Monday, December 10, 2012

Announcing Beta of New Flight Segment Alerting APIs

Introducing FlightStats® Flex Flight Alerts Beta

FlightStats and Pathfinder-XML API customers have long used our Flight Monitor system to keep travelers abreast of travel turbulence. This December, we're delighted to announce that this popular product will get a significant makeover and join the FlightStats® Flex API family as FlightStats® Flex Flight Alerts. Visit the FlightStats Developer Center to test out new Alerts Beta.

If you are familiar with our existing Flight Segment Monitoring products, you'll find familiar functionality in the Flex version, but with a much improved interface that is consistent with the rest of the Flex APIs, including:

  • Easy-to-use REST services for creating and managing monitoring rules
  • Alert messages in JSON & XML flavors
  • Interactive API documentation for browsing and testing the APIs
  • Flex FlightStatus information with improvements that include:
    • Local & UTC times
    • Improved representation of status updates that are well-structured and programmatically accessible
    • Your choice of languages for the message (English, Simplified Chinese, German and Japanese currently supported)
    • Tight integration and compatibility with rest of the FlightStats® Flex product family
    • Comprehensive rule validation -we'll tell you whether or not we can detect the events you specify for a given flight
We have released a beta version of the FlightStats® Flex Flight Alerts API for you to use and evaluate without charge in reasonable quantities. A few weeks after we announce the production-ready version, we'll remove usage restrictions and begin charging. Pricing will be announced during the beta period.

Please have a look at the interactive documentation for the API and if you have a POST-able URL, feel free to create a few Alerting Rules.

How it works:

  1. Your software uses our API to create "Flight Alert Rule", specifying the flight segment (Ex. "American Airlines 100 from JFK to LHR on December 12th), the events you want us to monitor (Ex. 30 minutes before departure, departure, arrival, cancellation), and the URL where you want the flight alert delivered.
  2. FlightStats monitors the flight segment on your behalf, detecting timeline events and changes to the flight schedule.
  3. As events occur, FlightStats posts an alert message over HTTP to a URL of your choice. The message includes a description of the event that occurred and the current flight status data for the flight.
  4. Your system accepts the message and delivers an update to your traveler, keeping them prepared and informed for their journey.

What causes an Alert Message to be sent?

When you create an alerting rule, you can choose what events you want us to monitor. We monitor most of the status and time fields in our flight status data for changes. Some of the events for field changes can be parameterized so you will only be alerted of significant changes. For example, we can alert when the flight is more than 10 minutes late, but not less.

We also monitor for timeline events. Timeline events occur at times relative to real events and times during the life of the flight.

Examples of timeline events include:
  • 30 Minutes Before Departure
  • Departed Late
  • Departure Delay
Timeline events allow you to assist your travelers when they the need it most: the times before, in between, or after significant flight events.

What does the Alert Message look like?

We will post  the Alert Message over HTTP to any URL of your choosing. You can see the specifications and examples of the XML and JSON version in our documentation.

Rule Creation Examples

For any field change (the default), post a JSON message to

For any field change as well as 50 minutes before departure and if the flight arrives more than 30 minutes late,  post a JSON message to,preDep60,arrLate30

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