When do I need to request Flight Following?

So I’m no flying from EDDL to EGLL. I use a flight plan from SimBrief and now I’m on cruising altitude of FL310. When I’m flying over Schiphol or any controlled airspace would I need to contact them and request flight following to Heathrow.

I did this yesterday and I think the ATC misunderstood and he told me first to descend, then to make a 360 and lower my speed and when he told me to descent to 7000feet I recognized that he thought I wanna approach Heathrow.
I was able to continue the flight to Heathrow (it was just some waste time) and i was lucky to have calculated 30mins extra fuel.

Hope someone can help out here :D

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You do not need to tune into a controlled airspace you are not passing through. As you were above FL180, you were not in the Approach airspace, and definitely not in Tower’s. However, just make sure your flight plan has your destination airport (EGLL) as the final entry, rather than a waypoint.

Flight Following is requested far too often. If you are following a flight plan, if you are instructed by Tower to contact Approach or Departure frequency after takeoff, you basically just need to Check In, and then follow your flight plan unless given any other instructions by the controller.

This is assuming you are on Expert, where controllers know what they are doing.


you should contact approach at 18 thousand feet and usually they check your flight route, generally the airline planes have their route already planned, the flight tracking is for small airplanes that fly VFR and they need to guide them, if I am wrong that someone corrects me

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Alright thank you very much for that really detailed and helpful answer, I really appreciate it!
I will be Grade 3 after that flight so yeah I will give my best to keep everything professional!!!
And yeah I always have the airport as last “waypoint” in my flight plan ;-)

Alright also good to know that makes sense, thanks for your answer!

At FL310 you never will request flight following just check in.

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You didn’t tell us what server this was on, but I suspect it was on Training Server.

The EHAM Approach controller had no business contacting you and neither should you contact him, because (1) you’re out of Approach airspace and (2) you have a flight plan to London.

Other than that I subscribe to what Jon mentioned above: when with a flight plan, in the Approach airspace, just check-in. Flight following (to another destination) is also ok (only within the controllers airspace), but it’s more use in situations where you don’t have a flight plan (someone correct me if I say this wrong). Airliners with flight plan under IFR just check-in


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