ANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3233 posts, RR: 14 Reply 2, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 9474 times:
It depends on several things. I list several examples below, and please correct me if I'm wrong.
Most airlines have their lowest numbers for their international routes, and the higher ones for domestic flights. DL, LX, SQ, and CO do this (although CO has some exceptions, like CO1 is IAH-HNL, I believe).
Other airlines do the opposite. I believe UA and LH does this (their international flights are in the 400s and 900s, respectively.)
Yet another group of airlines do numbers based on the flight's origin. Flights leaving the major hub get low numbers. I can't think of an accurate example off the top of my head, but I believe QF does this to an extent.
Which number is which for a given route depends also. Usually, the outbound flight (away from the hub) is the higher, odd number (LX's GVA-JFK is LX22, and CO's EWR-GVA is CO80) and the inbound flight is the lower, even number (JFK-GVA is LX23 and GVA-EWR is CO81).
As for other airlines having the same flight number, I don't know if this is an issue, since the callsigns are different. I was curious as to how many airlines have their flight 1 into or out of LHR and there were many, many airlines (DL, BA, BMI, QF, to name a few).
Hope that helps!
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Glbltrvlr From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 484 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 9476 times:
I suspect the answer is - it depends. I know some specific (usually low) numbers are chosen as a device to indicate that a particular route is a "flagship route". Some numbers are chosen for cultural significance (like UA 888). And then laid on top of that are series designations, where numbers in a certain range are chosen to indicate a certain type of route or equipment. Then you get all the regional, codeshare, maintenance, gauge change, replacement flight and repositioning numbers.
LH has something like:
<100 = domestic - hamburg
100 = domestic - berlin
200 = domestic - berlin
300 = domestic - bremen
400 = north america
500 = africa, south america
600 = middle east, central asia
700 = asia, india
800 = domestic - dusseldorf
900 = domestic - munich
and so on
MakeMinesLAX From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 516 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 9315 times:
Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 2): Most airlines have their lowest numbers for their international routes, and the higher ones for domestic flights. DL, LX, SQ, and CO do this (although CO has some exceptions, like CO1 is IAH-HNL, I believe).
Flight 1 (sometimes 001) is typically a prominent flagship route. Pan Am's round-the-world service comes to mind.
Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 2): Which number is which for a given route depends also. Usually, the outbound flight (away from the hub) is the higher, odd number (LX's GVA-JFK is LX22, and CO's EWR-GVA is CO80) and the inbound flight is the lower, even number (JFK-GVA is LX23 and GVA-EWR is CO81).
In general US (i.e. USA, not US Airways) usage, even numbered flights are W-E/S-N and odds are in the opposite directions. Prominent services with high frequency are often bunched. Offhand, I can think of UA's LAX-SFO (500s) and LAX/SFO-ORD (100s) which have been around forever.
Two examples with numerical significance which have stuck in my mind are UA's flight 711 (ORD-LAS) and US's once-upon-a-time flight 1492 (LAX-CMH). Chinese arlines also like liberally sprinkling 8s around, like CX's flight 888 (HKG-JFK). Speaking of which, today (08/08/08) is the luckiest day of all for the Chinese (specifically Cantonese).
I recently flew LAX-IAD on UA flight 946, which continues IAD-AMS on a different aircraft. My flight was delayed about four hours, and the cockpit used the callsign "United 946 tango heavy" (how I love channel 9!). I asked one of the flight crew about the special designation, and he explained it was to distinguish ours from another similarly named flight in the same airspace (i.e. United 946 IAD-AMS, which was not going to hold for our arrival).
UPS757Pilot From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 101 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 9303 times:
UPS by zip code domestically. (ie 917 is ONT-SDF, 919 is another ONT-SDF) Second day air flight with a flight number beginning with 2 (ie 2956). Additional flights with a 3 or 4 (ie 4195). Repositions with an 8. Contingency (hot spares) with a 9. International is different in the interest of easier to read/understand flight numbers.
Delta(Mainline) generally denotes east/northbound flights by even numbers and west/southbound by odd numbers in the US. The flight numbers used to identify the type of aircraft as well, but not the case present day. 2 digit numbers denoted 747's in their day. 800's were DC-8, 900's were 880's, and 10-1100 series were L10's, and the boring planes were in the middle. Each airline has it's own system, and DL's has changed many times over the years. IIRC, the odd-even bit has remained the only constant thru the years, but have seen exceptions to that(like Regional Carrier #s).
This is broadly correct for flights to and from LHR except that long haul flights are <300 (with, for example BA206 being MIA-LHR AND BA214 BOS-LHR .
1000 to 1500 = domestic flights ex LHR
2000 to 3000 and 7900-8100 = flights ex LGW
4300 to 4400 = code share flights on LA metal
4700 to 4900 = code share flights on BE metal
5000 to 5500(?) = code share flights on AA metal
6000 to 6100 = code share flights on AY metal
6200 to 6500 = franchise flights operated by Comair (South Africa)
7000 to 7300 = code share flights on IB metal
7300 to 7500 = code share flights on QF metal
7500 to 7600 = code share on BD metal
8200 to 8300 = franchise flights operated by Sun Air of Scandinavia
8400 and 8700 = BA CityFlyer flights ex LCY
8840 to 9000 franchise flights operated by Loganair
Outward bound long haul flights have uneven numbers, inward bound long haul flights even numbers. The outward bound flight is usually one above the inward bound flight operated by the same aircraft. So, for example, the daily outward bound LHR-JFK 772 flight is BA173 and the return JFK-LHR 772 flight is BA172.
Outward bound short haul flights have even numbers and the return flights odd numbers. So the first LHR-CDG flight of the day is BA304 and that aircraft returns to LHR as BA307.
Flight numbers are assigned as Misbeehavin has indicated and wherever possible the numbers for a single destination are grouped together. So flights between LHR and CDG are in the range BA302 to BA329, while those between LHR and LYS (Lyons) and between LHR and NCE are in the ranges BA360 to BA365 and BA342 to BA352 respectively.
AA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5341 posts, RR: 11 Reply 12, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 8777 times:
I also note that you can see patterns depending on destination sometimes.
For example, Continental has 167, 267, 367, 437, 667, and 1767 doing IAH-SEA.
From Newark, they've got 281, 1481, 1581, 1681, 1881 doing EWR-SEA.
Correct, but there are a few exceptions. Some longhaul flights also carry flight numbers within this range eg BA1293, BA1039 etc. These operate on some days when there is a significant difference in departure time ex LHR on different days. So if on one day the flight leaves at say 1745 and another it goes at 1230, you tend to then see the 1 being added to differentiate.
Quoting VV701 (Reply 11): Outward bound short haul flights have even numbers and the return flights odd numbers. So the first LHR-CDG flight of the day is BA304 and that aircraft returns to LHR as BA307.
Smi0006 From Australia, joined Jan 2008, 1382 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 8708 times:
I know that with QF;
Flight QF1 to 399 are international flights and flights QF 400 and above are domestic.
I also beleive that around 1300 and above they become QFlink flights or codeshares (not sure if that is the exact number though). Also flights outbound from Australia are the lower designator with the return secot the higher ie. QF93 from Mel to LA and QF94 LA to Mel!
Bond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5098 posts, RR: 8 Reply 16, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 8625 times:
This has been discussed to death many times.
There are at least FIVE links to previous threads in the 'similar topics' list below this thread.
The answer ... the airline chooses. They can use whatever numbers they want, for whatever routes. Many airlines have some logic in the numbering, but there are no 'rules' across airlines, apart from the fact there can't be 2 flights with the same number in the system at the same time (hence why a letter is added at the end sometimes) ... but I'm sure all the other threads address that.
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
VV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 6628 posts, RR: 17 Reply 17, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 8410 times:
Quoting Speedbird2155 (Reply 14): Some longhaul flights also carry flight numbers within this range eg BA1293, BA1039 etc. These operate on some days when there is a significant difference in departure time ex LHR on different days.
BA seem to be quite relaxed about giving the same flight numbers to flights on a single route that depart at different times on different days of the week. So, for example BA119 (LHR-BGR) departs LHR at 1350 hrs on Wednesdays, 1410 hrs on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and at 1415 hrs on Fridays. (I believe these variations in timings are forced on BA by LHR slot availability.)
However BA do need to differentiate flight numbers on flights departing at the same time but using different aircraft types on different days of the week because of seat allocation. And where there is no adjacent or nearby flight number they have taken to adding a "1'" in front of the flight number provided the number thus created is not or has not been in recent use for a domestic flight.
There is currently but one example of the above:
BA053 is a 772 flight operating LHR-SEA on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. It departs LHR at 1735 on Mondays and at 1820 on the 3 other days it operates.
BA1053 is a 744 flight operating LHR-SEA on Wednesday and Sunday. It departs at 1255 hrs on Wednesday and 1355 on Sunday.
As can be seen the "1" is not added when the time changes but it is added when the equipment changes.
What is confusing is the case of the only other BA flight which has had a "1" added in front of it. This is the daily BA 744 LHR-PEK flight. Originally this was a 772 flight, BA039. I believe it was upgraded to a 744 flight on selected days of the week and then at a later date to a 744 flight on every day of the week. With the first upgrade on Tuesday and Thursday the flight number was, I believe, changed to BA1039. But when BA started to operate their former 772 flights on the other days of the week with a 744 they continued to use both flight numbers (BA039 and BA1039) probably because the Tuesday and Thursday departures are at 1250 hrs and the departures on all other days are at 1640 hrs.
These LHR-SEA and LHR-PEK flights are the only examples where a "1" has been added to the front of an existing three digit BA flight number. However there are numerous other examples of both short haul and long haul flights operating out of LHR, LGW and, for short haull flights only, LCY where flights with different departure times on different days have the same flight number.
Speedbird2155 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 847 posts, RR: 5 Reply 22, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6351 times:
Quoting VV701 (Reply 17): These LHR-SEA and LHR-PEK flights are the only examples where a "1" has been added to the front of an existing three digit BA flight number. However there are numerous other examples of both short haul and long haul flights operating out of LHR, LGW and, for short haull flights only, LCY where flights with different departure times on different days have the same flight number.
The LHR-IAD BA293/1293 is another example (have had this recently). While it does appear to now be based more on equipment type, when these differentiated flight numbers started being used, it was down more to departure times, when there was a few hours difference on different days. IIRC, the LHR-YYC service also operated with teh 1 added on some days for a bit.....but the equipment never changed.
Just a quick check of the schedules shows:
BA1053 - 1255 or 1355 STD (depending on day)
BA053 - 1735 or 1820 STD (depending on day)
BA1039 - 1250 STD
BA039 - 1640 STD
So it does still change depending on STD some of the time.
DeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8771 posts, RR: 13 Reply 23, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6184 times:
US Airways Flights 1-699 are the ones operated by the former America West birds while the 700+ numbers are the former East birds - the merger hasn't been totally finished off yet (pilots...) so it's a way to differentiate between the two since West pilots don't fly East planes and vise-versa.
Many thanks for drawing my attention to this flight that I had overlooked.
BA293/1293 departs from LHR every day of the week at 1710 hours even though BA use the two related but different flight numbers. On Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday this flight is flown using a 744 and the flight is numbered BA293. On Monday and Sunday BA use different equipment (772) but, although departure time is still 1710 hours, the flight is renumbered BA1293.
This confirms what I said before, namely that BA add the "1" when there is a change of equipment and not when there is a different departure time.
25 Mir: Other way around. LH's intercontinental flights (at least to the US) are in the 400 range and UA's intercontinental flights are in the 800 (Asia) and
26 CanadianNorth: Air North has a simple enough system to follow. How it came to be though I don't know. 70s = Ground equipment call signs (atleast at YXY) 100s = Often
27 Zkpilot: A lot of airlines to Asia (China, HKG in particular) like to assign flight numbers with 8's in them... a cultural thing. Other things a lot of airline
28 Viscount724: CO's flight numbers in the examples you mention have nothing to do with being from and to their hub. LH (and LX) are fairly unusual in doing that. Th
29 KELPkid: Let me guess: your fleet has all Rolls-Royce Power?
30 COSPN: CO Has 500 to IND 1492 to CMH and probally a few others to make travel Interesting
31 JohnClipper: AA's flight numbers to South America are a holdover from EA. Just like UA's flight numbers to Asia are a holdover from PA. PA 1-199 - Europe 200-299
32 OptionsCLE: That's right. Also 1776 IAH-PHL. One of NW's MSP-CMH flights is also 1492.
33 TristarSteve: When I started with BA in ARN the flight numbers were 649 to 659. 649 was added when BA introduced an early morning dep from ARN in 1987. Then they ch
34 Viscount724: And if memory correct 600-699 were the flights within Germany to/from Berlin.
35 UltimateDelta: I don't know much about this, but apparently one airline flying into London had a flight numbered 1011 and another had one numbered 1101. These fligh
36 Vhqpa: Ill expand on QF International flights on QF metal are numbered 1-199 outbound sectors from Australia are odd numbered (ie. QF9 MEL-SIN-LHR) inbound s
37 LASOctoberB6: I hear it all time! It always, for some reason, gets me to think that there is a 777 inbound.. From Las Vegas, jetBlue flight numbers that begin with
38 UltimateDelta: To me, Delta's seem pretty random (except for international flights) because I have been on the 6 AM flight from MCI to ATL four times and there have
39 Mirrodie: Unlike AAs 1, 19, 201, 3,117, 133, 181, 21, and 185, all of which are JFK-LAX. So at the end of the day, yes, its random in that some airlines use a