We (my company) are using FlightXML to query past, active and (where available) future flights for tails that we service. In some tails, we are finding more than one “active” flight (that is, “now” is between the actualdeparturetime and the actualarrivaltime is not yet set) per tail, implying that the aircraft in question is in more than one place at a time.

In retrieving the data on specific flights for a tail, a great deal of them do not line up with what is presented on the FlightAware website. In those flights, the faFlightID often contains “schedule” as the third segment where the legitimate flights seem to contain “airline” in that segment. I now note that there are a number of different values in that third segment from “airline”, “schedule”, “adhoc”, “fds”, “ed”, or an integer value between one and three characters. Which of these are valid flights and valid flight details?


The keyword and numbers within the faFlightID are internal artifacts related to the initial datasource for the flight, but you should not draw any particular conclusions about the flight from it otherwise.

In some rare cases we may receive conflicting information about a flight that may cause us to believe that it has departed even though one is already in the air, particularly when one of our datasources has sent us departure information that differs significantly from the instance that is already departed.

If you find this occurring regularly, let us know some faFlightID examples and we can investigate the cause.