Topic Author
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 8:38 am

Why Do Flight Numbers Change?

Thu Jul 22, 2004 4:44 am

Probably a very simple answer to this question, but why do airlines constantly change Flight numbers? At my station we must have changed flight numbers 4 or 5 times in a matter of 2 years. Whats the reasoning behind this?
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RE: Why Do Flight Numbers Change?

Thu Jul 22, 2004 4:51 am

One explanation might be that the carrier may have changed the aircraft they use to serve that route. If you'll check some of the websites, carriers assign flight numbers in groups. Although I can't say for sure, my observation is that aircraft type is the reason.

With so many trunk carriers switching from mainline aircraft such as a 733 (Boeing 737-300) to a CRJ (Canadair Regional Jet) on some routes, you are likely to see such changes in the future.
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Topic Author
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 8:38 am

RE: Why Do Flight Numbers Change?

Thu Jul 22, 2004 4:54 am

We have kept the same equipment for the most part. Except our 5:55 CVG flight went from CRJ to FRJ. But other then that no major changes.
Fly Delta Jets
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RE: Why Do Flight Numbers Change?

Thu Jul 22, 2004 3:39 pm

One simple reason, other then equipment change...
The D.O.T Department of Transportation can track an airline and its flights operation/performance based on its flight number...
I can remember serveral years ago back in the eighties, Delta had flight number 1033 that operated
now that same flight number does still exist but in a different market.
Answer to the question, I believe makes the job for the
D.O.T. more difficult.
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RE: Why Do Flight Numbers Change?

Thu Jul 22, 2004 4:12 pm

JMH is correct. Has to do with performance tracking of a flight by the DOT. If a flight is a poor ontime performer it will change flight numbers a couple times a year. OH and EV are now tracked by the DOT so naturally you will see it more and more over the years especially on the flights to/from ATL.
You can tell a flights ontime performance by the number between the arrival time and the equipment on a schedule display in DLTerm. 8 means 80%-89%, 9 90%-99%, 6 60%-69%, etc. while N or a blank represents a new flight number.
It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now.
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RE: Why Do Flight Numbers Change?

Thu Jul 22, 2004 4:47 pm

Indeed, many airlines will change flight numbers for flights that are continually late. US Airways does this quite often with such flights. Another gimmick that many airlines do is to shift the departure time up to 15 minutes either way, but in doing this, they can keep the smae flight number. While people commonly forget flight numbers that they've flown on in the past, a frequent traveler will most likely remember that the 5:15 to CVG is often late. The airline can change the 5:15 flight to a 5:25 departure time, and the traveler probably won't relaize that it's still the same flight and thus will probably still run late, and book it anyway.

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