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United Airlines to Employ FlightAware’s Predictive Data

A United 787-9 lands in Los Angeles. The airline has announced it is waiving change fees on domestic flights on economy and premium tickets “forever.” (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

FlightAware announced this week that it has partnered with United Airlines to integrate its Predictive Data Tool into the airline operations toolset. In a press release issued on Tuesday, FlightAware said the services and data it will provide to United will help decrease the instance of preventable delays, reduce missed passenger connections and help prevent flight cancellations.

“It is more important than ever that United operates at the highest levels of efficiency to ensure our customers have seamless travel experience,” said David Kensick, Managing Director of Network Operations Control, United Airlines. “By leveraging data from FlightAware, we are further able to accurately time our operations to provide reliable service and minimize any disruptions to our schedule.” 

FlightAware’s predictions are based on statistical analysis of flight tracks and timestamps of hundreds of thousands of flights in the air and on the ground, as well as routing and weather data. The predictive models are capable of identifying the key influencing factors for any flight to forecast future events in real-time.

Using this live data stream, FlightAware Predictive Data Tool provides a number of important data points that will help United make key operational decisions. For example, it can accurately predict takeoff and arrival times, runway assignments, mass flight cancellation and airport delay info, taxi time estimates, and a host of other information that can fine-tune United’s operational performance.

United will utilize FlightAware’s data throughout its operations, including the United.com website, the United mobile app, gate displays and in all internal operational systems. Predictive data will also be used in United’s Connection Saver tool, which automatically scans flights for customers who are making tight connections to determine if the connecting flight can be held without inconveniencing other customers.

FlightAware receives its data from a variety of sources including a proprietary network of ground stations of over 28,000 stations in over 195 countries, space-based tracking, commercial airline schedules, air navigation service providers in over 45 countries, radio and satellite datalinks, and more. This data is combined with FlightAware’s proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) models and algorithms to provide the most comprehensive flight tracking solutions to the airline. 

FlightAware has accumulated over 15 years of aviation data and deep domain knowledge and has created advanced machine learning models that can leverage what has happened in the past to predict what is going to happen in the future.

“We’re proud to offer a level of accuracy in our predictions that will enhance operational capabilities at United and help improve the travel experience,” said Daniel Baker, FlightAware CEO. 

Rick Shideler


  • Rick Shideler

    Rick is a retired airline maintenance professional with over 40 years experience in commercial, corporate and military aviation sectors. Rick holds an FAA Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) and a FCC General RadioTelephone Licenses. Rick is a veteran of the United States Air Force and has served in multiple leadership positions including Director of Maintenance for a large corporate aviation firm, airline Director of Engineering and has chaired multiple aviation maintenance safety and reliability industry committees. Rick took his first airplane ride at six months old and became an airline geek shortly thereafter.

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