Flight was added to Final Fantasy XIV in the Heavenward Expansion. A Black Chocobo mount and an Aether Compass is awarded from a Main Scenario quest called “Divine Intervention” shortly after you reach Ishgard. Unlike Wow, flight does not cost game currency. You do a quest, get a mount and a compass, and then just travel around in the area to find Aether Currents and do some key quests that give you extra “Currents”.
FFXIV has apparently changed how flight works along the way. Some posts or wiki pages indicate that your “Company Chocobo” can fly too, although mine cannot. I’ll have to see whether a later quest or something unlocks that. Presumably nothing else has to happen for flying mounts from the Mog Store. I’m not psyched on Mog Store Mounts since they are pricey and are not account wide, but only for one character.
But the good news is that Flight is Cheap and Easy in FFXIV, unlike Wow where it costs a lot of currency to fly – currency for a flight skill at each level and currency to buy a mount. And it’s easy to fly in FFXIV, unlike Aion, where the flight controls are inconvenient in the extreme. In FFXIV the default is use SPACE to take off and then aim your bird with the mouse and use Motion [ WASD ] keys to move in the direction you like. Flight is fast out of the box. To land, just aim down to the ground and when the mounts feet touch the ground, you land. Simple. No funny keys to land. You can hover easily. Just let up on motion keys. Unlike Aion, GW2 and Tera, flight “Energy” does not run out. So if you need to fly across the map, you can. Unlocking flight in an area requires visiting 10 “Aether Currents” and doing Five special quests. Apparently one of the zones takes less than this normal number. One of the quests in the first area involves the first Heavensward Dungeon Duty. But it’s not that hard.
The only odd thing is that the Aether Compass remains in your “Key Items Bag Storage” which is an area reserved for Quest items. Odd. I’m not clear why the Aether Compass just doesn’t unlock a Skill in General like “Dyeing” or “Glamour”. They are careful to say if you lose the compass there is a fellow that has another. It’s not possible to lose Dyeing, so why the compass? I just dragged the compass from the key items bag section to my hot bar so it was easily available and the good news is that it has a very short cool-down, so you can use it frequently. See it below on the Ctrl-0 key?
This wiki page has details of the quests and Aether Current locations for each zone. The thing missing though is a map of each zone with the Aether Currents marked so you can pick them up efficiently as you start the zone. When I take my next Alt through each area, I’ll capture the locations and make a map of the area with the locations so you can easily plan a trip around the area to pick them all up. Location numbers and messages from the Aether Compass like “184 yarms North East” is not all that useful. Possible but not as easy as it can be.
Wow has an ethic that you need to do a lot of work in the zone before you can fly there, at least for the first character in the account. For FFXIV, there is no account wide benefit for flight, but no steep learning curve either. Compare visiting 10 places and doing five quests to the work required to unlock flight in Wow Draenor, for example. Draenor Flight requires visiting literally a hundred places for a Treasure Hunter achievement, and doing a pile of quests and unlocking an advanced reputation with several factions. Yep, I’ve done that, and it takes more than a week in Wow, not a couple of hours in one afternoon.