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Airline Flight Numbers?  
User currently offlineNWB757300 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 7821 times:

I have always wondered about this, but can never find a definite answer....

How do airlines generate flight numbers, or how do they decide which routes get which numbers?

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineUnited4everDEN From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7695 times:

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/675682/4/

User currently offlineNWB757300 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7686 times:

You know, I think some people join this forum just to post previous topics....

Thank you for the help!


User currently offlineSeptember11 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3623 posts, RR: 21
Reply 3, posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 7487 times:

My best flight # ever is #118. That flight # never changed for like 10 years!!!!! It was a TWA STL-CMH afternoon flight.

I want to note that flight #s DO get retired. Like, AA191.... UA232.....



Airliners.net of the Future
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7455 times:

AS261 will never be used again from what Ive heard in respect to the victims of that flight that perished on Jan 31, 2000.

[Edited 2004-05-30 08:54:40]


A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineAviationman From Canada, joined Dec 1999, 634 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7238 times:

Some charter airlines will come up with flight numbers based on "Day of the week" and "equipment used", etc...

I.E. Flight 174 could mean "Mondays" departure (1), B-747 (7)......

Hope it helps!


User currently offlinePlanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3527 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7199 times:

not a bad question, i assumed it was just a number in sequence but i never really knew. Remember this forum is about asking questions and getting answers, it's not for the aviation "elite" to pick on people who don't know as much as they do. don't be so quick to jump on people who don't appear to be as "smart" as you *know* you are....


Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offlineLevg79 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 994 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 7069 times:

Retiring numbers is one thing, but other companies still use these numbers. For example, when we talk about flight 800, we always remember TWA 800 that crashed out of JFK. However, United still uses flight 800 operating to JFK, kind of ironic. I flew on that flight last month, and every time I've heard '800 heavy' on channel 9, I always remembered TWA flight.


A mile of runway takes you to the world. A mile of highway takes you a mile.
User currently offlineGeoffm From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2111 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 7017 times:

Something that was barely mentioned in the other thread was codeshares. Different airlines seem to use different schemes for identifying codeshares. For example, VS 19 (LHR-SFO) is CO 8239 (no apparent correlation, but from another flight it appears to be VS+8220), but CO 19 (LGW-EWR) is VS 3119 (easy, ie 31 prefix).

SQ 317 (LHR-SIN) = VS 7317
BA 15 (LHR-SIN) = QF 320
QF 10 (LHR-SIN) = BA 7310

Probably some correlation, such as partner airline and so forth.

Geoff M.


User currently offlineCory6188 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2686 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6976 times:

Does anyone know how CO does their flight numbers? They seem to be all over the place.

User currently offlineCessnaLady From Mexico, joined May 2004, 310 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 6953 times:

Bottomline: there is nothing like an international regulation governing flights' nomeclature... It is a style or system pertinent to each airline...

I just read that Mexicana, one of the oldest airlines in the world, will re-start its flights between Mexico City and Newark as MX 001 and MX 002 (return).

A retired MX Captain friend of my family tells me many in the industry consider MX 900 (Mexico City - Los Angeles) to be the flagship service of this old airline. (MX is 83 years old; she started flying in July 1921 with the first scheduled service in Latin America, between Mexico City and Tampico - with a scheduled flight that still exists to this day as MX 740, due its departure schedule was 07:40 AM).

ML


User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 14
Reply 11, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 6929 times:

There ARE no rules beyond designating RANGES of numbers for certain types of flights (e.g. 1-100 = international, 4000-5999 is regionals, etc.) and special numbers (e.g. #1 for a banner flight, #1776 for a PHL flight, etc.). Some airlines do even numbers for inbound and odd for outbound or even=west, odd=east. After that, it's just "grab an available number in the range". Don't burn so many calories trying to figure it out... it just kinda is.


Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
User currently offlineCessnaLady From Mexico, joined May 2004, 310 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 6924 times:

Sorry, I meant between Mexico City and JFK, not EWR!!
ML


User currently offlineFL1TPA From United States of America, joined May 2004, 258 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 6917 times:

Hey guys,

There is an odd pattern in AirTran's flight numbers. Most of the numbers between original Valujet cities remained the same. New cities got a new "group" of numbers. For example: (Not in order of departure time)
TPA-ATL: 118 / 120 / 122 / 124 / 126 / 128 / 130 / 132 / 138
ATL-TPA: 121 / 125 / 127 / 131 / 137 / 139 /

ALL 32 of BWI flight numbers except for CRJ flights and the flight to FPO begin with a 4: 443 / 450 / 483 / 413 / 451 / 444 / 495 / 461 / 484 / 493 etc.

All flights into IAD are double digits: 58 / 62 / 64 / 66 / 68

MKE flights all begin with 6: 601 / 603 / 608 / 625 / 671

DCA flights are all 18s: 181 / 183 / 185 / 187 / 189

BUF has 55s: 551 / 555 / 553 / 559 etc.

I don't know by what rhyme or reason flight numbers are chosen, other than to stay away from different carriers with the same numbers at the same airport.





"Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffin' glue."
User currently offlineNWADC9 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4897 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 6900 times:

United's 93 is now I think 91. I'm not sure about the other three and what they are today.


Flying an aeroplane with only a single propeller to keep you in the air. Can you imagine that? -Capt. Picard
User currently offlineJosegsd From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 4 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 6880 times:

I believe United Airlines uses 800-series flight numbers for their trans-Pacific flights and 900-series for those across the Atlantic.

Virgin Atlantic also has a scheme. Flight numbers to 199 are for flights to/from North America. 600-series flights are to Africa. China (inc. Hong Kong) have 200-series flight numbers. India flights are 300 and Japan has 900.

I've noticed other airlines also use blocks of flight numbers to certain regions i.e. North America, Europe, etc.

I'm not sure of the reasoning behind it, but there is some structure out there.


User currently offlineMSPXJGuy From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 150 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 6869 times:

Although I don't know exactly how airlines come up with flight numbers, I do know there are some fun ones that Northwest has.

For instance, I know there is a Indianapolis flight 500 for the Indy 500. Columus has flt 1492 (Christopher Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue). Most passengers don't understand that, but when your bored, it can be amusing. I don't know if these are still around but i'm sure they are.

Another addition to this topic is Northwest likes switchin the flight numbers with different cities. I remember when I started MSP-YQR was always 3571. Now its something different, I think either DSM or LSE.


User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12250 posts, RR: 35
Reply 17, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6793 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

MSPXJGuy, 3571 is the afternoon ORF-MSP flight  Smile I'll be flying 3688 today, heading to DLH


911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineFlairport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6739 times:

i think delta is random (first 3 flights are 958, 1531, and 395!) ...continental (at least from FLL-IAH and EWR) are interesting...to IAH they all end in 49...I think from IAH they end in 48
TO EWR they end in 00 (except for CO24)...they end in 01 going back from EWR.


User currently offlineNWB757300 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6733 times:

HP uses 592 (DFW-LAS-PHX-MCI), which if I recall correctly was the flight number of the valujet crash in the everglades?

Also HP's go in sequence most of the time:

ORD: 1,3,5,7
BWI(or is it DCA/IAD now?) 81,83,85 it used to be BWI but the flights changed recently.


User currently offlineIahcsr From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 3433 posts, RR: 41
Reply 20, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6672 times:
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While not true in every case, CO assigns each route a two digit code: IAHMSY is '23' (623, 423, 1023, etc..) MSYIAH is '22', IAHLGA/LGAIAH are '32/33', CO / KMCO), USA - Florida">MCO is '86/87', TPA is '06/07', etc... There are exceptions all over the place, but if one looks at the full day's schedule for most routes, the pattern is very obvious.


Working very hard to Fly Right....
User currently offlineIahcsr From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 3433 posts, RR: 41
Reply 21, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6664 times:
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Hmmmm...... I know I didn't type "'CO / KMCO), USA - Florida">CO / KMCO), USA - Florida">MCO " in my previous post...


Working very hard to Fly Right....
User currently offlineXJRamper From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2461 posts, RR: 50
Reply 22, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6616 times:

In TOL, NW Airlink has an afternoon flight 2960 that hasn't changed in years. Every other flight number has changed so many times. When I worked there it had to change at least 10-15 times and I was only there for 8 months.

I am off to solo! See yall on the flip side.

XJR



Look ma' no hands!
User currently offlineLevg79 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 994 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 6573 times:

United's 93 is now I think 91. I'm not sure about the other three and what they are today

According to the schedule, United 175 is now 165.

Also, Scandinavian flight 911 has been renamed as well.



A mile of runway takes you to the world. A mile of highway takes you a mile.
User currently offlineAV757 From Colombia, joined Apr 2004, 660 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 6496 times:
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Here at Avianca Colombia there is a simple rule for flight numbers, all northbound flights are even numbered and southbound flights are odd nunmbered.
Here are some examples:

AV006 BOG-MIA
AV007 MIA-BOG
AV085 BOG-SAO-RIO
AV086 RIO-SAO-BOG
AV020 BOG-JFK
AV021 JFK-BOG
AV010 BOG-MAD
AV011 MAD-BOG
AV072 BOG-MEX
AV073 MEX-BOG

Regards:
AV757


User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 32
Reply 25, posted (10 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 6486 times:

Back in the day, as a general rule, many US airlines used even numbers to denote eastbound and (I believe) northbound flights, odd numbers were used for westbound and southbound flights.

Tom at MSY



"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
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