      i completely agree with you its ridiculous they could charge the corporate users not the common man.

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      • #4
        If you are at the airport spotting planes I can't imagine why you aren't decoding data and feeding it to Flightradar24! I have had my setup going for under 20 hours total now and the very easiest part of it was downloading the Flightradar24 app and obtaining a free premium membership here for sharing my data. It literally took me under three minutes from start to finish after discovering this website.

        With the antenna that came with the $3 Ebay TV dongle, on my coffee table, indoors, under a metal roof, I have 8-10 aircraft sometimes. This is so addictive I will be making some serious upgrades to my home station with this incredible performance out to 50nm I have now. The more people that do this the better the service will be, but someone must pay for the bandwidth. I would prefer a user fee to advertisements. Personally I love this website after less than a day of using it and seeing your own data being displayed from a flight over your house,decoded by you, is an amazing experience.

        Administrator Mike, THANK YOU for a wonderful resource. I have control of three properties that are in the shadows of the three big airports in South Florida. You can look forward to a large volume of high quality data from me in the very near future.

        Comment


        • #5
          Quite simple. If something is of value then support it. If not, feel free to use but don't expect the full functionality that others are helping to cover the costs. I used to be a freeloader but for less than AUD40 pa I can help keep a valuable resource operating. I have lots of people travelling and the value of checking their plane is much more significant that the miniscule dollars it costs to support.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Ger View Post
            As aviation spotter living very close to Amsterdam Schiphol and near the approach to runway 27, i followed on my PC Flightradar24 with pleasure the approaching aircraft to my home airport, but only one week after the disappearing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, the owners of this site turned off row 3 of the aircraft labels where the altitude and speed could be read off and now only availabe as premium service for 1,99 per month. It seems the owners don't run this site for the love of aviation, but pure for the hard cash they can make with this site. What will be the next move? 15 minutes delay for the aviation trafiic flying around? I have been a contributor to this website reguarly, but the fun is completely gone.

            Rgds,
            Ger Buskermolen
            Amstelveen
            The Netherlands
            Originally posted by josh97 View Post
            i completely agree with you its ridiculous they could charge the corporate users not the common man.
            I'm common man, investing my time,resources to feed data to the site and I demand from FR24.com to have more benifits then non-paying user.
            All of you wants full coverage but no one asks who is going to pay for that. Should FR24 team do this for free so you can enjoy it? Yeah right. Do you do anything for free. Don't think so.
            Before I started to feed (oct2013), I invested in my hobby that 1.99$?!!? but I was unhappy with benifits I had comparing to basic user. Most of premium users are.


            FR24 has my full support in new changes! Looking forward for more new changes!
            For official support use Contact Form

            Comment


            • #7
              While I'm not averse to having the odd whinge about certain aspects of FR24, I think it's one of the best applications available on the internet. I've learned over the years that the most useful stuff on the net usually costs a bit of money and I can understand how it must rankle to see some of the world's largest media and aviation companies using the free version of FR24 on a daily basis as have seen in the past week in coverage of the MAS disaster. The subscription fee is not excessive and I support further restricting content in the free version - how about we start with access to this forum?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by airnrail View Post
                While I'm not averse to having the odd whinge about certain aspects of FR24, I think it's one of the best applications available on the internet. I've learned over the years that the most useful stuff on the net usually costs a bit of money and I can understand how it must rankle to see some of the world's largest media and aviation companies using the free version of FR24 on a daily basis as have seen in the past week in coverage of the MAS disaster. The subscription fee is not excessive and I support further restricting content in the free version - how about we start with access to this forum?
                Can't do that, this is where dongle feeders come to get their info to become premium members.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi,
                  I wouldn't be averse to paying a fee to have basic coverage, BUT, I'm only going to sign up if what's offered suits my situation. If the site then "improves" something which is not what I signed up for, like the recent black boxes, what then. There seems to be a culture in IT where if you don't "improve" something it must be bad. Examples being the continual tinkering by Google and the Yahoo NEO disaster.

                  I fully understand if you are providing more data and need more bandwidth it costs, plus the boxes, and someone has to pay that bill. However there's a limit to what you really need to provide on the sight, are all the bells and whistles really necessary? Everything most enthusiasts will ever need is already here. Has FR24 been taken over by the corporate steamroller, just like EBAY, Twitter, Facebook and the like?

                  Why not have a registration system, single user free or pay a little for Premium, corporate charge a larger fee.

                  Rob

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by peterhr View Post
                    Can't do that, this is where dongle feeders come to get their info to become premium members.
                    Come on, I don't think your argument stands up - if they are a dongle or any other sort of feeder do they not automatically have premium membership and therefore access to the lot? There is this attitude abroad that everything on the net should be free - it can't be because it has cost somebody something to create and if someone else finds it useful surely it is reasonable that payment be made. I think that what is offered in the free version of FR24 is overly generous when compared to the very modest extra features provided in premium - and the free version often refreshes more rapidly than premium.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mezzoman View Post
                      Why not have a registration system, single user free or pay a little for Premium, corporate charge a larger fee.
                      There is no way for us to distinguish if a user is a "single user" or big airline. And actually I don't think that matters so much. 500 airlines paying 1.99€ per month gives 1000€ per month. That does not even cover 20% of our bandwidth costs or 2 receivers per month. I think that "single users" that use FR24 daily for 4-6-8 hours, together with filter, layers and adblock or use FR24 as some kind of display system, should pay an monthly fee for the generated bandwidth.

                      We have absolutely no plans of stopping providing a free tracking service where you can go, see a map, follow an aircraft, search and get full flight info. But I personally think somewhere there is the limit of how much we can provide for free. As I just wrote we have absolutely no plans today for removing any features from the free service, but seeing airline control center after airline control center using the free version, just because it offers everything they need shows that we are giving away too much for free.

                      The funny thing is that some airlines invest more money in finding solutions to go around the 30 minute time out, instead of just getting the premium account. I know there are people right now watching FR24 on a big screen that reloads (flashes) every 60 second, just to go around the time out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mike View Post
                        There is no way for us to distinguish if a user is a "single user" or big airline. And actually I don't think that matters so much. 500 airlines paying 1.99 per month gives 1000 per month. That does not even cover 20% of our bandwidth costs or 2 receivers per month. I think that "single users" that use FR24 daily for 4-6-8 hours, together with filter, layers or use FR24 as some kind of display system, should pay an monthly fee for the generated bandwidth.

                        We have absolutely no plans of stopping providing a free tracking service where you can go, see a map, follow an aircraft, search and get full flight info. But I personally think somewhere there is a limit of how much we can provide for free. As I just wrote we have absolutely no plans today for removing any features from the free service, but seeing airline control center after airline control center using the free version, just because it offers everything they need shows that we are giving away too much for free.

                        The funny thing is that some airlines invest more money in finding solutions to go around the 30 minute time out, instead of just getting the premium account. I know there are people right now watching FR24 on a big screen that reloads (flashes) every 60 second, just to go around the time out.
                        Often these people are in the very best position to install a feed station (to get free premium), and doing so would give them more local value then the rest of the community ... it would be a win-win for them.

                        The problem with buying stuff in the big corporate world is the internal bureaucracy involved setting up the payment account, etc. the actual cost is secondary 2 a month or 20, they wouldn't care - maybe if you sold annual premium access 'preset username' vouchers on amazon?

                        (actually the bureaucracy involved in getting approval to connect a feeder to the internal network ... to access the internet is also a show stopper)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by peterhr View Post
                          Often these people are in the very best position to install a feed station (to get free premium), and doing so would give them more local value then the rest of the community ... it would be a win-win for them.

                          The problem with buying stuff in the big corporate world is the internal bureaucracy involved setting up the payment account, etc. the actual cost is secondary €2 a month or €20, they wouldn't care - maybe if you sold annual premium access 'preset username' vouchers on amazon?

                          (actually the bureaucracy involved in getting approval to connect a feeder to the internal network ... to access the internet is also a show stopper)
                          We are completely aware of this! The "60 second flash airline" has actually recently contracted another company and gave them the mission to set up a FR24 premium account for them. I guess that the cost of the mission will be 50-100 times higher than the actual cost of the premium account.

                          We are building up a B2B team and we have very, very good contact with airlines and airports around the world, and making very good progress in this segment. Out of the 30 receivers we have shipped last week, 15 are designated to be installed at airports for different airports and airlines. And actually 3 of the receivers shipped this week will be setup on 3 ATC locations for one European ATC.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by josh97 View Post
                            i completely agree with you its ridiculous they could charge the corporate users not the common man.
                            And corporate users says "why should we pay for something that you offer for free?" and I can competently understand their point.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Do think about the vouchers (could be like a giftcard / scratchcard) - there would usually be a channel like amazon, etc. that could be used to sell them that the businesses already have set as a purchase method.

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