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Flight Number With A Letter In It?  
User currently offlineToering From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 176 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 8854 times:

My flight tracker shows a NW flight 26D..... whats the "D" all about? Its a 744 so I don't think its cargo. I think it started in asia someplace, in bound to DTW. In fact, flightaware has the origin listed as 4817N/16040E. Is that some remote airport? Never seen this before.

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5408 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 8826 times:

Quoting Toering (Thread starter):
In fact, flightaware has the origin listed as 4817N/16040E. Is that some remote airport? Never seen this before.

That is most likely the lat/lon where it filed to enter US Airspace (although doesn't look correct) ...that would be somewhere nr Austria I think...it came from Tokyo, so isn't right.

Someone else can explain the letters....airlines have different meanings/purposes. BA often use them at the end of flight numbers.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineAntonovman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 720 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 8791 times:

it probably means diversion, thats maybe why theres no airport code there

User currently offlineERJ170 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 6761 posts, RR: 17
Reply 3, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 8754 times:

Ive seen some flight numbers into RDU (US, AA, DL, NW have all had them).. that were somethin like 734A, etc...

what does the A mean? I know Air Wisconsin had a couple of those for sure.



Aiming High and going far..
User currently offlineCloudyapple From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2005, 2454 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 8748 times:

Delayed/Diverted, different airlines has different conventions - that's an IATA flight number.

ICAO callsigns usually mirror the IATA flight number but sometimes to avoid callsign confusion on R/T (eg something like BAW213/BAW273 in the same sector) a letter is appended to the end or a different callsign is used all together.



A310/A319/20/21/A332/3/A343/6/A388/B732/5/7/8/B742/S/4/B752/B763/B772/3/W/E145/J41/MD11/83/90
User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5408 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 8742 times:

Quoting Antonovman (Reply 2):
it probably means diversion, thats maybe why theres no airport code there

The lat/lon is commonly used when the flight plan is filed enroute...for example, new callsign (as might be the case here), or entering US airspace and no plan exists.

No doubt this is the RJAA-DTW flight NW26.

A common reason for the letters is to differentiate from another flight with the same callsign if it's delayed significantly...because ATC cannot have 2 flights in the system with the same callsign....so perhaps there was another NWA26 around?

Some airlines also use it for delayed flights....or in this case could be diversion.

Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineSpeedBird203 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 295 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 8627 times:

There is a British Airways flight from Boston to London with a letter in it, Its British Airways Flight 45B, I don't know what the letter is about either... Always confused me, never thought to make a post about it though.


Metro Tower 135.0
User currently offlineTIMEAIR From Canada, joined May 2005, 436 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 8462 times:

Some airlines use the letters to

a) represent the flight leg (i.e. Flt 123 operates AAA-BBB-CCC, Flt123A would represent the flight from AAA-BBB and 123B would represent flight from BBB-CCC
b) represent an International or Domestic segment
For example..Flt 38 ops PVG-LAX-DFW, flt 38 would represent PVG-LAX and 38D would represent LAX-DFW as a "Domestic" flight (if operated by a US based carrier in this case)



You can't get there from here.
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6003 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 8451 times:

There are many flights operated by multiple airlines where there may be confusion on a congested frequency, or along multiple frequencies. To ease the issue, ATC started allowing flights to amend a letter to the last 2 digits of a flight to allow ease of recognition. At first it was just A and B, but that still proved to be very confusing to ATC and pilots alike. Now they use all letters of the alphabet to allow for less near-indentical call signs.

TIMEAIR also raises another aspect of the issue, where multi-leg, multi-aircraft flight numbers could present an issue if the second flight bearing that callsign tookoff before the original flight arrived.

[Edited 2006-10-26 05:21:49]


Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 8438 times:

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 8):

TIMEAIR also raises another aspect of the issue, where multi-leg, multi-aircraft flight numbers could present an issue if the second flight bearing that callsign tookoff before the original flight arrived.

That happens at my airline occasionally and we do just this... the 2nd flight gets an amended callsign.


User currently offlineRicardoFG From Spain, joined Feb 2005, 677 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 8419 times:

i believe all of thomas cooks flights have a letter in them...a charter, but none the less

User currently offlineN723GW From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 232 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 8371 times:

I don't know if it is correct, but I thaught I heard once that a letter indicated human remains were on board. Don't quote me on it, but it seems interesting


The dude abides
User currently offlineCurmudgeon From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 695 posts, RR: 22
Reply 12, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 8353 times:

No, the letters don't indicate human remains. In fact, there is a teletype code used in the cargo message (internal document) to signify that. (All special cargoes have a discreet code for the information of the destination station)

Alpha characters are used for the reasons described above. Another use is when 'extra sections' are employed. These hark back to the old railroad days, when an 'extra' would be run to cater for spikes in traffic. I used to work for a carrier that used 'extras' a lot to prove demand before adding frequency to certain city pairs.



Jets are for kids
User currently offlineApodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4257 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 8318 times:

Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 3):
what does the A mean? I know Air Wisconsin had a couple of those for sure.

I can answer that. As anyone who flies regularly knows, one "Flight" will often have multiple segments, for example 3792 might be from DAY to PHL, then continue on to SYR. Because of the way our operation is set up, there will often be an aircraft change on this flight in PHL, and a crew change as well. Now lets say there is a delay program into PHL and the DAY flight is late, but the crew and the plane that are doing the PHL-SYR segment are both already in PHL. We will try to run the second segment on time and we treat it operationally as a separate flight. Now he gets going and DAY to PHL also gets going. Now you have two flight 3792's in New York Center. That is not a good idea for many reasons. What we do to avoid that is we will use the full flight number for the first segment, then the second segment we will drop the 3 (or 40 for 4000 flight numbers), and use the remaining digits with the A added onto the end. So in our example, the PHL-SYR segment would be 792A.

Hope this helps.


User currently offlineStealthZ From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5688 posts, RR: 44
Reply 14, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8281 times:
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Quoting Toering (Thread starter):
In fact, flightaware has the origin listed as 4817N/16040E. Is that some remote airport? Never seen this before.

That is most likely the lat/lon where it filed to enter US Airspace (although doesn't look correct) ...that would be somewhere nr Austria I think...it came from Tokyo, so isn't right.

Well no, that Lat/Lon is in the North Pacific not far off the great circle route between NRT & DTW which funnily enough is where you would likely find Northwest flight 26 most days!!



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineAlexPorter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 8252 times:

Quoting StealthZ (Reply 14):
Well no, that Lat/Lon is in the North Pacific not far off the great circle route between NRT & DTW which funnily enough is where you would likely find Northwest flight 26 most days!!

Yes, remember 180E and 180W are both at about the International Date Line (excluding where it deviates from that meridian), so 160E is the same as 20 degrees west of the date line.


British 289 from PHX-LHR has been in FlightAware as BAW28F for quite some time now, although last year it was just BAW289.


User currently offlineADXMatt From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 950 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 8224 times:

Quoting AlexPorter (Reply 15):
British 289 from PHX-LHR has been in FlightAware as BAW28F for quite some time now, although last year it was just BAW289.

I can't speak for BA but at a previous airline I worked for ATC asked us to change our flight number because another airline flight with the same flight number is in the same airspace at the same time as ours. Since it takes marketing forever to change a flight number we just added an "A" to it.

Even though 2 different airlines with flight 123 ATC doesn't like it. They're afraid the wrong flight will respond.


User currently offlineZBA320 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 122 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 8212 times:

Thomas Cook UK has letters in their Flight Numbers. Usually it's L inbound and K outbound. JMC did the same thing before Thomas Cook took over.

Example would be:

TCX033L Toronto - Manchester (MAN)
TCX420K Manchester - Arrecife (ACE)

I'm not sure what the L and the K stand for though.



An Engineer made a bet that a 747 Gear wouldn't retract in a Hangar. He lost the bet.
User currently offlineCurmudgeon From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 695 posts, RR: 22
Reply 18, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day ago) and read 8142 times:

Quoting ADXMatt (Reply 16):
I can't speak for BA but at a previous airline I worked for ATC asked us to change our flight number because another airline flight with the same flight number is in the same airspace at the same time as ours. Since it takes marketing forever to change a flight number we just added an "A" to it.

Even though 2 different airlines with flight 123 ATC doesn't like it. They're afraid the wrong flight will respond.

I used to fly weekend charters to Atlantic City, NJ (East Coast gambling HQ back then). Every 2-bit airline had a flight arriving Friday night with either a "711" or "21" flight number until the FAA finally put a stop to it. For a while there it was chaos with clearances often being accepted by the wrong crews.



Jets are for kids
User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5408 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (7 years 10 months 22 hours ago) and read 8090 times:

Quoting StealthZ (Reply 14):
Well no, that Lat/Lon is in the North Pacific not far off the great circle route between NRT & DTW which funnily enough is where you would likely find Northwest flight 26 most days!!

Yeah, I knew I got my N/S/E/Ws mixed up somewhere!

So, it's basically just the point they were at when they filed or amended the flight plan. It's actually not uncommon to see, although it's often a fix, not a lat/lon, if there is one nearby of course.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineEGNR From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 508 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 10 months 22 hours ago) and read 8062 times:

Quoting ZBA320 (Reply 17):
Thomas Cook UK has letters in their Flight Numbers. Usually it's L inbound and K outbound. JMC did the same thing before Thomas Cook took over.

Example would be:

TCX033L Toronto - Manchester (MAN)
TCX420K Manchester - Arrecife (ACE)

I'm not sure what the L and the K stand for though


The K and the L don't actually stand for anything, they are simply used to represent outbound and inbound flights.

Britannia used to use a similar system, e.g. BY087A outbound, BY087B inbound.

Air 2000/First Choice similarly used/use a 'C' on the end of the flight number for outbound e.g. AMM123C/FCA123C, and a 'D' on the inbound leg e.g. AMM123D/FCA123D. However, I believe this was/is only used on the charter flights, not their scheduled ops.



7late7, A3latey, Sukhoi Superlate... what's going on?
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