sptv
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2000 5:21 am

AA Flight Numbering Question

Sat Jul 21, 2001 4:29 am

I flew yesterday (7/19) on AA764 from LAX to Montreal. This is considered a direct, one-stop flight thru ORD. There is a change of planes in ORD, from a 738 to a 738.

Two questions:

1) why is this listed with only one flight number, even though in reality it is a connecting flight?

2) on my flight, we left LA two hours late due to weather in Chicago. Flight 764 from ORD to Montreal, however, left ORD on time, while we were still in the air (as flight 764) from LAX to ORD. Does this mean that AA operated two different flight 764s simultaneously? Is this legal? Is it safe?

Any responses are welcome. Thanks

Steve
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: AA Flight Numbering Question

Sat Jul 21, 2001 4:41 am

Lots of WX/ATC probs at ORD yesterday, and what it sounds like is that they "stubbed" the ORD-Montreal portion of the flight on-time with a different aircraft. If so, it would have been filed as similar number (like, say, adding 6000 to the flight number, i.e. 6764) to avoid ATC conflicts. Such a flight number modification may or may not have been mentioned to the passengers, as it probably confuses them more than it explains to them.

On a normal day, the same 738 aircraft would have just stopped in ORD before proceding to Montreal...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
CannedSpam
Posts: 449
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2000 8:18 am

RE: AA Flight Numbering Question

Sat Jul 21, 2001 5:16 am

OPNLguy is 100% right on this. Looking in SABRE reveals that this is exactly what happened. It is 100% legal and 100% safe.

 
pilottim747
Posts: 1577
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2001 2:34 pm

RE: AA Flight Numbering Question

Sat Jul 21, 2001 5:50 am

Some airlines do keep to the literal terms of a 1-stop flight (no change of planes) as I think AA intended in your case. I'll bet (as they mentioned above) that they just found an extra aircraft that could be used for the second portion of the flight to make those passengers happy.

I have, however, noticed some airlines using the same flight number, stopping, and making passengers change planes. For example, United Airlines currently has a direct flight to Sydney, Australia from Chicago O'Hare. It uses a B757 to LAX then changes to a B744 to SYD. My aunt and uncle where on this flight back to Australia but it got delayed in ORD (weather, of course). To their surprise their plane had already left when they got to LAX. Similar situation, but worse. They had to wait 24 hours until the next flight to SYD from LAX.
Aviation Photographers & Enthusiasts--Coordinate your life.
 
AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

RE: AA Flight Numbering Question

Sat Jul 21, 2001 1:27 pm

> why is this listed with only one flight number, even though
>in reality it is a connecting flight?

It _became_ a connecting flight because the LAX departure was delayed 1+28. Rather than delay all other pax, crew and flights the rest of the day, AA decided to "stub" the second leg with a different aircraft (crew change was already planned). This minimizes effects of delays as much as possible.

>on my flight, we left LA two hours late due to weather in Chicago.

1 hour 28 minutes late departure. 1 hour 17 minutes late arrival. At least according to the computer.  Wink/being sarcastic

>Flight 764 from ORD to Montreal, however, left ORD on time,
>while we were still in the air (as flight 764) from LAX to ORD.
>Does this mean that AA operated two different flight 764s simultaneously?

Nope, the ORD-YUL flight operated as AA764x [x being a letter suffix "stubbed" onto all paperwork, flight plans and callsigns].

>Is this legal? Is it safe?

Yes and yes. Happens fairly regularly to all U.S. airlines this time of year. Some airlines add a suffix letter while others change flight numbers completely. In all cases, the information distributed to passengers remains the same (no new names/numbers to confuse the customers).  Wink/being sarcastic

*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
airsicknessbag
Posts: 4626
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2000 2:45 am

RE: AA Flight Numbering Question

Sat Jul 21, 2001 9:15 pm

Great, finally a thread in which one can learn something - as opposed to "Which livery looks best on a Boebus 370?" or "I miss Concorde ´cause I wanna do day trips to NY again".

One question is still open:
- Why do airlines assign one flight number to what is really a connexion?


Daniel Smile
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: AA Flight Numbering Question

Sat Jul 21, 2001 9:46 pm

>>>One question is still open:
- Why do airlines assign one flight number to what is really a connexion?

The only situation where I've seen this occur is when there is a "gauge change" involved, i.e., a change in aircraft type. For instance, Doofus Air flight 123 from MIA-IAH-LAX-HNL. It might be a narrowbody from MIA-IAH-LAX, and then a widebody from LAX-HNL (or wherever). With the advent of longer-range twins in the last 20 years, you really don't see this much, but I guess it still occurs in various places around the planet.

A more common occurence of a single flight number becoming a "connection" is when a scheduled through-flight (or direct flight, if you prefer) transits an airline's hub and the aircraft's schedule for te day must be changed to accomodate maintenance planning, or other operational variables.

For example, flight 123 runs LAX-DFW-JFK, and flight 456 runs SFO-DFW-MIA, and both will be on the ground at DFW at the same time. Assuming a perfect world, the JFK and MIA folks will stay on their respective aircraft as it transits DFW. If, say, 123's aircraft were to develop a problem that precluded using it from DFW-JFK (thunderstorms at JFK, and the weather radar inop), the aircraft would be (assuming it couldn't be fixed at DFW) swapped to the DFW-MIA flight, presuming no storms there. The DFW-JFK flight would continue with the aircraft that came in from SFO.

Thus, both sets of pax now have "connections" at DFW, but it wasn't necessarily originally planned that way, as most of this stuff is dynamic. Some these "broken through trips" are not dynamic, and are planned a couple of days in advance to accomodate overnight maintenance requirements (like maybe MIA was a MX base, and JFK wasn't), but they are almost never communicated to the pax, since everything is so subject to change...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
CannedSpam
Posts: 449
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2000 8:18 am

RE: AA Flight Numbering Question

Sun Jul 22, 2001 2:09 pm

AA only makes a change of guage thru flight if one segment is international. This is mostly done simply for marketing reasons. For example, FRA-ORD-DTW......