dfwjim1
Topic Author
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Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:46 pm

Same flight numbers on roundtrips.

Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:57 pm

I believe this topic may have been addressed a while back but my search skills aren't that great so I thought I would ask again. Last week I flew on AA #383 from MIA to SFO and back to MIA on the same flight # (on a different day). I also noticed that another MIA - SFO had the same flight number both ways, #2688, while the two other AA flights that day did not. Is there a particular reason why two of the AA flights had the same number both ways while the other two did not?

Thanks for your responses.
 
bob606
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:13 pm

Re: Same flight numbers on roundtrips.

Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:25 pm

I remember this topic coming up a while back. If I recall correctly, it seems that we are more or less running out of numbers to assign to flights. Not literally of course. But most flight numbers are four digits or less. If each flight or flight segment had a unique number, we might run into some problems with the larger air carriers. So some flights have the same number coming and going.

I can see a problem with this. For example if the inbound flight is very delayed, another aircraft might be substituted for that flight. It could be taking off, and be in the same area as the late inbound flight, causing some confusion. I suspect this has occured to the FAA, and someone has come up with a solution.
 
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XAM2175
Posts: 1156
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:25 pm

Re: Same flight numbers on roundtrips.

Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:44 pm

bob606 wrote:
I can see a problem with this. For example if the inbound flight is very delayed, another aircraft might be substituted for that flight. It could be taking off, and be in the same area as the late inbound flight, causing some confusion. I suspect this has occured to the FAA, and someone has come up with a solution.


Marketing flight number (that is, the IATA Flight Number) and the flight's identity for traffic control need not be the same thing. Many European operators treat them differently as a matter of course for flights within certain areas - for example, right now BA1338 is flying LHR-NCL as "Shuttle 12T" and BA801 is inbound to LHR from KEF as "Speedbird 80KA", while BA27 is off to HKG as plain-Jane "Speedbird 27".

Where carriers do usually try to align flight number and callsign, general practice for a delayed flight overlapping the on-time one is for the delayed flight's callsign to be suffixed "D".
 
Adispatcher
Posts: 179
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:52 pm

Re: Same flight numbers on roundtrips.

Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:20 am

XAM2175 wrote:
bob606 wrote:
I can see a problem with this. For example if the inbound flight is very delayed, another aircraft might be substituted for that flight. It could be taking off, and be in the same area as the late inbound flight, causing some confusion. I suspect this has occured to the FAA, and someone has come up with a solution.


Marketing flight number (that is, the IATA Flight Number) and the flight's identity for traffic control need not be the same thing. Many European operators treat them differently as a matter of course for flights within certain areas - for example, right now BA1338 is flying LHR-NCL as "Shuttle 12T" and BA801 is inbound to LHR from KEF as "Speedbird 80KA", while BA27 is off to HKG as plain-Jane "Speedbird 27".

Where carriers do usually try to align flight number and callsign, general practice for a delayed flight overlapping the on-time one is for the delayed flight's callsign to be suffixed "D".


We generally add 'alpha' to the call sign, but same philosophy. It makes it interesting because we can have company, ATC, and passenger communications be three unique call signs.
 
travaz
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2001 1:03 am

Re: Same flight numbers on roundtrips.

Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:49 am

My question is how are flight times calculated? There is a flight AA820 PHX to LAX that is scheduled every night to depart PHX at 8:05 PM Scheduled to arrive LAX at 9:45. Most flights including this one to LAX from PHX are about 40 to 50 Minutes. This flight always leaves 20 to 30 min late. The aircraft that fly's this route is normally back on the ground in PHX by 5 to 530 pm so it is never a problem of a late arrival of the previous flight. I just wonder why the scheduled time is so long verses the real flight time. The reason I have been watching this flight is I am taking it for a connection to an Australian flight in October.
 
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Starlionblue
Posts: 19314
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: Same flight numbers on roundtrips.

Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:19 am

Scheduled time is based on block time, not flight time. There will be padding depending on expected taxi times, ground handling delays, etc...

Example:
- Average of 30 minutes pushback delay due to flow control.
- Average taxi out time of 20 minutes.
- Average flight time of 40 minutes.
- Average taxi in time of 10 minutes.

Schedule will show 1h40m, which is the block time, but the flight time is 40m.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
travaz
Posts: 845
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2001 1:03 am

Re: Same flight numbers on roundtrips.

Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:51 am

Ok thanks for the explanation . Now that I think about it it probably is flow control going into LAX
 
atcdan
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:52 am

Re: Same flight numbers on roundtrips.

Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:47 am

travaz wrote:
Ok thanks for the explanation . Now that I think about it it probably is flow control going into LAX


There is almost always flow control between large airports that are in close proximity, including anywhere in the southwestern US headed to LAX.
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