Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Using the Connections API

Plane with Schedules in background
FlightStats offers flight information solutions in three time windows, operational, historical and forward. The flight info web services are the backbone of the operational period where current status and positional information is assembled. Operational data older than seven days is moved to our historical storage and services. The last, forward, stretches from three days to one year in the future.

 To serve information requests in the future range, FlightStats partnered with Innovata to jointly develop the Connections API.


Connections API is sourced via an Innovata dataset and includes non-stop, direct and one-stop connecting flights.  Connections are constructed with a set of rational rules including:
    Innovata logo
  • Connections are created favoring airline alliance and codesharing agreements.
  • Connections respect circuitry rules omitting those that are unreasonably long or far from their destination.
  • All schedules and connections properly reflect dates when crossing international date lines.
  • All connections respect published Minimum Connection Time rules. 


Access to the Innovata data set is provided by FlightStats and constructed using MongoDB, Tomcat, and Amazon EC2. The Connections API delivers responses in Simplified Chinese with a roadmap to include, Japanese, German, French, Spanish, Russian and Brazilian Portuguese. The web service exposes a number of date range search vectors and returns results in JSON, JSONP, XML, or SOAP:
  • Departure Airport
  • Arrival Airport
  • Route
  • Airline + Flight Number 
To tailor results for your specific needs we implemented a number of helpful filters. The following list shows several frequently used options:
  • Flight Type - non-stop, direct, connection 
  • Service Type - passenger, cargo 
  • Connection Type - interline, online
  • Codeshare - operating marketing relationships
  • Carriers - filtered list of carriers
  • Connection Points - allowable and excluded connecting airports 

Take a Look

The web service can be found in the FlightStats developer center and an AJAX implementation can be found on's flight schedules search page.

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