I remember going plane spotting without anything except the essentials - camera and scanner.
Quite simply no phone or internet connectivity to "see" where the plane was.
You would check the forum before you left home in the morning to see if there were reports of the aircraft departing or check the schedule on the local airport for the aircraft arrival if they displayed it. If there was nothing on either of those sources, you went out to the airport. You took a chance. It didn't matter.
It was part of the deal with planespotting.
You'd be standing out there gas bagging away with other spotters, eyes to sky, half an ear tuned into the scanner for the foreign accent or non standard call sign. The occasional glance around the horizon with the binoculars to see if you could see the aircraft descending for the airport.
When I catch that glimp of aircraft on the horizon or hear it on the scanner for the first time, it's a mix between excitement and relief.
Excited that its coming finally and relief that I haven't come out for nothing.
Nothing's a sure thing until you see the aircraft on the horizon turning on for finals.
I'm not disappointed if the aircraft doesn't arrive, I remind myself that that's plane spotting.
Every time I pull out Flightradar24 I remind myself how lucky I am and take a quick second to remember the good ol' days.