Airline flight times are not always reliable, especially in areas of high air traffic such as Los Angeles or New York, or in places with volatile weather including the Midwest and Northeast. If planning your day around picking up friends or family at the airport or waiting for them to come to your house after their flight has arrived, you'll need to know when the plane actually landed. Flights can be delayed by any number of mishaps such as backed-up air traffic, equipment repairs or bad weather. With the flight number, the departure time and the name of your city, you can check when the airplane will be landing or what time it did.

1. Find the arrival and departure screens

Find the arrival and departure screens for the specific airline if you are in the airport. For planes that are arriving, find the flight number as well as the city the plane is coming from. Next to that, it should list the status, such as "Arrived," "Delayed" or "On Time." These listings are accurate, but they can help you only if you are in the airport.

2. Look on the specific airline's website

Look on the specific airline's website. Click on the site's "Flight Status" section, then type in the flight information it requests. After you press "Enter," the site should list any updated flight information. While you are on the site, check whether the airline offers text alerts for updated status information related to flight times. Some airlines, such as Southwest, can also send notifications via text message.

3. Speak to a Representative

Call the airline's toll-free number and speak to a representative to find out the flight information and correct arrival time. You may also have the option of an automated system.

4. Request a phone call or a text message from the travelers

Request a phone call or a text message from the travelers you are waiting for as soon as their plane lands. Phones are allowed to be turned back on immediately after a flight lands. When your guests inform you that they are on the ground, you will know if the airplane landed on time.

The iPhone has an application called "Flight Status," which allows you to look up flight departure and landing times from your cell phone.