KELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6147 posts, RR: 4 Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3099 times:
If you are a non-airline employee, you don't Unless you have a friend at the airline (who's in a position where they have access to the info and are willing to break some rules for you...).
EDIT: another way to know, in advance, is to have spotters at the originating station message you on what tail number is flying your flight (assuming that the flight is a) a continuation and b) nothing happens which necessitates an aircraft change where you are boarding).
[Edited 2011-06-16 13:34:04]
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
hal9213 From Germany, joined May 2009, 302 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2970 times:
For places, where live websites like flightradar24.com are covered, I sometimes check at the originating airport right after takeoff (or later on route).
It can actually be useful information, as it often answered my question, wether I should get a seat upgrade, bring extra entertainment, or even a seat change, especially if thats an airline flying different configurations or making occasional aircraft changes on the route.
AmericanAirFan From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 407 posts, RR: 3 Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2915 times:
I have no clue of how to figure that out in advance. However, I always figure out when I get there I take note of the N# by taking a photo of the aircraft before I board. Also there is a website you can check but the data is some months old before it is available to be looked at (In the U.S. at least...). Also I believe the registration is displayed as you enter the aircraft. I know I've seen it a few times.
"American 1881 Cleared For Takeoff One Seven Left"