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Online Flight Tracking Questions  
User currently offlinevarigb707 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (5 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3664 times:

How accurate are the online flight tracking (flightview; flightaware) versus he airlines' flight and gate info on their website?

I noticed that some of the airlines website will report a different arrival time from Flightview or flightaware (without mentioning names). What gives?

Which one is the most accurate? Just wondering.   

[Edited 2010-09-08 06:34:39]

2 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently onlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7885 posts, RR: 32
Reply 1, posted (5 years 8 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3579 times:

I think you are comparing apples to sweet potatoes.

Airline arrival and departure times are usually pushback to gate arrival.

On-line tracking arrival and departure times are usually take off and landing.

I know in the US airline 'on-time' departures mean the plane departs the gate on time, not that leaving the airport on time.

User currently offlinedartland From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 646 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (5 years 8 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 3520 times:
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Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 1):
I think you are comparing apples to sweet potatoes.


Before take-off, the airline has the best estimate (not that it isn't often wrong, but the FAA data is irrelevant for the most part). Sometimes you'll see the FAA flight plan data show a delayed take-off time before departure due to a ground delay program or ground stop, but that isn't consistent (although worth checking).

Once the plane is in the air, Flightaware / Flightview / et al use ASDI data from the FAA to place it. It's expected landing time (wheels down) is generally a pretty good estimate at that point. The airline arrival time should be a few minutes after that to account for taxiing. If it's not, I'd trust the FAA data over the airline data.

Hope that helps.

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