I was watching Hawaiian Airlines flight 36 from Honolulu to Phoenix last week. Each day, flightaware.com reported it landing almost an hour early. My brother was flying that flight last Friday so I was interested in how the timing would work. I checked flightaware.com at 10:00 pm MST on Friday to see how the flight was progressing and it reported that the flight landed at around 9:30. Looking at the flight log, however, showed that the flight was still at FL390. He actually landed almost on time around 10:40.
So why the big discrepency?
I don’t think this problem is such a rarity. However, it is little noticed because most people don’t view the actual flight track log. For instance, AAL2442 (KLAX/KDFW) is shown to arrive at 4:27 PM today, but its track continues to 4:32.
On the other hand, you have to check your own time display preferences. The track log of a flight from KLAX to KDEN looks really messed up. Departure looks two hours later and arrival one hour later on the log than on the reported arrival/departure times. I believe that’s because arrivals and departures are shown as local times (PST and MST), but the track is in CST because my preference is times in CST. It’s a minor thing, but enough to trip you up if you’re not aware.
and it reported that the flight landed at around 9:30. Looking at the flight log, however, showed that the flight was still at FL390. He actually landed almost on time around 10:40.
Check to see whether the discrepancy is due to your time zone reporting preference.
My times are all set for MST. It is the first time I’ve noticed that a flight was actually still in the air when it reported it having arrived almost a half an hour prior. I also noticed that there is some period of time that the flight from Hawaii are not updated while over water. It isn’t exactly when they are out of an actual ATC radar though, because that would be a much larger chunk of the time over water.