The answer to that question just got a lot easier for most flights on American Airlines. Like more airlines American offers flight status information via their website. But, until today, only Continental Airlines has been able to offer up where the inbound aircraft for a flight was rather than just the current departure schedule. This is most useful when a flight is listed as delayed and it isn’t clear if they are likely to move the departure time around a lot or not; it is very hard to conjure up a spare airplane, particularly at outstations, when the inbound is delayed.
The inbound flight tracking option goes away once the flight departs so you cannot track an aircraft back multiple stops to see where the problems might have started (OK,not really useful but something I’ve been known to do when I’m bored). But that’s the only minor issue I can see with the offering.
Still, overall this is a great upgrade in terms of transparency to the customer. United Airlines has already committed to expanding the feature to all flights in their system post-merger as they integrate onto a single operations platform. Delta may be able to tell you where your bags are but not where the airplane is.
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