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Remember When Flight Numbers Made Sense?  
User currently offlineGSPSPOT From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3016 posts, RR: 2
Posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks ago) and read 3020 times:

I just got to thinking how you could tell a lot about a flight by just looking at the flight number. DL specifically - depending on the number series, you could tell what type a/c the flight was on. For example, I believe 900 flight numbers used to be on DC8s, etc.

Now, it seems flight numbers are just random, except that the highest numbers (4220, for ex.) are on "connection" carriers.. Why is it that before, when things weren't so automated, things like flight numbers seemed to make more sense than now?


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5 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineILUV767 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 3141 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks ago) and read 3007 times:

Flight numbers have some sense to them. There are ranges of numbers. International numbers, domestic, premium markets, regional carriers and so on. Within those ranges an intern probably picks then number.

User currently offlinemacsog6 From Singapore, joined Jan 2010, 530 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks ago) and read 2983 times:
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Quoting GSPSPOT (Thread starter):
Why is it that before, when things weren't so automated, things like flight numbers seemed to make more sense than now?

I've been in and out of aircraft for most of my rather long life (Thank God) and they have never made sense to me. Yes, at one time they seemed to be grouped better, but they never made sense.



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User currently offlineMainliner From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 411 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 2673 times:

I think at US, most of the trans-Atlantic flights use 700 or 800-series numbers. The CLT-HNL route used an 800 number pair (I want to say 807 and 808, but I don't remember). The LAX-CLT flights, even two years ago were always 1490, 1492, 1494 etc. and the CLT-LAX flights seemed to always be 1431, 1433, etc. Now there's a bunch of everything; often the first LAX-PHL flight in the morning uses a 700 number to make it an extension of a European flight. It seems to change each month.

I believe most airlines do use the same codes for their trans Atlantic/Pacific routes, and maybe some flagship transcon routes. I've never been able to crack WN's system though!



Every flight counts.
User currently offlinedeltacto From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 440 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 2627 times:

Quoting GSPSPOT (Thread starter):
DL specifically - depending on the number series, you could tell what type a/c the flight was on. For example, I believe 900 flight numbers used to be on DC8s, etc.

Absolutely correct

Up until 1984 the range of flight numbers was based on the a/c
Here are the December 15 1983 flight itineraries:
Flights 10-15 L15's
100-799 72S
800-899 767
900-999 D8S
1000-1199 L10
1400-1699 D9S
1700-1779 73S

http://www.departedflights.com/DL121583intro.html


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25170 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 2616 times:

At least most airlines still use the "eastbound/northbound - even", "westbound/southbound - odd" flight numbering convention, apart from a few like LH and LX that use even numbers for outbound flights from their hubs and odd numbers for inbound flights. That's why LH and LX westbound transatlantic flights are among the few that have even numbers westbound and odd eastbound, contrary to most other carriers.

DL's JFK-LHR (originally LGW) flights 1/2/3/4 are another exception. I think DL1 and DL3 are their only eastbound international flights with odd numbers and vice versa for DL2 and DL4.


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