Confusion regarding “Check in” and “Flight Following”

So I know there are many posts regarding these topics, however I’m sorta confused regarding their applications.
So, I hope someone can clarify this: flight following is only for VFR from what I understand…so how do I let the ATC know that I wanna use my flight plan? Now, I know Check In is there, though I used that a couple times, and got a “say intentions” reply from the controller.
So when I’m flying a commercial plane, should I request flight following?

As you can see, there’s a lot of tutorials/explanations. Just read through them and you will understand it.
Short: Flight following is when an aircraft wants to follow its own naviagtion, usually a prefiled flight plan. However civilian airliners NEVER request Flight Following and this should be the case for IF too. You could broadcast an ‘ILS Approaches only’ if you keep getting FF requests but most people don’t listen.

If you have a small prop plane, say a C172, they can be allowed a FF request. However as ATC, you may still vector them to avoid traffic, just make sure to give a ‘resume own navigation’ after. - (Written by @MishaCamp)


Hey, thanks for those topics, they sorta cleared stuff up! Oh and now that Flight Following is for GA, would I just check in, or should I request radar vectors? Sorry if I sound stupid, I’m kinda new to expert and don’t wanna make mistakes

You can do both. But if the traffic is busy, request radar vectors straight ahead. (To save your and the controller’s time).

If you have a flight plan a ‘check in’ is fine and sufficient. You can if you want ask for Radar Vectors but if you do don’t check in as well.

Thanks guys! You were really helpful.

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