FlightAware Discussions

Inaccurate aircraft registrations

I have seen an increase in inaccurate aircraft registrations lately. It’s across multiple airlines, including Delta, Southwest, and Frontier from what I’ve seen so far.

One example is FFT1707 PHL-CVG today. FA is showing it is N353FR, but it really being operated with N337FR. I just witnessed it with my own eyes push off the gate. This is only one of many examples.

FlightStats is showing the correct info. I’m tempted to move my data feed needs to their service.

Here’s another one: FFT1651. Currently showing on FA as aircraft N233FR. (See screenshot). But FlightStats the correct aircraft, and even a timestamp of when it changed earlier today.

Another example, to show that it’s not just Frontier giving bad data or something…



And then when you click on the the aircraft reg N8602F, you see the the aircraft is currently at 30,000 feet above Iowa, heading to the west coast (i.e. not coming to PHL today).

Once again, FS shows the correct reg and even when it had changed over an hour ago.

I’ve investigated all three of those cases and we eventually received and reported the correct aircraft registration shortly before the flight actually departed. However, I acknowledge that there were several hours prior to departure that the registration of an aircraft not ultimately used for the flight was listed. Unfortunately, we are limited to the information we have available at the time and different providers have different indirect data relationships that can vary in their timeliness.

We are always working to improve our data coverage by adding additional providers, so expect data quality to change over time. Regardless, these types of reports are useful as they help us to identify areas where our current data providers are lacking. Thanks.