Sorry in advance for how long this post is but.... this post is spurred by two events that happened to two separate friends within the last few weeks--both of which are student pilots. One event the pilot had flight following and the next event they had a flight plan open. I think these two scenarios show the pros and cons of flight plans and flight following. I'm curious what you all see as the pros and cons of plan/following and which one you all prefer--if not both. I'm also surprised that in event one (an aircraft that obviously deviated from its original destination and was squawking 7700) the pilot/school was never contacted by air traffic control to ensure a safe landing. Is this SOP for ATC or did someone just drop the ball on this? Event 1: A friend was doing his first solo XC flight and he had picked up flight following. On his way back, just outside of the Bravo, he had an alternator failure and lost comms and GPS. Although he was already cleared through the bravo, he decided to turn around, squawk 7700, and land at a non-towered airport that wasn't his original destination. What's surprising to me is that ATC never contacted the flight school, him, or anyone else to attempt to make sure he landed safely. Props to him for making some smart decisions on his first solo XC though. Event 2: A friend was doing her second XC flight with an instructor and she had a VFR flight plan open. On her way back, she forgot to get cleared through the Bravo--obviously, the instructor caught it and picked up the clearance prior to it becoming an issue, but I was surprised she didn't have flight following, which would have very likely have prevented busting if both would have forgotten.