barney captain wrote:
It happens quite regularly. Just a few days ago we were on the same frequency with a Skywest flight that had the same flight number.
Skywest/Southwest - no chance of screwing that up.
Ha ha ha! That reminds me of something that I witnessed years and years ago at the airport near where I live. Just to provide a time frame, this was back when America West Airlines was still flying. Their parking slot was kind of towards the south end of the airport, and the south terminal bldg didn't have jetways back then. Passengers walked across the tarmac/apron to those moveable stairs when boarding and de-boarding AWA flights. Southwest Airlines, on the other hand, parked at the north end of the field, where the terminal bldg had a bunch of jetways.
So I was standing on the observation platform of the south terminal bldg with 4 or 5 other people, and it was obvious 2 of those people were husband and wife, waiting to pick up their daughter. So an America West 737 pulled into its parking spot and shutdown. Two mobile stair trucks drove out to the plane; one for the front cabin door; the other for the rear cabin door. The cabin doors opened and pax began filing down the stairs to head for the terminal bldg. As a side note, isn't it amazing how many people come walking off a 737 that had a full cabin? It's a wonder they all fit in that plane. And this was back in the day when AWA (I think "Cactus" was their ATC callsign) was flying 737-300's or -400's; something like that. Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong on the version of 737 that Cactus flew.
From there, the dialog between the girl's parents went something like this:
the dad (d): Keep your eyes open for "Mary."
the mom (m): ok
d: is that her, wearing the green sweater and carrying her purse and carry-on bag?
m: uh, no it's not.
So this back and forth banter of, "Is that her?" "No" went on until everybody had de-boarded the plane. No "Mary" in sight.
d: Did she say she was flying in on America West or Southwest? (He sounded a tad annoyed by this point.)
m: Um Um Um I I I really don't know. I I I I can't remember which one.
d: Well, she must have flown in on Southwest then, because she wasn't on this flight! (The dad was really annoyed at this point; I could tell by his voice.)
d: Let's go drive to the Southwest terminal and see if she's there.
So off they went, in search of their daughter at the Southwest terminal. This was back in the day when cellphones weren't nearly as common as they are today; just having a cellphone back then was kind of a status thing. So they weren't even able to call "Mary" to see if she was at the north terminal.
Sorry for this rambling post, but just thought it was funny in regards to the "sound-alike" callsigns or airline names that occur from time to time in the aviation world.