Getting Started Guide


Hi guys -

I’m hoping you can point me in the right direction. The Getting Started link on the website takes me to: but that’s not what I was expecting.

That page provides code samples and links to both documentation and FAQ’s. The API is very clean and easy to use, but what I really need is a good “Getting Started Guide”. For example, I want to be able to monitor a simple roundtrip itinerary (ORD - ATL - ORD). What methods should I be calling? The FAQ doesn’t touch on this and the various methods in the documentation do a great job explaining the parameters required but not the proper order that they should be called.

I have been approaching this in a trial and error fashion (hoping to avoid this approach). What methods should I be using and what tips do I need to know? For example, I come from the IATA world so I have a lookup table that translates ATL to KATL. When I request a flight and enter in a flight time, does it have to be in local time, UTC, etc? How far out can I register a flight?

Here’s a more specific example: When I ask for the DAL (KTLH-KATL) schedule on 2014-02-04, I get an ident of DAL5493 with a departuretime of 1391510400 on one of the results, but when I subsequently call the GetFlightID method using these two parameters, I get an error that the flight is not found.

[ident] => DAL5493
[departureTime] => 1391510400
– Gives Me –
[faultstring] => flight not found

What is the correct way to do this?

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!



Flights are not actually trackable until usually a few hours (sometimes up to 2 days) prior to departure. Your DAL flight scheduled on 2014-02-04 is still 2 weeks in the future, so you cannot track it yet.

However, you can create a FlightXML flight alert based on your search criteria (ident, origin, destination) to receive a pushed notification when the flight plan is filed (or any other activity). Once the flight plan has been filed (you can use the other FlightXML APIs on it and access its faFlightID).


I’m also a new user and have had the same experience as @jdyken. Unlike him, I have no prior experience with flight data.

While the docs are great - a proper Getting Started Guide or Tutorial would be much welcomed and possibly prevent new developers from looking for other APIs in frustration.

Simple notes like whether dates should be UTC or the endpoint address should be URI encoded would be a great start.

A description of the process for typical use cases would be extremely helpful. For example, I want my system to display the most up to date information for a flight my client has booked:

  1. With ident and departure, call AirlineFlightSchedules to get initial data
  2. If departure < 24 hours from now, call FlightInfo and capture faFlightID and other data
  3. To receive updates, call SetAlert using departure for start and end dates, after RegisterAlertEndpoint
  4. … etc

I’d love to help but I’m supposed to be building this app …