Factual error: In the beginning of the movie there are shots that appear to be historical of the 70's era. One shot contains several Boeing 737's lined up. These are however winglet-equipped, modern types that only have existed from the mid 2000's.
Factual error: When Cruise is walking away from the TWA airplane, the aircraft he is walking away from is an A-320. TWA never flew A-320s nor were they even flying yet when this story takes place. Further, the cockpit is of a 737-100/200/300 classic.
Factual error: When Berry is being chased by a Customs aircraft, it states Customs and Border Protection on the side of the Customs aircraft. Customs and Border Protection was not created until 2003.
Factual error: As Barry and his wife are inspecting their new home in Arkansas, his CIA handler pulls up in a Chevrolet Celebrity with halogen headlights. This is supposedly 1980 - the Celebrity didn't debut until 1982, and had sealed beam headlights until the 1987 model year.
Factual error: The US Customs Service aircraft that intercepts Barry Seal's plane has a US Customs seal on its side. Barry Seal operated in the early to mid 1980s. The Customs Service seal on the aircraft didn't come into use until after 1998. Also, the Customs aircraft identifies its self as the Border Patrol, which was a completely different agency during that time. (01:06:00)
Factual error: In the diner scene, if you look out the window, you see a Publix supermarket with the current logo rather than the logo from the 1970's. And there were no Publix locations in Texas then (and still aren't). The light fixtures out in the parking lot are also not period. (00:12:45)
Factual error: After being arrested, the brother-in-law tells Barry that it will be his 3rd strike and he will spend the rest of his life in jail. First 3rd Strike Law wasn't enacted until 1993.