JLDWC From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 35 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1586 times:
I know this was discussed on this site, however i cant find the posts and i sincerely apologize, but one question that has always left me thinking is how do airlines determine their flight numbers?? Thanks for all your time and help!!
CALPSAFltSkeds From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 2726 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1560 times:
Use to be years ago that odds numbers ran westbound and even numbers ran eastbound. And, may flights had a specific series of numbers signifying a route or type of equipment utilized. You'll still see this on trans Atlantic flights and other long haul flights, most withnumbers under 100.
Now, there are so many flights from large airlines that 4 digit flight numbers are common. Many carriers use the higher numbers to signify commuter and/or code share services. You may want to look at something like DL, AA, CO etc. PDF timetables, usually then display a range of flight numbers near the front that shows what services are signified by a range of numbers.
There have been interesting schemes in the past like Frontier I think had all departures out of the Denver hub in a series for each destination to make things easier for personal to know where the flight (and connection passengers) was going. CO now has many routes where the last two digits of the flight signify the route in may cases. EWR-CLE flight mostly end in 25, EWR-LAX mostly end in 02, EWR-SAN ends in 26, SAN-EWR ends in 27. This must allow the schedulers to assign many routes with some type of numbering scheme.
But, in may cases, there is a scarcity of numbers and schedulers may just pick one that's available. They then hope is isn't a similar number with another flight it might interact with as the FAA will probably ask the carrier with the most recent number change to replace the number.