Setting a Flight Alert with Departure Code and Flight Number


Hi -

I’m looking at moving to the FlightAware API from another flight data provider (who shall not be named!) and one of the big aspects of the platform I’m interested in are the push alerts.

I have a couple of questions, but the main question is around SetAlert. Based on the documentation, it looks like setting an alert for a specific flight originating from a specific airport, is not possible without running an additional query first to pull back the faFlightID for the flight we want to set. Am I correct, or is there a way now to set an alert using an operator code, departure code, date, and flight number?

Also, I know this next question is a broad one, but assuming a very normal, non-delayed flight, do you have a sense for the average number of Alerts that would get generated, assuming we would want the standard channels (pre-departure, departed, arrival, delayed, gate changes, etc)?

Thanks again for any info you can provide. I’ve been The API looks really great and I’ve always been a huge fan of and I’m actually sending ADS-B data as well using PiAware.



In your usage scenario, SetAlert would need to be called with just the “ident”, “date_start”, “date_end”, and “origin” arguments. The “ident” argument is the airline operator code plus the flight number, for commercial flights. (SetAlert does not support using faFlightID for defining the flight, in fact.)

For a typical commercial flight, I would expect between 3 and 8 alerts, depending on various aspects of the flight. If there are multiple changes to the flight’s departure/arrival time or gate information, then there might be more alerts generated.


Excellent! Thank you for this response, it is exactly the information I was looking for. I’ll dig deeper into the API but it looks like a great solution. I apprecaite it!



Just a quick follow-up. I’ve been looking through the docs and have one more question about the available alert types. The documentation lists: e_filed e_departure e_arrival e_diverted e_cancelled

You mentioned changes to departure/arrival times. Are those included as well? Also, is there a way to set a pre-departure alert? For example, set DL84 to send an alert 120 mins prior to departure with whatever data is currently available for the flight?

Thanks again!


Typically the e_filed alerts will cause you to receive notification of the flightplan being filed with ATC an hour or two before actual flight departure, though it depends on when the flight crew actually performs this step and whether the flight is departing from one of our primary coverage areas (where we get flightplan data).


Fantastic. Now I’m really excited to get to using the API. It seems like an excellent fit, so I’m going to start running some tests. Thanks again for being so attentive and quickly answering my questions. I really appreciate it!



Hi again - I’ve set up a few alerts to monitor the type of data returned in the json. So far I’ve been unlucky because all the flights have only sent me filed, departure, or arrival alerts. The gate appears to have been set a while back and I haven’t been lucky enough to find one that changed.

Do you know the node name or better yet, have a sample or real json for what a change alert would look like with a gate change or assignment?



It will have values similar to the following:

eventcode   | change
summary     | AAL2388 flight information has changed
short_desc  | American Airlines #2388 flight information has changed
            |   Departure Gate is now C8
long_desc   | American Airlines #2388 flight information has changed
            |   Departure Gate is now C8
            | Flight Status: Scheduled
            | Departure:
            |   Dallas/Fort Worth Intl (KDFW)
            |   Fri 06-Mar-2015 09:35PM CST
            |   Terminal C, Gate C8
            | Arrival:
            |   Albuquerque Intl Sunport (KABQ)
            |   Fri 06-Mar-2015 10:06PM MST


Hmmm, ok. So I’ll need to do a little regex to pull the gate from the description instead of having it available within an attribute/value pair.

Thanks for the response. By the way, I’ve seen some references to FlightXML 3… any news on when that might be publically available?