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Do Airlines Change Flight Numbers After A Crash?  
User currently offlineRicardoFG From Spain, joined Feb 2005, 677 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 9533 times:

I know its not the nicest topic in the world to discuss, but I am curious if airlines will change a flight number on a particular route after a crash. For example, the following timetable, AF358/359 which was the flight number for years on the CDG-YYZ-CDG route was changed to AF352/353 after the crash of AF358. Do a lot of airlines do this?

32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCOEWR From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 273 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9499 times:

In my experience if there is a catastrophic crash (loss of lives) then the airlines will change the number. They will also avoid using that number in the future. I am fairly certain TWA did this after Flight 800.

--C


User currently online727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 6621 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9469 times:



Quoting COEWR (Reply 1):
I am fairly certain TWA did this after Flight 800.

Actually, wasn't that the second TWA 800 to crash?

Eastern didn't change #401 after the 1972 crash. They even had it on the same route, same time of day, and mostly the same aircraft type. They might have even kept #212 but I'm not sure.



I feel woozy....what did you put in that Pudding Pop?
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26005 posts, RR: 22
Reply 3, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9458 times:



Quoting COEWR (Reply 1):
In my experience if there is a catastrophic crash (loss of lives) then the airlines will change the number. They will also avoid using that number in the future. I am fairly certain TWA did this after Flight 800.

UA currently uses several flight numbers that were involved in fatal UA accidents in the past. AA still uses AA1 for a JFK-LAX flight. In 1962, AA1 (then a 707) crashed soon after takeoff from JFK (then IDL) killing all 95 aboard.


User currently offlineJBAirwaysFan From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1042 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9440 times:

After they US Airways Hudson River Incident, they took 1549 out of the system.


In Loving Memory of Casey Edward Falconer; May 16, 1992-May 9, 2012
User currently offlineEMB170 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 652 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9421 times:

Varies from airline to airline, IMHO. Also if enough time passes after an event, the flight number may "come out of retirement". Example: I was on TW841 FCO-JFK in January of 1997 even though there was once a TW 841 that was once bombed (killing everyone) in 1974.

As another poster mentioned, AA now has a flight 1 even though their flight 1 crashed many years ago. In fact, AF continued to use 212 even though that flight number was involved in multiple fatal accidents.



Can passenger jets fly as fast as my feet do? Let's find out...
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26005 posts, RR: 22
Reply 6, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9389 times:



Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 2):
Quoting COEWR (Reply 1):
I am fairly certain TWA did this after Flight 800.

Actually, wasn't that the second TWA 800 to crash?

Yes, an earlier TWA 800 (a 707) crashed during an aborted takeoff at FCO in 1964, with 50 fatalities of the 73 aboard.
http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19641123-0


User currently offlineLipeGIG From Brazil, joined May 2005, 11459 posts, RR: 58
Reply 7, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9390 times:
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In my view, they should change !

GOL changed the flight number for MAO-BSB-GIG service after the crash with the legacy.
TAM changed also the flight number after the crash in 2006 of the POA-CGH flight.

The fact is that, like a hurricane, it's very usual that the press and all people make connections to a flight number that crashed or generated victims. And we can't imagine how difficult would be to talk about two crashes on the same flight number.



New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
User currently offlineIrish251 From Ireland, joined Nov 2004, 982 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9364 times:

It may be more of a feature now that the media generally tend to follow the US style of referring to the accident by the number of the flight involved - almost as if that was the only AF447 (or whatever flight is involved) that ever existed. PA103 was one of the first such, whereas in a crash such as the infamous Tenerife one of 1977 the two flight numbers (KL4891 and PA1736) are rarely used to denote the event concerned. The British media used to refer to some accidents by way of the "last two" of the aircraft registration, most notably "Papa India" for the loss of BEA Trident G-ARPI in 1972. In that case the flight number (BE548) was not generally used to denote the particular accident in the way that seems to happen nowadays.

User currently offlineEWRCabincrew From United States of America, joined May 2006, 5527 posts, RR: 56
Reply 9, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9306 times:

CO still uses flight 11 (CDG-IAH). CO 11 (crashed on 5/22/62 (ORD-MKC)) was the first passenger brought down by sabotage. The crash was used as a subplot in the movie 'Airport'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_Airlines_Flight_11

This is one of the few (rare) exceptions (most people don't even know or aren't aware - except those of us here).

[Edited 2009-06-03 15:05:39]


You can't cure stupid
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17147 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9296 times:



Quoting RicardoFG (Thread starter):
Do Airlines Change Flight Numbers After A Crash?

A lot of carriers do change flight numbers after a crash. For instance, you cannot fly on AA11 anymore or any of the 9/11 flight numbers.



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineVikingA346 From Sweden, joined Oct 2006, 515 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 9241 times:

I don't believe AF has changed #447 yet. It may take some time but I've noticed that AF447 is still loaded in Amadeus and continues to operate under that flt #


...you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you shall return
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17147 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 9232 times:



Quoting VikingA346 (Reply 11):
I don't believe AF has changed #447 yet. It may take some time but I've noticed that AF447 is still loaded in Amadeus and continues to operate under that flt #

As of yet AF has not changed the flight number of AF447.



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineAcw367 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 243 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 9187 times:

BA still use flight 38 for thier daily arrival from Beijing. The heathrow belly flop was obviosly non-fatal though.

British Midland still use flight 92 on the Heathrow-Belfast route. This is the same route/flightnumber as the flight referred in the UK as the Kegworth air disaster in 1989. In the UK PA103 is usually reffered to as the Lockerbie disaster.

Maybe the BA38 incident should be referred to as the Mike-Mike incident or the hatton cross crash to be more in line with previous UK crash referneces


User currently offlineJeffrey1970 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1336 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 9116 times:



Quoting COEWR (Reply 1):
In my experience if there is a catastrophic crash (loss of lives) then the airlines will change the number. They will also avoid using that number in the future. I am fairly certain TWA did this after Flight 800.

Sadly, TWA was not around for too long after that crash to really be able to know if they would use that flight number again.



God bless through Jesus, Jeff
User currently offlineAviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1360 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 9043 times:

I was sad when they changed AA11 after the attacks in '01. That flight number had existed on that route for like 50 years. I remember flying it once, in a DC-10. It was a 707 before that.



PS



Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
User currently offlineOA412 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 5373 posts, RR: 24
Reply 16, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 9026 times:

I know that SR stopped using flight #111 after that flight's tragic accident. Unfortunately I cannot recall what they changed the JFK-GVA flight # to.


Hughes Airwest - Top Banana In The West
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26005 posts, RR: 22
Reply 17, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 8975 times:



Quoting OA412 (Reply 16):
know that SR stopped using flight #111 after that flight's tragic accident. Unfortunately I cannot recall what they changed the JFK-GVA flight # to.

It was either 113 or 115. Forget which.


User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 8816 times:

No AA 191, no DL 191

User currently offlineF9Fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 703 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 8775 times:

CO changed 1713 (IIRC) after the plane crashed on takeoff at old DEN on its way to BOI.

Didn't WN retire the flight number involved in the runway overrun at MDW that killed a child in a passing car?


User currently offlineN702ML From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 8742 times:

This has actually been discussed before...MORE than once....but here is one thread I pulled up:

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...general_aviation/read.main/1724763


User currently offlineRootsAir From Costa Rica, joined Feb 2005, 4186 posts, RR: 40
Reply 21, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 8562 times:



Quoting OA412 (Reply 16):
I know that SR stopped using flight #111 after that flight's tragic accident. Unfortunately I cannot recall what they changed the JFK-GVA flight # to.

They changed the flight numbers to 114 and 115. The most curious thing there is that the sum of these two numbers is 229. This was the number of victimes on the SR crash! A simple coincidence or a tribute ? never managed to get the answer !
Regards BM  airplane  wave 



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User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7737 posts, RR: 17
Reply 22, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 8421 times:



Quoting Irish251 (Reply 8):
The British media used to refer to some accidents by way of the "last two" of the aircraft registration, most notably "Papa India" for the loss of BEA Trident G-ARPI in 1972. In that case the flight number (BE548) was not generally used to denote the particular accident in the way that seems to happen nowadays

As a result of this BA do not use 'PI' as the last two letters of any of its airrcraft registrations. So even its fleet of A319s put into service more than a quarter of a century after the G-ARPI accident use all the registrations in the series G-EUPA to G-EUPZ except G-EUPI (for the reason given by Irish251) and G-EUPQ (as 'Q' is never used in either British aircraft or modern British car registrations to avoid visual confusion with 'O').


User currently offlineCubastar From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 410 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 8173 times:



Quoting VikingA346 (Reply 11):
I don't believe AF has changed #447 yet.



Quoting B747forever (Reply 12):

As of yet AF has not changed the flight number of AF447

According to a post on the AF 447 thread (part 10), Flight 447 will be changed to Flight 445 on June 7.


User currently offlineEmaman From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2008, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 8028 times:

IIRC after TWA800 that JFK-CDG service became TW924.

They do sometimes but not always retire flight numbers to try and remove public association.

I think the decision to retire is normally made depending on the reference made to it in the press.

The TW800 incident was always referred to as TW800 and everyone knew that number hence its retirement - in the UK accidents dont tend to get referred to by the flight number, but more by the location eg kegworth, lockerbie and not PA103 or BD92 - hence I dont think those numbers retired.


25 AirJamaica : And AA changed their MIA-CLO flight # from 965 to 921 as well after that accident in Columbia in Dec 1995. As well as 587 after their JFK-SDQ crash.
26 Viscount724 : AC's worst-ever fatal accident (when they were still Trans-Canada Air Lines) was a DC-8-54F that crashed soon after takeoff from YUL en route to YYZ i
27 Rgreenftm : AS no longer flies AS261, but instead uses AS263
28 Tommy767 : United 93 that flew EWR-SFO is now United 90
29 Irish251 : But interestingly the loss of Vanguard G-APEE in a fatal crash at LHR did not affect the allocation of registrations for the BA 757 fleet, as G-BPEE
30 Kevin777 : On a sidenote, SK changed their (noon) CPHEWR flight from SK911 to SK 909 after 9-11 Kevin777
31 DFWEagle : AA always permanently “retires” a flight number after a fatal accident. The number is blacked out of the system so that it can not be allocated to
32 PHLBOS : You're close. AA11 was always a BOS-LAX nonstop since they first started using the 707 in 1959 (back then, it had a 11 AM dearture time) which made n
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