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UA Flight Number Change.....Why?  
User currently offlineManta From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 71 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 11 months 11 hours ago) and read 3558 times:

Greetings,

Hopefully someone knows the answer to this question.

I was on UA 936 (B763) ORD - IAD on Jan. 20. When we got on the aircraft, the pilot gave his usual introduction and invited us to all listen along on Ch9. He then mentioned that we would now be identified as, "UA 8158 Heavy". Any idea as to the change? It was a normal flight, not a charter. Just curious...

Thanks.

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBicoastal From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 10 hours ago) and read 3544 times:

Was your flight delayed? Flight 936 is also used for IAD to ZRH. If that flight is already in the air, then they would assign your flight a different number to avoid two flights in the air with the same number.

User currently offlineManta From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 10 hours ago) and read 3532 times:

No we actually left the gate about 5 mins early and departed from 4L. We honestly didn't even stop moving from the time we left the gate to the rolling takeoff. That's why I was confused as to why they changed the flight number. We arrived in IAD 20 minutes early.

User currently offlineWestWing From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2135 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 10 hours ago) and read 3509 times:

This is quite common for all UA flights that are listed on the timetable as a domestic leg with "equipment change" and then an international leg.

So for ATC purposes, the flight that operates the domestic segment is often planned as UA 8xxx. Someone on this board reported once that their international leg had an 8xxx number, though this has never happened for me -- it has always been the domestic leg.

And yes, the reason is to avoid having two different aircraft with the same ATC callsign.



The best time to plant a tree is 40 years ago. The second best time is today.
User currently offlineRDUDDJI From Lesotho, joined Jun 2004, 1541 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 2 hours ago) and read 3277 times:

Quoting WestWing (Reply 3):
This is quite common for all UA flights that are listed on the timetable as a domestic leg with "equipment change" and then an international leg.

So for ATC purposes, the flight that operates the domestic segment is often planned as UA 8xxx. Someone on this board reported once that their international leg had an 8xxx number, though this has never happened for me -- it has always been the domestic leg.

And yes, the reason is to avoid having two different aircraft with the same ATC callsign.

All of this is true, plus the fact that one or two carriers somewhere over the U.S. might have the same flight number, so to make sure there's no confusion, they'll often assign another number for ATC.



Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
User currently offlineGoodmanr From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 297 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months ago) and read 3198 times:

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 4):
All of this is true, plus the fact that one or two carriers somewhere over the U.S. might have the same flight number, so to make sure there's no confusion, they'll often assign another number for ATC.

This happens on the IAD-LAS flight, or at least it did the two times I took it (can't remember flight #). The captain told us there was another flight with a similar flight number so we took a new call number to avoid confusion.



USAirways - Chairmans Gold
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3112 times:

You'll also occassionally find (usually when there's a change of gauge and the first flight is delayed but the continuing flight leaves on time) a letter suffix added... I think "K" is the most common, and there are a few others that I can't recall.

The first time I heard ATC address "American 182 Kilo" or whatever I was rather confused

Edit: I should add, from what I have heard, that when a flight is "stubbed" like this if it is a four digit flight number, the first digit is dropped, for example Airline 2357 is a 737 from SAN to LAS and then a 757 from LAS to MSP. The 737 has a mechanical issue of some kind and is delayed but does eventually depart...as it turns out, no one is continuing on to MSP so the airline decides to operate that segment of the flight on schedule. Since this would mean that there were two "Airline 2357"s in the air at the same time -- and this is very bad -- the 757 segment would then be known as "Airline 357K"

:incoln

[Edited 2006-01-24 05:00:21]


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User currently offline777-500ER From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 480 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3044 times:

Same experience for me on UNITED 900 from SFO to FRA. We were identified as UNITED 8179.

Michael SFO
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