Tracking a flight's COMPLETE history

Dec 26th, 2008, 10:27 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 17
Tracking a flight's COMPLETE history

So I am on flight 557 from Chicago to LAX tomorrow, it leaves at 4:30 pm. I can track flight 557 a number of ways - but what I want to know is "where does this airplane spend its day". So it might be flight 1234 in the morning from point A to B, then turn into flight 4567 in the early afternoon, and finally it comes my flight, flight 557. Is there anyway to know the complete routing of this plane, so that I can better predict if it's likely to be delayed? I've registered now on, which is cool, but it doesn't quite have this info. Anything else anyone uses?
karenkr is offline  
Dec 26th, 2008, 10:32 AM
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Did you call the airline?

That would be my first plan of attack.
GoTravel is offline  
Dec 26th, 2008, 10:32 AM
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I think that would be really useful. The only way I have been able to do anything close to that is by matching gate numbers - but that only tkaes care of leg immediately prior to mine.

If that is not clear - what I did with dtrs flight RDU-BOS last week. I knew she was leaving from gate C16. So I then went to arrival info at RDU and looked for what plane was landing when at gate C16 - I was then able to determine that the equipment was going to be 2 hours late from JFK.

This only works for smaller airports and gets messed up when gates change. I hope someone knows of a site that does what you suggest, because it would be very useful.
gail is offline  
Dec 26th, 2008, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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The airline will have the info, but a regular phone agent may not even give it to you.

For tracking flights coming into a large hub like AA's at ORD, you may try to find which gate today or yesterday's AA 557 depart from through or Then switch to the "arrival" page on for the time period probably around 3pm and see which flight arrives at that same gate (and make sure the aircraft type matches).

On Continental, that information of where the plane is coming from is on its Flight Status page.
rkkwan is offline  
Dec 26th, 2008, 11:25 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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For example. For today 12/26, AA557 is scheduled to depart from ORD T3 gate H14. By checking, I can find that there's AA1438 coming from SAN that's scheduled to arrive 3:35p, but is now 16 minutes late, 3:51p. The aircraft type matches - MD83.

Now, looking at yesterday 12/25, AA557 departed from T3 gate K1. Turned out it was again AA1438 from SAN. It was over half an hour early yesterday, arriving at 3:01p.

However, tomorrow is Saturday, and flight schedule and utilization can be quite different from weekday. If you have checked last Saturday and Sunday, you may have a better glimpse whether it was also 1438 from SAN.
rkkwan is offline  
Dec 26th, 2008, 11:28 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Let me add two things:

1. You can use the same method to track which flight the aircraft operated into SAN prior to 1438.

2. You cannot rely on the information you found out totally. At a hub like ORD, AA can easily switch aircraft and gate, so say tomorrow's 1438 is 2 hours late, but AA can easily substitute a different aircraft and/or at another gate to operate 557 on-time.
rkkwan is offline  
Dec 26th, 2008, 12:10 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 17
I used the suggestion to check on what flights arrived at the gate right before my flight using flightstats. I looked at when flight 557 was leaving and from what gate, then went back to arrivals to see what flight arrived at that same gate, which was flight 1438. It is the same plane type. Over the both two days, flight 1438 landed at the same gate that flight 557 took off from.

So thanks! Info really helps
karenkr is offline  
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