Manta
Topic Author
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 3:06 am

UA Flight Number Change.....Why?

Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:47 am

Greetings,

Hopefully someone knows the answer to this question.

I was on UA 936 (B763) ORD - IAD on Jan. 20. When we got on the aircraft, the pilot gave his usual introduction and invited us to all listen along on Ch9. He then mentioned that we would now be identified as, "UA 8158 Heavy". Any idea as to the change? It was a normal flight, not a charter. Just curious...

Thanks.
 
Bicoastal
Posts: 2446
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 1999 5:56 am

RE: UA Flight Number Change.....Why?

Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:53 am

Was your flight delayed? Flight 936 is also used for IAD to ZRH. If that flight is already in the air, then they would assign your flight a different number to avoid two flights in the air with the same number.
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Manta
Topic Author
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 3:06 am

RE: UA Flight Number Change.....Why?

Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:02 am

No we actually left the gate about 5 mins early and departed from 4L. We honestly didn't even stop moving from the time we left the gate to the rolling takeoff. That's why I was confused as to why they changed the flight number. We arrived in IAD 20 minutes early.
 
WestWing
Posts: 1133
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:01 am

RE: UA Flight Number Change.....Why?

Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:24 am

This is quite common for all UA flights that are listed on the timetable as a domestic leg with "equipment change" and then an international leg.

So for ATC purposes, the flight that operates the domestic segment is often planned as UA 8xxx. Someone on this board reported once that their international leg had an 8xxx number, though this has never happened for me -- it has always been the domestic leg.

And yes, the reason is to avoid having two different aircraft with the same ATC callsign.
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RDUDDJI
Posts: 1717
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 4:42 am

RE: UA Flight Number Change.....Why?

Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:15 am

Quoting WestWing (Reply 3):
This is quite common for all UA flights that are listed on the timetable as a domestic leg with "equipment change" and then an international leg.

So for ATC purposes, the flight that operates the domestic segment is often planned as UA 8xxx. Someone on this board reported once that their international leg had an 8xxx number, though this has never happened for me -- it has always been the domestic leg.

And yes, the reason is to avoid having two different aircraft with the same ATC callsign.

All of this is true, plus the fact that one or two carriers somewhere over the U.S. might have the same flight number, so to make sure there's no confusion, they'll often assign another number for ATC.
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goodmanr
Posts: 289
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 3:49 am

RE: UA Flight Number Change.....Why?

Tue Jan 24, 2006 11:12 am

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 4):
All of this is true, plus the fact that one or two carriers somewhere over the U.S. might have the same flight number, so to make sure there's no confusion, they'll often assign another number for ATC.

This happens on the IAD-LAS flight, or at least it did the two times I took it (can't remember flight #). The captain told us there was another flight with a similar flight number so we took a new call number to avoid confusion.
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lincoln
Posts: 3133
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:22 pm

RE: UA Flight Number Change.....Why?

Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:51 pm

You'll also occassionally find (usually when there's a change of gauge and the first flight is delayed but the continuing flight leaves on time) a letter suffix added... I think "K" is the most common, and there are a few others that I can't recall.

The first time I heard ATC address "American 182 Kilo" or whatever I was rather confused

Edit: I should add, from what I have heard, that when a flight is "stubbed" like this if it is a four digit flight number, the first digit is dropped, for example Airline 2357 is a 737 from SAN to LAS and then a 757 from LAS to MSP. The 737 has a mechanical issue of some kind and is delayed but does eventually depart...as it turns out, no one is continuing on to MSP so the airline decides to operate that segment of the flight on schedule. Since this would mean that there were two "Airline 2357"s in the air at the same time -- and this is very bad -- the 757 segment would then be known as "Airline 357K"

:incoln

[Edited 2006-01-24 05:00:21]
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777-500er
Posts: 465
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 1999 11:43 pm

RE: UA Flight Number Change.....Why?

Tue Jan 24, 2006 2:51 pm

Same experience for me on UNITED 900 from SFO to FRA. We were identified as UNITED 8179.

Michael SFO
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