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(Video) CNBC discusses FlightAware vs airline data with JetBlue COO, FlightAware CEO

CNBC interviewed JetBlue and FlightAware this morning to discuss the differences between the data on and the data being received from FlightAware. ( More...

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The airlines have to be a little political in their presentation of info in order to try and retain customers where Flightaware can tell it like it is in real time, which is a bit of a different mission. Kinda like trying to get the real story out of the government. Lol
Ric Wernicke 5
The airlines have withheld truth about delays and outright lied when it looked like passengers might go to another carrier. The JetBlue Chief Obscureness Officer thinks we are all children and cannot make an intelligent decision with information presented honestly. JetBlue can lie to us, because it is in our best interest.

The airlines cannot be held to a schedule when weather is inclement, but if it appears that a three hour delay seems to be normal at the moment, they should broadcast that, with leave to amend the projection when the situation is fluid.

What really knocks the mustard off my hot dog is when I hear a mechanic on the company radio say he needs an hour and 15 minutes to service an aircraft and the company posts a 10 minute delay to keep all the passengers in the gate area.

FlightAware has shown itself a valuable asset to me many times by giving me accurate information when a flight arrives and what gate to collect passengers without looping the airport in the car.
dbaker 4
Video segment with JetBlue COO:
canuck44 4
A perfect example was an incident last summer when US Air was cancelling my flight out of YHZ stating that it was weather related at PHL. While they were stating this for the dumped passengers, I was looking at Phillie on Flightaware showing perfectly normal operations there and in fact was able to track my connecting flight to RSW launch, passage and arrival on time from ORD.

They will obviously have to organize re-indoctrination camps for the American employees to lower their standards to the level of US Air. /s
sparkie624 3
Excellent video... Great info. Even working in the airline industry in a Maintenance Controller Position, if I have a concern or interest in a plane I will track it with Flight Aware. Even though there is some delay, I can mentally adjust for that and work with it. FA is a great tool.
John Lehman 2
Interesting discussion. I still have (somewhere) a picture of the arrivals screen at ATL showing that our grandkid's flight had arrived -- on time -- an hour before. Tracking on FA showed it to be just touching down. Now I'm annoyed with myself for not sending ANOTHER letter pointing it out. Love FA for many reasons. Keep it up.
Dave Blevins 2
With all the automation now, there seems to be a bit of concern over the piloting abilities in commercial airlines. I wonder if this a trend in all facets of the industry. Passengers check the weather and tell the pilots HEY, we're good to go. This happens all the time now in Part 135 flying. Especially in helicopter emergency medical transports.
CloudSurfer89 1
Sounds just like when my mother tells me to check the weather before I fly because it's cloudy! None of us want passengers to think they are trained to make decisions about the flight.
ken young 2
There is a delicate balance.
If say for instance a customer looks in on flightaware and sees their flight is delayed by 90 mins and decides to make a side trip instead of going to the airport.
They arrive only to find they have missed their scheduled flight.
I think flightaware is a great tool but it's not to be used solo. I would recommend people check the airline website as well as the airport website to crosscheck information.
That's all.
glenn parker 2
On the other hand, FlightAware "real time" data is usually 10-20 minutes behind real time as to where the aircraft really is; and sometimes they show an aircraft on the ground when actually it has missed approach, in a holding pattern, etc.; the same time frame goes with departures. I guess it is closest to "real time" as they can effectively have. It seems to me that if they were tied into en-route radar, terminal radar, and their own stations the info would almost be instantaneous. But, I do like their product and observe a lot for fun and business!
The difference is they are presenting the facts as they get them, maybe with a glitch. The airlines are embellishing or lying. Take your pick of terminology.
sparkie624 1
It has to be delayed by a random factor. Don't want terrorist to know exactly where a specific a/c is located.
CloudSurfer89 1
They could just go buy a Stratus.
There are no more terrorists. The alphabets and big O got them all.
sparkie624 1
LOL, I think we do... Have you ever gone through TSA lately... They are pretty close.
John Jurik -2
They're doing neither.
Allow me to add, if I may, one other perception. And that is, being an employee of a corporation means, protect your job (culture), then, the extended hierarchy of decision making itself, and finally communicating those decisions. Is there a system in place where once a decision is made, it is communicated to those with a need to know?

A few years ago, I sat in CVG for 13 hours because of bad weather in BWI. In ten of those hours, I consulted FA for updated conditions and so forth. What I could not see of course was if we left right away, would a gate be available? Is there a downstream issue moving that aircraft to it's next destination (weather, servicing, outbound slots)? Was the outbound crew even in place? That's a lot going on. Yet, 13 hours was a bit excessive. And even as the folks at the gate kept telling us there was weather, according to FA, things were a bit behind at BWI, but not to rate that long a delay, then cancellation.

Back to my main themes, culture, hierarchy, communications. I am sure if folks at the airport were empowered, they would say or do things that would make Media Relations (also corporate law dept.) cringe and pull their hair (lower level employees don't see the "Big Picture" of regulations, FAA, costs, PC speak). So while Media Relations gets their way, the customers suffer.

I have always believed that those folks on the front lines, talking with customers, need to have all the latest information, and the ability to make decisions on a timely basis. Give them credit, many of them would surprise you if they were given the ability and freedom to take care of the customer. Sadly, in big corporations, there is great fear of letting an underling have 'power' like that.
ken young 2
Years ago carriers would offer compensation for just about any missed flight so as long as the passenger arrived to the airport and checked in on time.
Now carriers have gotten smart and eliminated bad weather as a reason for compensation. So now, any time the carrier sees a need to cancel a flight( most times it is because the flight did not fill or a crew was over their duty time allowed) they blame it on weather. The thinking is the odds of bad weather 'somewhere in US are pretty good. So the carriers get away with this crap.
John Jurik -4
Bzzzzt. Wrong.
CloudSurfer89 1
I almost missed my connection from KROC to KLGA earlier this year due to a weather delay. I received a text alert from the airline stating the flight was going to be delayed for another hour and a half due to weather (FlightAware updated 15 minutes afterward) so I decided to go see Lake Ontario since I was only up there for business 1 day. When I got to the airport the check-in counter informed me I would have to carry-on all my bags because the plane was leaving in 15 minutes so I rushed through security and luckily got the last seat on the plane (another guy was not so fortunate).

I've flown commercially several times (yet not in a couple years) and I'm also a pilot. I was embarrassed that I could make that mistake. I sure won't make it again! It would be helpful if the airlines put a note next to the "delayed departure time".

While I want to be informed about the flight (definitely loved the text updates), I can see how one person's mistake can cause a chink in the chain. Air travel is a very dynamic and complex operation. Today's streamlining of operations, advanced technology, and competition to deliver instant gratification has caused the general public to forget that fact. I believe there is a delicate balance to passenger awareness about every detail of the flight. There are situations I understand from a business perspective and others where an airline may be simply inconveniencing me just to save money.
David Stark 1
If you really need/want to know where aircraft are in real time, then you need to use a service that is crowdsourced and not dependent upon "official" information. If there is a discrepancy between FlightAware and, say, Flightradar24, then the FR24 data are probably correct.
Or best yet, contact with the person who's actually flying. :D

Bit of a side-story... I was to pick up a friend coming from KMCO to KLGA late on a weekend, ostensibly leaving KMCO (rounding the approximate times) roughly 20:00 to get here 21:00 or so, and it was a ~15min drive for me to KLGA. Anyway, right before I was about to leave, I get a call to say she still hadn't left yet, and was still in Florida!

Delay after delay after delay, she ends up leaving almost 01:00 or so, *lands* at KLGA roughly 02:00, and guess what? There's no parking! Not for me, but for the plane! All the gates were occupado, and they had to wait for a plane to be prepped and moved out before they could finally pull in and unload the pax and luggage!

I finally get a call about 03:00 or so, "We're pulling in!", so by the time I drive out there and pick her up, it's already 03:30 or so.

I didn't even bother checking FA or FR24, as I had someone there to report directly what was going on.
John Jurik 0
There's always the bus.
ken young 1
If it's less than a day, I drive.
The problem with public transportation is the PUBLIC. Much as I love planes and flying, driving is preferable to an airliner. of course flying yourself is when travel is best.
John Jurik 1
That's exactly it. When a passenger flies, it's all about him or her and no else. If they're not getting a 3 course meal, satellite TV, a first class seat, and free booze for $99 round trip then they feel screwed.

The public wants Cadillac service at Yugo prices and they feel they're entitled to it.

They're not and they need to get over it. There a rules when you go flying that take others into consideration. If you don't like it, take the bus or train.
The airlines as a whole do a good job. It's that percentage of ignorant people coupled with the airport hassle that conspire to negate any great service the airline may render. I have never been bothered by weather,maintanence or screwup delays. No matter how the airline spins it, if they aren't ready to fly I'm not ready to fly. Traveling in my own vehicle or plane and on my own schedule is just something public transportation can't match though (even with free jack Daniels).
John Jurik -1
And you're the first one to cry when the mechanic finishes early and the flight departs ahead of the delay while you're sitting at the bar.
Never cried over missing a flight, only whine a little over having to take one in the first place.
John Jurik -1
Greyhound it then.
Dave Blevins -3
I think most of us loathe the political crap that is spewed forth from so-called "news media". Most of them are very leftist in their political views, and the things that come out of their mouths are most vile. We have extremely poor "leadership" (if you could call it that), in government as well, so this will most likely not stop anytime soon. But now that the LIAR - in - CHIEF has spoken his crap for 5 years, maybe some of them are actually worried about their jobs. I certainly hope so. Unfortunately, the airline industry has some of these morons also in it's hierarchy.


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