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My friend was saying I should stop using unofficial apps or sites to track flights as they could be wrong but don't the official site and the numerous flight tracking sites get the tracking info from the same place? In a tracking app I was looking closely at on my phone… It said due to a FAA required delay the times in the app could be up to 15 minutes late. Is that how it usually is? Well 15 min behind is really not useful when you're late running through an airport. What I want to know is whether the extra time to go and check on an "official" site is worth it or is it all the same tracking info everywhere?

EDIT: Side question if it's okay: the flight boards within an airport are runnng on their own internal system right? So like their info would he accurate to the minute and beat all other website trackers
etc. right?

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Which app said that? –  Karlson Jan 15 at 11:39
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@Karlson: Flightboard on Android. –  verve Jan 15 at 22:15
    
Looked at the app. I can't say I would consider paying for or using it. –  Karlson Jan 16 at 0:30
    
@Karlson: I've always been looking for something with a flight-board style so I love it. Plus, it has less bad reviews than the more popular ones. –  verve Jan 16 at 4:00
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Personally I don't care about information other then specific flight I need. –  Karlson Jan 16 at 4:06
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1 Answer

up vote 11 down vote accepted

The delay is partially accurate there is data that is fed to the app delayed. But the tracking of the flight is still real time.

Flight Radar 24 specifies 3 sources of data of which one: FAA is 5 minutes delayed, which means that most flights by major airlines will still be tracked accurately, similar information is indicated by Flight Aware and so on.

Now as far as gates are concerned the information is more accurate at the airport then on the flight tracker as the gates can change if the flight lands late.

Now if you are trying to estimate the time of arrival of a given flight down to the minute using flight tracker I would highly recommend not doing this since weather conditions, airport conditions and other issues can affect this information and I would give myself some fudge factor when time is concerned.

Now as far as airports are concerned I would recommend taking the information with the grain of salt. Newark airport's informtion system for example uses FlightView for tracking information and the estimation of arrivals will be given to you based on the information from the same application, so it will be just as accurate as if you looked it up on that app directly.

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Why is the app fed delayed data? Security reasons? –  verve Jan 15 at 22:18
    
Different question requiring a bit of research. –  Karlson Jan 16 at 4:04
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