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Is There Rhyme Or Reason To Confirmation Numbers?  
User currently offlineAirstud From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2670 posts, RR: 4
Posted (5 years 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4181 times:

My talents and interests in this life are more literary than numerary. Yet we live in an increasingly mechanized, numerical world, and I therefore take an especial shine to those "numbers" that contain letters, such as Canadian or British postal codes, my company's interoffice mail addresses (mine is A0103-213!!! Yay, letter "A"!!!), etc.

So I am wondering if there's any significance to these confirmation numbers (which, they ought to call "codes" since so many of them have only letters). Do certain symbols at certain positions within the confirmation code denote, say, point of departure, or destination, or date of travel, or how orthography-obsessed they suspect the passenger to be, or what?

As examples to discuss, my United trip last July (though I booked in Marchish) was L0FZT4 (SFO-BOS nonstop).

My Continental trip from last week was CWGB7M (SFO-BOS, via EWR both ways).


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Why are our days numbered, and not, say, lettered?" -- Woody Allen

[Edited 2009-08-28 15:53:39]


Pancakes are delicious.
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRJLover From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 577 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (5 years 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4099 times:

I was told in training that the code assigned is completely random (for Air Canada's system anyway).


Last Flight(s): YHZ-YUL-YYC-YVR-YYJ // YYJ-YYZ-YSJ-YHZ.....Next Flight(s):
User currently offlineDurangoMac From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 725 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3951 times:

I know at UA the current system is really just a rotating system. It starts at AAAAAA and increments up through Z and then all the numbers (0-9). Once it gets to the end of the list it starts over and will use any that have been given back to the open list because the reservation has been finished/cancelled. I think the same thing happens at DL. I do suspect that some of the combinations are intentionally not in the system.

User currently offlineAviators99 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3867 times:

Well, it certainly can't be "completely random", as duplicates must be avoided.

I can say from empirical evidence that US carriers do not increment in any easily predictable way. I would be surprised is Air Canada does.


User currently offlineLuv2cattlecall From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1650 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (5 years 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3835 times:
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Quoting Airstud (Thread starter):


As examples to discuss, my United trip last July (though I booked in Marchish) was L0FZT4 (SFO-BOS nonstop).

My Continental trip from last week was CWGB7M (SFO-BOS, via EWR both ways).

...might not be the best idea to give out your actual confo #'s online!



When you have to breaststroke to your connecting flight...it's a crash!
User currently offlineJimbobjoe From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 657 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3812 times:

I've often wondered this too. The confirmation codes never seem (or rarely seem) to spell out any words, so I imagine a lot of code combinations are removed from the potential set.

User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3805 posts, RR: 29
Reply 6, posted (5 years 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3676 times:

Whether confirmation codes are all letters or letters and numbers depends on the system in which a reservation record is entered... SABRE for example creates 6-letter codes -- and only letters. Most other mainframe systems, it seems, "throw in" a number or two with letters to form a 6-character code.

Letters-only codes can sometimes, if rarely, border on the inappropriate and, once in a very great while, even cross the line in forming what appear to be words, by the way the combination of letters sounds if read as if it were a word, whether or not the spelling is actually correct for the 'word(s)' seemingly formed by the code. Any such occurance is strictly an unfortunate result of computer-generated randomness that hasn't been able to be programmed out of the behind-the-scenes auto-system that creates the codes.

The only 'pattern' I ever noticed with letter-only codes is that for perhaps a month or more, it seemed that the first letter of the codes would consistently be from a range within the first part of the alphabet, then might move to the middle of the alphabet for a month or so, before going to the latter part of the alphabet for a time, before repeating the same 'pattern' all over again, and not necessarily in the same order ...otherwise, no other possible pattern was ever detected by my highly-analytical mind in 10 years of working with reservations made in the SABRE system.


User currently offlineDAL763ER From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 534 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 3643 times:
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Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 4):
...might not be the best idea to give out your actual confo #'s online!

Why does it matter since his trips have already been finished?



Where aviation is not the side show, it's the main show!!!
User currently offlineAirstud From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2670 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (5 years 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3357 times:



Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 6):
Whether confirmation codes are all letters or letters and numbers depends on the system in which a reservation record is entered... SABRE for example creates 6-letter codes -- and only letters. Most other mainframe systems, it seems, "throw in" a number or two with letters to form a 6-character code.

Hmm, you know I've never ever ever booked other than directly with the airline...so if I used a travel agent who uses SABRE, could the airline pull up my booking in their native reservations system (for that matter, do they even have native rez systems anymore, or is it all done on SABRE or Apollo or WorldSpan or...) The scope of that software & systems architecture is positively staggering.

Quoting DAL763ER (Reply 7):
Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 4):
...might not be the best idea to give out your actual confo #'s online!

Why does it matter since his trips have already been finished?

Yeah!



Pancakes are delicious.
User currently offlineLuv2cattlecall From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1650 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (5 years 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3325 times:
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Quoting DAL763ER (Reply 7):


Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 4):
...might not be the best idea to give out your actual confo #'s online!

Why does it matter since his trips have already been finished?



Quote:

Username: Airstud
Real Name: Withheld


I'm assuming the real name is withheld for a reason. It was just a polite suggestion, sorry to step on your toes.



When you have to breaststroke to your connecting flight...it's a crash!
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11655 posts, RR: 60
Reply 10, posted (5 years 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3263 times:



Quoting Jimbobjoe (Reply 5):
The confirmation codes never seem (or rarely seem) to spell out any words, so I imagine a lot of code combinations are removed from the potential set.

I had a 'word' spelled out in a Ryanair confirmation number earlier this year. It actually rather put my girlfriend off going, as it was: "DEA7H", and indeed we ended up not going.



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineRP TPA From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 852 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3234 times:



Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 6):
Letters-only codes can sometimes, if rarely, border on the inappropriate and, once in a very great while, even cross the line in forming what appear to be words

Years ago, I made a reservation for this lady (I work for Air Canada), and the conf. code was "SH*TTY". The missing letter was not A, E, O, U, or Y. I seem to remember getting ready to read her the code, seeing it, and telling her......"uh, there appears to be a system error, and I need to create a new file for you". Luckily this was before we had automatic e-mail, so I was able to catch this before we printed it and send it via regular mail.


User currently offline9252fly From Canada, joined exactly 9 years ago today! , 1392 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3097 times:



Quoting Airstud (Reply 8):
Hmm, you know I've never ever ever booked other than directly with the airline...so if I used a travel agent who uses SABRE, could the airline pull up my booking in their native reservations system (for that matter, do they even have native rez systems anymore, or is it all done on SABRE or Apollo or WorldSpan or...) The scope of that software & systems architecture is positively staggering.

When a travel agent creates a booking and receives a file reference/booking code,it is only valid for the system it was booked in,ie,Apollo. To give you a good example if the agency books multiple carriers in the same file,ie,NW and AA,both airlines create a new file reference in their own system for the relevant flight. So as in this example,there would be 3 file references.


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