FlightAware Discussions

Scheduled Departure/Arrival Time Not Matching Flight Plan

I’m curious how FlightAware determines the “Scheduled Departure” and “Scheduled Arrival” times based on the flight plan that I file. I’m seeing discrepancies between what I file and what shows up, especially with regard to the ETE. For instance:

I filed for a 12:00 departure with ETE of 2hrs 50min
It showed up in FlightAware as “12:00 Scheduled Departure” but then in green estimated that it would really be 12:10 and had the “Scheduled Arrival Time” as 2:36. That’s 14 minutes BEFORE the ETE I filed.

I filed for a 7:00 departure with ETE of 2hrs 13min
It showed up in FlightAware as “7:00 Scheduled Departure” but had the “Scheduled Arrival Time” as 9:07. That’s 6 minutes BEFORE the ETE I filed.

I filed for a 9:40 departure with ETE of 1hrs 57min
It showed up in FlightAware as “9:40 Scheduled Departure” but had the “Scheduled Arrival Time” as 11:45. That’s 8 minutes AFTER the ETE I filed.

What logic is used to create the “Scheduled Arrival Time” and why does it estimate that I will take off 10 minutes late long before my scheduled takeoff time? When I file my flight plan, the departure time is the estimated wheels up time and the ETE extends to my estimated wheels down time. How is FlightAware using this data and producing unpredictable results? Thanks for the help.

stunink, sorry for this confusion.

We post the actual scheduled times as well as our own estimated times. Our estimated departure and arrival times as the “wheels up” and “wheels down” times.

You can read further about our departure and arrival times here:


I read the FAQ before posting and am still confused. I put the “wheels up” time on the flight plan when I file it. I also put the ETE and therefore the ETA, “wheels down.” Are you saying that FlightAware ignores the ETA from the flight plan and you calculate your own new ETE? Even if that’s true, why would you estimate that I would leave 10 minutes late over and hour before my filed departure time? Just trying to understand. Thanks for the help.

To summarize, I would think that the “Scheduled Departure” and “Scheduled Arrival” times listed in Fligtaware would match what is on the flight plan, that being “wheels up” to “wheels down”. This is not what is happening right now.

As for estimated times, I would think that when the plane finally takes off, that would become the new “wheels up” departure time and the new estimated arrival would be the actual departure plus the ETE from the flight plan. That also is not happening.

And…there should be no way that the estimated departure would be updated long before I take off. Does that make sense?

Can you provide an example flight identifier?

The 12:10 departure estimate before you depart is from ETMS, the FAA’s Enhanced Traffic Management System.

The arrival times are probably also estimates from ETMS, which are updated both pre-departure and throughout your flight.

Here’s and example:

flightaware.com/live/flight/N121 … /KTOP/KGGG

The times on the flight plan filed via Fltplan.com were 12:00 departure with ETA of 2:50.

Where did the “Scheduled” arrival time of 2:36 come from on flightaware?

In that case we got the ETMS message with the 0236 ETE (their estimate) before we got the original flightplan with the 0250 ETE, so the 0236 was used as the filed time.