Stack OverflowWeb-based flight status API
[+67] [6] Bharanikumar
[2010-05-24 06:04:09]
[ xml api ]

Is there any free API/xml feed to check flight status?

For example, flight number, date to track flight, expected time, delayed, canceled, and other details.

I removed the PHP and iPhone tags, since they don't have anything to do with this question. - Alex Reynolds
ok. but i dont think i added iphone tag - Bharanikumar
Am not sure , may be am wrong ,in google when we type DL03 then the first result is DL03 flight status , so with the help of google search api , is it possible to get the flight status , - Bharanikumar
have you got success in that? - sam_k
[+30] [2010-05-24 17:59:23] Maxim Zaslavsky

After some searching, I haven't found any free APIs out there for this. FlightWise [1], FlightStats [2] and FlightAware [3] are commercial ones, though the data that airlines provide is free (in using these services, you would be paying for their developers to maintain a queryable API that wraps the airline data).

However, you're looking for a free API. While there aren't any available currently, you can create your own by taking a scraping approach. Here are some of the sites that you might consider scraping (which one you should choose depends on how much info do you need about flights):

  • Google Search: Google lists the most basic information about a flight at the top of search results. For example, if you search for AA 589 [4], you get the following:

Track status of AA 589 from Richmond (RIC) to Dallas (DFW):

24 May 2010 - On schedule; Departed: 1:20 PM, Estimated arrival: 3:24 PM (

  • FlightStats / FlightWise / FlightAware: You can find a lot of info there (take a look at AA 589's page [5], for example, to see if this has all the information you need).
  • The sites of different airlines: this is essentially what FlightWise/FlightStats/FlightAware do. You can find a lot of information about a certain flight here, but there's a lot of airlines, so this might take some time to develop. However, if you do take this option, you should consider releasing your API as open-source, as developers are currently lacking a free API for these essential functions.

Note that Google and the various commercial services probably have sophisticated anti-scraping measures (particularly Google), so this may not be a viable option.

Hope I helped!


What John said is true, but OP is looking for a free API. Thus, I suggested that he create one himself, as in screen-scraping the sites of different airlines. He'd have to maintain it, though. - Maxim Zaslavsky
Edited my answer in relation to my latest response to John's comments (in @coneybeare's answer). - Maxim Zaslavsky
is it legal to screen scrap for getting flight details? - Satish
(10) Their terms of use states: Conducive grants you a license to view the Contents on the publicly accessible areas of the Site. This **license does not include the right to screen scrape**, reproduce, distribute, broadcast, modify, or otherwise commercially exploit any of the Contents, except that reproduction incidental to your use of the Site **in accordance with these Terms is permitted**. So it's a gray area... but I'm only a 13-year-old; you should consult a real lawyer instead. :) - Maxim Zaslavsky
(1) Don't try to scrap to get data for any COMMERCIAL applications :) - Kostiantyn Sokolinskyi
[+11] [2010-05-24 06:29:15] coneybeare [ACCEPTED]

First results on Google:

Google even uses flightstats to pull info for the top hit.

alt text

+1 for FlightWise. Looks very interesting. - Henric Edwards
(3) Sorry , am not sure, but i thing...the above first link is paid services, second and third are not giving any api, we should go to that site and then enter the flight details to check the status, am looking api , like i will pass flight number , for that i result should be like delayed 20 min , unavailable like (But this is what i expected...) if any thing wrong guide me ... - Bharanikumar
(2) The second points to flightstats, an API - coneybeare
(4) ...eventually points to which is the home for FlightStats' APIs. - richsage
Indeed, flighwise has a per-transaction fee. FlightStats does seem to have an option to get access to the API through a non-commercial agreement with them, but you have to get a free evaluation account first and then ask them if you qualify for the non-commercial account. If you're a student you should also be able to get a non-commercial account from them. - Henric Edwards
Hi Am Looking only free api..not an purchase one... - Bharanikumar
The second link is, flightstats development center is paid service... can u please confirm it, its free one or paid service one... - Bharanikumar
It seems that FlightStats offers a free evaluation period and then requires you to purchase the API. I don't think this is a good option, because you shouldn't have to pay for something as essential as this. - Maxim Zaslavsky
(7) @Maxim: "you shouldn't have to pay for something as essential as this"? If it's essential, then you probably want it to be maintained. Who will pay the developers who maintain it? - John Saunders
@John: true, but OP is looking for a free API. Thus, I suggest that he create one himself, as in screen-scraping the sites of different airlines. He'd have to maintain it himself, though. - Maxim Zaslavsky
@Maxim: what does that have to do with your assertion that 1) this is an essential function, and 2) one shouldn't have to pay for it? - John Saunders
@John: I think I didn't quite phrase my words right. What I meant was that in using FlightStats or a similar API, you are, in fact, paying for that service's developers to maintain a queryable API that uses the data that airlines release to the public. However, the OP is looking for a free API, so I suggested that he scrape the data that airlines release himself, though, once again, he'd have to maintain it himself. In regards to my earlier comments, I feel that you should pay for the service that those FlightStats developers provide, but you can alternatively use the data yourself for free. - Maxim Zaslavsky
(1) Just tried it doesn't know flight KL1385 of KLM in Europe. On the other hand UA567 yields IAD-SFO flight. The simple test shows that it might be reliably used only for US flights. - Kostiantyn Sokolinskyi
@coneybeare Any free api to check Flight Status ? - sam_k
[+7] [2011-11-18 11:36:22] Kostiantyn Sokolinskyi

No free opportunities unfortunately unless you scrap web results of one of the paid services. With our experience when you start scrapping web results you are promptly spotted. The web site might continue to give you web results but with a rather long lag e.g. 10 secs. This can be OK for the development stage but is too much for production.

We are using API. They are the cheapest data provider we found. If you make up to 10K queries per month (we use tire 3 of FlightAware API) you pay only $0.002 for a query. With more queries a fee for a single query decreases.

FlightAware has excellent coverage of US flights (including non-passenger) but European and especially Asian sectors are missing a lot of flights. Our statistics shows that we have 35% of searched flights not found by Flightaware for 60% of our customers (Europe & Asia). This is rather dissatisfying and we plan to employ FlightStats API for flights not found by FlightAware. Unfortunately each query to FlightStats will cost us triple of FlightAware.‌​l just a bit more detailed analysis - Kostiantyn Sokolinskyi
[+7] [2012-12-31 10:31:19] user1107412

With some hacking around, I found this: It is not official, so I do not what FlightRadar's stance towards its use will be, but seems to be giving an accurate feed

(1) Note that flightradar24 only provides information for aircraft with ADS-B (for areas not covered by the FAA feed). - Greg Hewgill
[+1] [2011-09-09 15:06:53] andufo
(2) Bing are discontinuing the InstantAnswer source type that this relies on unfortunately. - Gareth Saul
Crap... I was already implementing something with that API. Is there an official post about that? - andufo
[+1] [2011-12-27 21:23:44] bernardw

You can get the raw data from FAA apparently, but it's going to cost you an arm and a leg, and they have an annual inspection, server requirements, etc. imho, it is quite ironic, since all the data lands on a webpage anyway.