FlightAware Discussions

Flight Alerts are broken


Why are alerts not emailed out as soon as a FPL is filed? I have collected a large amount of evidence that alerts for filed FPLs are not sent out until close to the time the plane was planned to leave, even when when manually keying in the FPL ID the flight has been filed for often in excess of 12 hours or even 24 hours in some cases. My alerts are configured to email when a FPL is filed so why are they not being sent out?


Bump. :frowning_face:


Hi there,
Alerts are emailed out when the actual flight plan is filed. That is usually a few minutes to a few hours before the scheduled departure. Flight schedules come out much earlier than flight plans, but we don’t alert on those.
Hope that helps.


No, it doesn’t help. These are not scheduled departures or RFLs. They are delivery flights for the most part, with a unique one off callsign. I see them filed in the NOP system at Eurocontrol often 12 to 24 hours before they are due to depart so a FPL has been filed otherwise it wouldn’t be showing in the NOP. FA also shows the filed FPL but even though it shows in the scheduled departures list for the airport, no email alert is sent out to me until an hour or two before it’s due to depart. Why? Why are you not sending out the alert email as soon as the FPL is filed and received in your system from Eurocontrol or the FAA? If a user has alerts set up for when a FPL is filed then I should be receiving an email when then happens otherwise there’s no point in you offering the feature if you’re not going to use it. I should not need to load the airport’s scheduled departures flight list each time I want to see if a specific FPL has been filed should I ?


Hey Rob,
Could you give some specific examples that we can look through? We’d love to get to the bottom of this for you so you aren’t so inconvenienced by it.


Here’s one. I have an alert for KPAE departures (incl planned) and ATYP/B763. The above flight is already filed with the FAA to depart on delivery to IND tomorrow but no alert received.


The FDX FPL above which has been filed for OVER 24 HOURS has just arrived in my inbox at 1807z fyi. :roll_eyes:


Mmh, not sure but maybe the flight plan is actually filed twice? Once for general approval and the second close to departure when payload, wether, passengers etc is really known?


The flight plan information before the time of alert appears to be early intent/scheduled plans that may include waypoint and estimated time information. The alert is sent at the time the scheduled plan is made “active” by the FAA and is then considered a filed plan with complete route information.

Filed alerts for plans received from Eurocontrol will not be used for alerts unless the receiving user is known to be operationally involved with the flight.

Scheduled flightplan information may be visible on FlightAware’s site and services. However, the alert will only trigger for a filed flightplan. Is there another information source that indicates the flightplan is filed and not early intent information well in advance of when the alert is received?


@ dogrock :

My comments about the Eurocontrol FPLs were because delivery flights to Etihad, Emirates, Ethiopian (for example) show as OFFICIALLY filed (not just “scheduled”) typically at least 6 hours before their planned departure time. This data matches with what you show in your scheduled departure listing for the departure airport, presumably because you’ve received that info from the FAA ASDI feed as the FPL would have been filed with multiple centers along its route of flight all at the same time.

The point is that this is clear evidence of a FPL being filed, yet your system is not sending out email notification of filed FPLs which is an option that you offer. Your comments that the alert would only get sent out once the FPL is active is just a nonsense. What is the point of that? When the FPL becomes “active” in the way you’re talking about, that is the point when the plane is talking with ATC to pick up his IFR clearance. I know this because Eurocontrol show the same thing as there is a time stamp in the FPL ops log “ATC - activated” when this takes place. This would also go a long way in explaining why I get “a FPL has been filed” alerts for delivery flights as the plane is taxying to the runway, followed by a “x has departed y airport” alert literally 2 minutes later. :roll_eyes:

Regardless of semantics over what you deem to be a filed FPL and a scheduled FPL, can’t you just set your system to send out an alert as soon as you receive the information about the planned departure time? My point still stands that I shouldn’t have to go rummaging through the long list of scheduled departures to find out the planned departure time when I specifically have my alerts set to alert me for advanced info on specific flights. If any of those specific flights feature in your online scheduled departures listing for the airport in question then I should be receiving an email notification for it, do you not agree?

In years gone by your system for filed FPLs used to work perfectly well. I remember times when the Chinese 737 deliveries to Honolulu would all have filed FPL alerts sitting in my email box before lunchtime (UK time) with planned departure times typically 4-5pm my time (8-9am Seattle), so at least 4 hours prior notification which is about what you would expect a filed FPL lead time to be, but since this past year or two the alerts saying ‘a FPL has been filed’ often arrive AFTER the flight has departed (!) and often after the departure email alert as well!

In short : your planned departure alert system simply doesn’t work and I would like it fixing please!


Is admin going to address this then?


Over the last two weeks FPL filing alerts matching those configured on your account have been generated and sent an average of 2hrs 20 minutes before departure occurs. Some of them are filed well in advance (4 hours+) while others may be under an hour. In the case of ad-hoc flights both a departure and filing may be generated at nearly the same time since the flight was discovered in air.

How early an FPL is made is a function of the airline or pilot’s practices. The FA practices for generating and sending alerts has not been changed. We don’t generate alerts based off of early intent information, only the actual filing action.