PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With all the concern these days about wear and tear on airplanes (see related story), is there a way for travelers to learn how old that jetliner is, before they get on board?

Some answers can be found on the Internet, if you know where to look.

Go to, for instance, and type in your airline and flight number, and you’ll quickly discover the scheduled equipment — say, the 737-300’s that have been giving Southwest Airlines trouble, or a later-model 737-500, an Airbus, or whatever.

Armed with that information, you can go to which lists — for every airline in the world, it seems — which planes they are flying and when they were delivered.

Specifically, you have to know the registration number on the plane’s tail (see graphic) — which you may not know until the plane pulls up at the gate.

Once you do know it, find it on and there’s the delivery date.

Now you know.  What you do with that knowledge is up to you.

Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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