AZA330 From Italy, joined Feb 2004, 304 posts, RR: 0 Posted (4 years 7 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5489 times:
I was looking around on flightaware and I happened to notice that, for example, flight BA2166 from Tampa to London Gatwick, for the past several days is recorded with call sign BAW61T instead of the "normal" BAW2166.
I had noticed something like that before (also on ATC feed), but this really got my attention. I tried to search around for the reason why a flight would not be called with what is really "its name" (BAW2166 in this case), but I did not find much.
Why do they use different flight numbers for one flight in the first place? As part of the previous question, does the format (00X, two numbers and a letter) and the letter itself mean something specific? What would the reasons be for doing it for so many days in row?
Viscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 28122 posts, RR: 22
Reply 1, posted (4 years 7 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5454 times:
Quoting AZA330 (Thread starter): Why do they use different flight numbers for one flight in the first place? As part of the previous question, does the format (00X, two numbers and a letter) and the letter itself mean something specific? What would the reasons be for doing it for so many days in row?
How they assign the numbers/letters I don't know, but it's normally done to avoid having two similar flight numbers at the same time which can cause ATC confusion and could be a safety issue. It's very common.
For example, KLM 691 AMS-YYZ normally uses KLM 31 for ATC purposes, while their other AMS-YYZ flight uses the same number (KLM695) for both marketing and operational purposes.
Remember, the ATC callsign, and the IATA/ICAO Flight Designator/Number are 2 separate IDs. They are usually the same, for obvious reasons, but the ATC callsign does not need to match the flight number. ATC cares little about the IATA number - just about what callsign was filed with the flight plan.
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1): Here's one earlier thread discussing the issue. There are quite a few others.
Yes, seems to be a thread on this every few weeks/months!
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!