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DLHAM
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Re: What’s in a Delta flight number?

Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:45 pm

I dont want to open a new thread, so Ill just post my question here:

I noticed that Delta uses a lot of flight numbers double, for the outward flight as well as for the return flight. An example MD88 shows following flights:

DL827 ATL-RIC
DL827 RIC-ATL

DL2342 ATL-BDL
DL2342 BDL-ATL

DL1695 ATL-CMH
DL1695 CMH-ATL

It always seems to be the same A/C. Are those flights operated as Via-Flights (ATL to ATL via CMH) because of the lack of numbers, as Delta has a huge Operation? Never noticed that before!
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superjeff
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Re: What’s in a Delta flight number?

Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:03 pm

DLHAM wrote:
I dont want to open a new thread, so Ill just post my question here:

I noticed that Delta uses a lot of flight numbers double, for the outward flight as well as for the return flight. An example MD88 shows following flights:

DL827 ATL-RIC
DL827 RIC-ATL

DL2342 ATL-BDL
DL2342 BDL-ATL

DL1695 ATL-CMH
DL1695 CMH-ATL

It always seems to be the same A/C. Are those flights operated as Via-Flights (ATL to ATL via CMH) because of the lack of numbers, as Delta has a huge Operation? Never noticed that before!



I think it is pretty common these days. Both American and United also are doing the same thing.

Delta's system has evolved a lot over the past fifty years - they used to assign flight numbers by aircraft type (i.e., all of their DC8 flights were 8xx, their Convair 880's were 9xx, and that system carried over to the DC9's, 741's, and L10's until the early to mid 1970's, when they switched. But over the past ten years, with growth, mergers, etc., the airlines, including Delta, have basically run out of flight numbers, or ran into duplications as a result of mergers (i.e, Northwest and Delta may have both had flights with the same numbers), so they had to come up with a system to resolve any conflicts, which has led to what they are doing today.
 
BAINY3
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Re: What’s in a Delta flight number?

Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:18 pm

Is there any rhyme or reason to the mainline flight numbers on domestic flights? For example, many but not all MSP-ATL flights are 28xx; MSP-DTW has a lot of 22xx, 23xx, and 25xx; MSP-LGA is 19xx, 21xx, 22xx; MSP-LAX is 12xx, 13xx, 14xx, 15xx; but MSP-SEA doesn't seem to have any particular pattern. I've seen it on some routes in the past, but couldn't find an example right now, where the first digit varies but the other ones repeat, such that a route might have a 1223, 1323, 2023, etc.
 
indygs
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Re: What’s in a Delta flight number?

Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:27 pm

They also, as do other airlines, try to honor a locally-significant number for particular flights. For instance, Delta is one of several airlines at IND that has a flight 500 (IND-CDG) to honor the Indy 500. I believe AS (IND-SEA) UA (IND-SFO) and AA (IND-PHX) also do the same. We have a couple 317s, too, the main area code for Indianapolis.
 
N312RC
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Re: What’s in a Delta flight number?

Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:05 pm

BAINY3 wrote:
Is there any rhyme or reason to the mainline flight numbers on domestic flights? For example, many but not all MSP-ATL flights are 28xx; MSP-DTW has a lot of 22xx, 23xx, and 25xx; MSP-LGA is 19xx, 21xx, 22xx; MSP-LAX is 12xx, 13xx, 14xx, 15xx; but MSP-SEA doesn't seem to have any particular pattern. I've seen it on some routes in the past, but couldn't find an example right now, where the first digit varies but the other ones repeat, such that a route might have a 1223, 1323, 2023, etc.


There is no rhyme or reason to the numbering system in that sense. Occasionally you'll see a block of concurrent flight numbers used back to back on the same route (ie: Delta Shuttle) but not always.

indygs wrote:
They also, as do other airlines, try to honor a locally-significant number for particular flights. For instance, Delta is one of several airlines at IND that has a flight 500 (IND-CDG) to honor the Indy 500. I believe AS (IND-SEA) UA (IND-SFO) and AA (IND-PHX) also do the same. We have a couple 317s, too, the main area code for Indianapolis.


This is true. For example, a lot of the prestige routes are operated with low flight numbers (DL1/2 JFK-LHR-JFK), or culturally significant numbers (DL88 PVG-LAX) as 8's are seen as lucky in Chinese culture.

For a long time after Delta moved into T4 at JFK, you could see which terminal you departed from simply by looking at your flight number. Anything that began with a 4 departed from T4, anything with a 2 departed from T2. Not so much anymore though.
 
tpaewr
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Re: What’s in a Delta flight number?

Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:14 pm

superjeff wrote:
DLHAM wrote:
I dont want to open a new thread, so Ill just post my question here:

I noticed that Delta uses a lot of flight numbers double, for the outward flight as well as for the return flight. An example MD88 shows following flights:

DL827 ATL-RIC
DL827 RIC-ATL

DL2342 ATL-BDL
DL2342 BDL-ATL

DL1695 ATL-CMH
DL1695 CMH-ATL

It always seems to be the same A/C. Are those flights operated as Via-Flights (ATL to ATL via CMH) because of the lack of numbers, as Delta has a huge Operation? Never noticed that before!



I think it is pretty common these days. Both American and United also are doing the same thing.

Delta's system has evolved a lot over the past fifty years - they used to assign flight numbers by aircraft type (i.e., all of their DC8 flights were 8xx, their Convair 880's were 9xx, and that system carried over to the DC9's, 741's, and L10's until the early to mid 1970's, when they switched. But over the past ten years, with growth, mergers, etc., the airlines, including Delta, have basically run out of flight numbers, or ran into duplications as a result of mergers (i.e, Northwest and Delta may have both had flights with the same numbers), so they had to come up with a system to resolve any conflicts, which has led to what they are doing today.


It seems like most premerger carriers had a system or tradition for their flight numbers. None of these seemed to have survived the last round of combinations.
 
tpaewr
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Re: What’s in a Delta flight number?

Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:17 pm

superjeff wrote:
DLHAM wrote:
I dont want to open a new thread, so Ill just post my question here:

I noticed that Delta uses a lot of flight numbers double, for the outward flight as well as for the return flight. An example MD88 shows following flights:

DL827 ATL-RIC
DL827 RIC-ATL

DL2342 ATL-BDL
DL2342 BDL-ATL

DL1695 ATL-CMH
DL1695 CMH-ATL

It always seems to be the same A/C. Are those flights operated as Via-Flights (ATL to ATL via CMH) because of the lack of numbers, as Delta has a huge Operation? Never noticed that before!



I think it is pretty common these days. Both American and United also are doing the same thing.

Delta's system has evolved a lot over the past fifty years - they used to assign flight numbers by aircraft type (i.e., all of their DC8 flights were 8xx, their Convair 880's were 9xx, and that system carried over to the DC9's, 741's, and L10's until the early to mid 1970's, when they switched. But over the past ten years, with growth, mergers, etc., the airlines, including Delta, have basically run out of flight numbers, or ran into duplications as a result of mergers (i.e, Northwest and Delta may have both had flights with the same numbers), so they had to come up with a system to resolve any conflicts, which has led to what they are doing today.


It seems like most premerger carriers had a system or tradition for their flight numbers. None of these seemed to have survived the last round of combinations.
 
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Delta flight number question

Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:29 pm

I have created a new thread and moved the posts into this thead.

Please note:

According to forum rules please do not post in threads which have been inactive for more than six months.
 
winginit
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Re: What’s in a Delta flight number?

Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:31 pm

superjeff wrote:
DLHAM wrote:
I dont want to open a new thread, so Ill just post my question here:

I noticed that Delta uses a lot of flight numbers double, for the outward flight as well as for the return flight. An example MD88 shows following flights:

DL827 ATL-RIC
DL827 RIC-ATL

DL2342 ATL-BDL
DL2342 BDL-ATL

DL1695 ATL-CMH
DL1695 CMH-ATL

It always seems to be the same A/C. Are those flights operated as Via-Flights (ATL to ATL via CMH) because of the lack of numbers, as Delta has a huge Operation? Never noticed that before!



I think it is pretty common these days. Both American and United also are doing the same thing.

Delta's system has evolved a lot over the past fifty years - they used to assign flight numbers by aircraft type (i.e., all of their DC8 flights were 8xx, their Convair 880's were 9xx, and that system carried over to the DC9's, 741's, and L10's until the early to mid 1970's, when they switched. But over the past ten years, with growth, mergers, etc., the airlines, including Delta, have basically run out of flight numbers, or ran into duplications as a result of mergers (i.e, Northwest and Delta may have both had flights with the same numbers), so they had to come up with a system to resolve any conflicts, which has led to what they are doing today.


Indeed. It's called out and back flight numbering and it's common among the US3.

I recall during the AA/US merger when AA reached the stage of doing network-wide AA*/US they had such a flight number shortage that they had to remove codeshare from partner routes to free up numbers. The scarcity persists today and necessitates out and back flight numbering.
 
EvanWSFO
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Re: Delta flight number question

Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:04 pm

I've always been curious if the U.S. ever gets to a point that we would see five-digit flight numbers. Using the out and back method makes sense yet I'll guess it may confuse infrequent flyers.
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WassbiKhalifa
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Re: Delta flight number question

Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:07 pm

Delta calls them 'round robin' flights.
 
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seabosdca
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Re: Delta flight number question

Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:30 pm

I expect the next step is to go beyond "out and back" numbering and assign the same flight number to an entire expected daily rotation for a domestic aircraft. That should alleviate flight number shortages considerably. Obviously it wouldn't preclude operating part of a daily rotation with a different aircraft if operational needs require, probably using a letter suffix to avoid having two aircraft with the same flight number in the air at the same time in the event that one is delayed.
 
EastCoastWing
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Re: What’s in a Delta flight number?

Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:32 pm

indygs wrote:
They also, as do other airlines, try to honor a locally-significant number for particular flights. For instance, Delta is one of several airlines at IND that has a flight 500 (IND-CDG) to honor the Indy 500. I believe AS (IND-SEA) UA (IND-SFO) and AA (IND-PHX) also do the same. We have a couple 317s, too, the main area code for Indianapolis.


I seem to recall that Northwest did that as well...500 into IND, 1492 into CMH, 1776 into PHL. Growing up in the Red Tail Country of Detroit I'll never forget flight 11, DTW-NRT and flight 29, DTW-SEL. Exciting times in the late '80s when DTW become a Pacific gateway...and sad to see those flight numbers go away with the Delta merger.
 
bnatraveler
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Re: What’s in a Delta flight number?

Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:37 pm

BAINY3 wrote:
Is there any rhyme or reason to the mainline flight numbers on domestic flights? For example, many but not all MSP-ATL flights are 28xx; MSP-DTW has a lot of 22xx, 23xx, and 25xx; MSP-LGA is 19xx, 21xx, 22xx; MSP-LAX is 12xx, 13xx, 14xx, 15xx; but MSP-SEA doesn't seem to have any particular pattern. I've seen it on some routes in the past, but couldn't find an example right now, where the first digit varies but the other ones repeat, such that a route might have a 1223, 1323, 2023, etc.


This structure is how Northwest used to do things years ago. It looks like they have kept a number of the flight numbers from that operation, but where new flights have been put in place or re-arranged after the transaction.
 
edmaircraft
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Re: Delta flight number question

Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:42 pm

I've seen WN do five legs on one flight number. Never figured out why.
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tpaewr
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Re: What’s in a Delta flight number?

Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:58 pm

EastCoastWing wrote:
indygs wrote:
They also, as do other airlines, try to honor a locally-significant number for particular flights. For instance, Delta is one of several airlines at IND that has a flight 500 (IND-CDG) to honor the Indy 500. I believe AS (IND-SEA) UA (IND-SFO) and AA (IND-PHX) also do the same. We have a couple 317s, too, the main area code for Indianapolis.


I seem to recall that Northwest did that as well...500 into IND, 1492 into CMH, 1776 into PHL. Growing up in the Red Tail Country of Detroit I'll never forget flight 11, DTW-NRT and flight 29, DTW-SEL. Exciting times in the late '80s when DTW become a Pacific gateway...and sad to see those flight numbers go away with the Delta merger.



CO did the same, some of it survived the merger some didn’t. For example UA 500 today is IND-SFO
 
MO11
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Re: Delta flight number question

Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:01 pm

edmaircraft wrote:
I've seen WN do five legs on one flight number. Never figured out why.


Because if the plane goes A-B-C-D-E-F, it can sell A-C, B-D, C-E, and D-F as one-stops without a connection. And it will sell an IND-BDL one-stop over MCO.
 
cofannyc
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Re: Delta flight number question

Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:19 pm

EvanWSFO wrote:
I've always been curious if the U.S. ever gets to a point that we would see five-digit flight numbers. Using the out and back method makes sense yet I'll guess it may confuse infrequent flyers.


There's a lot of underlying technology that cannot support 5 digit flight numbers.
 
stylo777
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Re: Delta flight number question

Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:10 pm

Why not simply replacing the last lets say two numbers with letters? Hard to believe that this is not possible since the "main structure" of airine code followed by four digit number/letter combination remains.

AA 12FG
DL 34HJ
UA 56KL
 
BostonBeau
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Re: Delta flight number question

Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:05 pm

EvanWSFO wrote:
I've always been curious if the U.S. ever gets to a point that we would see five-digit flight numbers. Using the out and back method makes sense yet I'll guess it may confuse infrequent flyers.


Rather than 5 digit flight numbers, why not start adding an alphabetic character to the flight number. For example, all flights from the USA to Europe and v/v. could have an E-prefix, flights to Asia an A-prefix, flights to Latin America an L-prefix, etc., and flights within North America stick to the straight numbers.
 
USAirKid
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Re: Delta flight number question

Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:26 pm

cofannyc wrote:
EvanWSFO wrote:
I've always been curious if the U.S. ever gets to a point that we would see five-digit flight numbers. Using the out and back method makes sense yet I'll guess it may confuse infrequent flyers.


There's a lot of underlying technology that cannot support 5 digit flight numbers.


I'm also curious if an airline having two IATA codes could be a solution.. the oddball thing then would be (If Delta ha DL and DT) you'd have DL234 and DT234..
 
afcjets
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Re: What’s in a Delta flight number?

Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:01 am

superjeff wrote:
Delta's system has evolved a lot over the past fifty years - they used to assign flight numbers by aircraft type (i.e., all of their DC8 flights were 8xx, their Convair 880's were 9xx, and that system carried over to the DC9's, 741's, and L10's until the early to mid 1970's, when they switched.


Delta continued to assign flight numbers by aircraft type until the early to mid 1980s. The L1011 were 10XX or 11XX, but the L15 to Europe and Hawaii were two digit flight numbers, 767s were 800 series but DC9s were too before, and 727s were in the lower hundreds.
 
afcjets
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Re: Delta flight number question

Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:09 am

WassbiKhalifa wrote:
Delta calls them 'round robin' flights.


Round Robin flights were at least once more specific. An example would be LAX-HNL-OGG-LAX where a round trip serves two destinations and each destination has it nonstop in only one direction.
 
afcjets
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Re: What’s in a Delta flight number?

Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:13 am

tpaewr wrote:

It seems like most premerger carriers had a system or tradition for their flight numbers. None of these seemed to have survived the last round of combinations.


For almost every airline, south and west bound flights were odd numbers and north and east bound flights were even numbers. This is at least still true for a lot of transcon flights.
 
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Amwest2United
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Re: Delta flight number question

Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:37 am

WassbiKhalifa wrote:
Delta calls them 'round robin' flights.


Strange, "round robins" are generally two stops and back, example - PHX-TPA-MCO-PHX As someone mentioned the ATL-CMH-ATL is called "out and back"
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EvanWSFO
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Re: What’s in a Delta flight number?

Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:01 am

afcjets wrote:
superjeff wrote:
Delta's system has evolved a lot over the past fifty years - they used to assign flight numbers by aircraft type (i.e., all of their DC8 flights were 8xx, their Convair 880's were 9xx, and that system carried over to the DC9's, 741's, and L10's until the early to mid 1970's, when they switched.


Delta continued to assign flight numbers by aircraft type until the early to mid 1980s. The L1011 were 10XX or 11XX, but the L15 to Europe and Hawaii were two digit flight numbers, 767s were 800 series but DC9s were too before, and 727s were in the lower hundreds.


Wasn't DL the first carrier to have four digit flight numbers?
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WassbiKhalifa
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Re: Delta flight number question

Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:44 am

Amwest2United wrote:
WassbiKhalifa wrote:
Delta calls them 'round robin' flights.


Strange, "round robins" are generally two stops and back, example - PHX-TPA-MCO-PHX As someone mentioned the ATL-CMH-ATL is called "out and back"


That was back in the day. Those types of flights are pretty rare now. These new 'RR' flights are much more common now and the round robin title is still used by DL personnel anyway.

DL also used to have routes like ATL-MOB-SHV-DFW. ATL-BNA-DFW, etc. There was even one that started in LGA and weaved it's way to ANC.
 
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Re: Delta flight number question

Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:58 am

There was a "round robin" flight yesterday (Monday, 07 January), Flight 1897, ATL-IND-ATL. I remember it because I looked it up on FlightAware.com when I heard the crew telling Indianapolis Center that their aircraft (MD-88) was picking up an excessive amount of rime ice. They were cleared to a different altitude and the ice issue was resolved.

Now, going W-A-Y back to the pre-deregulation days of the early 1970s, I remember when airlines charged less for nighttime flights using the ticketing classes FN/YN. Delta referred to their predawn flights as "Early Bird" flights and their late evening & overnight flights as "Owly Bird." Delta had mostly three-digit flight numbers then. The middle digits of the "Early Bird" flights were 1 or 2, and the middle digits of the "Owly Bird" flights were 8 or 9. I remember lying in bed late at night at my Uncle & Aunt's home in Louisville, listening to my aircraft band radio & hearing Delta Flight 689 arrive at SDF from ATL.
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afcjets
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Re: Delta flight number question

Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:16 am

SkyVoice wrote:
Now, going W-A-Y back to the pre-deregulation days of the early 1970s, I remember when airlines charged less for nighttime flights using the ticketing classes FN/YN. Delta referred to their predawn flights as "Early Bird" flights and their late evening & overnight flights as "Owly Bird." Delta had mostly three-digit flight numbers then. The middle digits of the "Early Bird" flights were 1 or 2, and the middle digits of the "Owly Bird" flights were 8 or 9. I remember lying in bed late at night at my Uncle & Aunt's home in Louisville, listening to my aircraft band radio & hearing Delta Flight 689 arrive at SDF from ATL.


Airlines including Delta continued night fares well into the 1980s. Here is a Delta timetable from late 1983 and Eastern from 1987 where you can see the flights (*) where they applied.

http://www.departedflights.com/DL121583intro.html

http://www.departedflights.com/EA083187intro.html
 
superjeff
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Re: Delta flight number question

Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:44 pm

SkyVoice wrote:
There was a "round robin" flight yesterday (Monday, 07 January), Flight 1897, ATL-IND-ATL. I remember it because I looked it up on FlightAware.com when I heard the crew telling Indianapolis Center that their aircraft (MD-88) was picking up an excessive amount of rime ice. They were cleared to a different altitude and the ice issue was resolved.

Now, going W-A-Y back to the pre-deregulation days of the early 1970s, I remember when airlines charged less for nighttime flights using the ticketing classes FN/YN. Delta referred to their predawn flights as "Early Bird" flights and their late evening & overnight flights as "Owly Bird." Delta had mostly three-digit flight numbers then. The middle digits of the "Early Bird" flights were 1 or 2, and the middle digits of the "Owly Bird" flights were 8 or 9. I remember lying in bed late at night at my Uncle & Aunt's home in Louisville, listening to my aircraft band radio & hearing Delta Flight 689 arrive at SDF from ATL.
\



I'm old enough to remember those flights too. They fared them as "Night Coach" with FN being in the First Class compartment and fared at normal Y fares; YN being discounted. It was primarily along the East Coast and Southeast with the biggest operators being Delta, Eastern, National and Northeast. Eastern's flights were generally in the 400 series (remember Eastern 401)?
 
jettaknight
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Re: Delta flight number question

Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:24 pm

MO11 wrote:
edmaircraft wrote:
I've seen WN do five legs on one flight number. Never figured out why.


Because if the plane goes A-B-C-D-E-F, it can sell A-C, B-D, C-E, and D-F as one-stops without a connection. And it will sell an IND-BDL one-stop over MCO.


Back in the days when everyone knew the difference between 'Nonstop', 'Direct' and 'Connecting' flights, wasn't this the way that airlines differentiated between the latter two? If you had an intermediate stop but your flight number stayed the same, it was a continuation on the same aircraft. If your flight number changed, it indicated a connection.

I know from experience that at least DL had gotten away from this practice 5 - 10 years ago. The gentleman seated next to me was rather irritated to learn that his ATL stop involved a connection, even though his continuing flight number was the same. If I recall correctly, this wasn't simply a substitution or special case due to maintenance - the published schedule showed the next leg of flight '123' as being on a completely different aircraft type.

Perhaps the practice of 'Round Robin' flight numbering has reduced airlines need to recycle flight numbers in and attempt to avoid this situation?
 
jettaknight
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Re: Delta flight number question

Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:24 pm

MO11 wrote:
edmaircraft wrote:
I've seen WN do five legs on one flight number. Never figured out why.


Because if the plane goes A-B-C-D-E-F, it can sell A-C, B-D, C-E, and D-F as one-stops without a connection. And it will sell an IND-BDL one-stop over MCO.


Back in the days when everyone knew the difference between 'Nonstop', 'Direct' and 'Connecting' flights, wasn't this the way that airlines differentiated between the latter two? If you had an intermediate stop but your flight number stayed the same, it was a continuation on the same aircraft. If your flight number changed, it indicated a connection.

I know from experience that at least DL had gotten away from this practice 5 - 10 years ago. The gentleman seated next to me was rather irritated to learn that his ATL stop involved a connection, even though his continuing flight number was the same. If I recall correctly, this wasn't simply a substitution or special case due to maintenance - the published schedule showed the next leg of flight '123' as being on a completely different aircraft type.

Perhaps the practice of 'Round Robin' flight numbering has reduced airlines need to recycle flight numbers in an attempt to avoid this situation?
 
STLflyer
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Re: Delta flight number question

Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:24 pm

jettaknight wrote:
MO11 wrote:
edmaircraft wrote:
I've seen WN do five legs on one flight number. Never figured out why.


Because if the plane goes A-B-C-D-E-F, it can sell A-C, B-D, C-E, and D-F as one-stops without a connection. And it will sell an IND-BDL one-stop over MCO.


Back in the days when everyone knew the difference between 'Nonstop', 'Direct' and 'Connecting' flights, wasn't this the way that airlines differentiated between the latter two? If you had an intermediate stop but your flight number stayed the same, it was a continuation on the same aircraft. If your flight number changed, it indicated a connection.

I know from experience that at least DL had gotten away from this practice 5 - 10 years ago. The gentleman seated next to me was rather irritated to learn that his ATL stop involved a connection, even though his continuing flight number was the same. If I recall correctly, this wasn't simply a substitution or special case due to maintenance - the published schedule showed the next leg of flight '123' as being on a completely different aircraft type.

Perhaps the practice of 'Round Robin' flight numbering has reduced airlines need to recycle flight numbers in and attempt to avoid this situation?


One flight number for AAA-BBB-CCC where AAA-BBB is a domestic leg on a narrowbody and BBB-CCC is long haul on a widebody isn't terribly uncommon.

AFAIK, reasons for it was because back when FF miles were credited on distance and not ticket cost, you'd get miles for the distance between AAA-CCC, which was often shorter than AAA-BBB and BBB-CCC which you'd get on a non-direct connection
 
afcjets
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Re: What’s in a Delta flight number?

Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:48 pm

EvanWSFO wrote:
afcjets wrote:
superjeff wrote:
Delta's system has evolved a lot over the past fifty years - they used to assign flight numbers by aircraft type (i.e., all of their DC8 flights were 8xx, their Convair 880's were 9xx, and that system carried over to the DC9's, 741's, and L10's until the early to mid 1970's, when they switched.


Delta continued to assign flight numbers by aircraft type until the early to mid 1980s. The L1011 were 10XX or 11XX, but the L15 to Europe and Hawaii were two digit flight numbers, 767s were 800 series but DC9s were too before, and 727s were in the lower hundreds.


Wasn't DL the first carrier to have four digit flight numbers?


I think you’re right and going back to at least the early 1970s. I am not sure they even needed to though before they merged with Western.
 
EvanWSFO
Posts: 1145
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Re: What’s in a Delta flight number?

Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:55 pm

afcjets wrote:
EvanWSFO wrote:
afcjets wrote:

Delta continued to assign flight numbers by aircraft type until the early to mid 1980s. The L1011 were 10XX or 11XX, but the L15 to Europe and Hawaii were two digit flight numbers, 767s were 800 series but DC9s were too before, and 727s were in the lower hundreds.


Wasn't DL the first carrier to have four digit flight numbers?


I think you’re right and going back to at least the early 1970s. I am not sure they even needed to though before they merged with Western.


I believe they had four digit flight numbers for both the D10's and L10's when they were flying simultaneously in the early 70s.
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afcjets
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Re: Delta flight number question

Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:58 pm

STLflyer wrote:
jettaknight wrote:

Back in the days when everyone knew the difference between 'Nonstop', 'Direct' and 'Connecting' flights, wasn't this the way that airlines differentiated between the latter two? If you had an intermediate stop but your flight number stayed the same, it was a continuation on the same aircraft. If your flight number changed, it indicated a connection.

I know from experience that at least DL had gotten away from this practice 5 - 10 years ago.


One flight number for AAA-BBB-CCC where AAA-BBB is a domestic leg on a narrowbody and BBB-CCC is long haul on a widebody isn't terribly uncommon.

AFAIK, reasons for it was because back when FF miles were credited on distance and not ticket cost, you'd get miles for the distance between AAA-CCC, which was often shorter than AAA-BBB and BBB-CCC which you'd get on a non-direct connection


The main reason for it was to show up at or near the top in CRS. Before airlines capped commissions in the mid 1990s before ultimately eliminating them completely in most cases and before airlines had websites, 80 percent of bookings were via agencies. Thru flights showed up before any connecting flights regardless of time and were therefore more likely to be booked. Airlines were very strategic when it came to international thru flights regardless of whether or not they involved a change of equipment.
Last edited by afcjets on Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
 
Utah744
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: Delta flight number question

Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:09 am

I had a flight MSP-LAS flight number 711 (I believe many airlines have a 711 to LAS) and the flight was on NWA ship 711 (a B-727-200) on July the 11th. Probably a good day to play the craps tables.
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