Connecting Flight Criteria


#1

What criteria are used for connecting flights? Shouldn’t the flight number be checked one of the criteria? Shouldn’t type of flight be considered? I found many connections that are connections between all-cargo flights and pax flights.

Examples found around 16:11CDT 16 Sep
Same Flight Connections
SEA-OMA: SWA899 connecting to SWA899 at DEN
SEA-FLL: COA1606 connecting to COA1606 at IAH
ONT-BNA: SWA1374 connecting to SWA1374 at DEN
ONT-BNA: SWA2170 connecting to SWA2170 at PHX
SNA-BNA: FFT234 connecting to FFT234 at DEN
PVD-FLL: AWE1703 connecting to AWE1703 at DCA

Cargo/Pax Connections
ONT-BNA: UPS806 connecting to SWA33 at DEN
OAK-BOI: AM4304 connecting to SKW416G at SFO
OAK-BOI: PCM8680 connecting to SWA1152 at RNO
YKM-PHX: AMF422 connecting to SWA3516 at PDX
STS-PHX: APC1961 connecting to SWA801 at OAK
STS-PHX: PCM7708 connecting to SWA801 at OAK
DEN-VIS: SKW372V connecting to AMF106 at FAT
VIS-DEN: PCM7703 connecting to SWA28 at DEN


#2

This is operating correctly. A re-used flight number is a connection that happens to be the same flight number. Passengers often have to change planes, gates, etc, sometimes terminals.

Cargo/Pax Connections
ONT-BNA: UPS806 connecting to SWA33 at DEN
OAK-BOI: AM4304 connecting to SKW416G at SFO
OAK-BOI: PCM8680 connecting to SWA1152 at RNO
YKM-PHX: AMF422 connecting to SWA3516 at PDX
STS-PHX: APC1961 connecting to SWA801 at OAK
STS-PHX: PCM7708 connecting to SWA801 at OAK
DEN-VIS: SKW372V connecting to AMF106 at FAT
VIS-DEN: PCM7703 connecting to SWA28 at DEN

We’re working on this issue. It’s a useful search for people in the industry, but don’t want it to be one of the top choices.


#3

[quote=“dbaker”]

I have to say it is NOT operating correctly. None of these are “re-used” flight numbers. All of these flights are direct flights. (In some countries, they are called through flights). A direct flight is a flight that does not have a change of flight number between the origin and the final destination. The aircraft type may change but the flight number will always be the same. All of the flights above meet this criteria.

If I was to buy a ticket on any of the city pairs listed, I would have 1 ticket coupon, not 2 as in the case of a connecting flight, between my origin and destination, and 1, not 2 as in the case of a connecting flight, boarding passes. In the case of Southwest and probably the other airlines, I would not even be allowed to leave the plane at the “connecting” city.

We’re working on this issue. It’s a useful search for people in the industry, but don’t want it to be one of the top choices.

I can see where the connecting flights between cargo and pax carriers can be useful for shippers.


#4

I’m definitely aware of the technical distinction between direct, nonstop, and connecting flights. However, most airlines no longer operate “direct” flights in the manner than you’re describing, which is why we use the term “re-use” for the flight number.

It is typical for someone buying a “direct” flight and receive two boarding passes (for the same flight number), two different seat assignments, and have to change gates at the connecting city. The “direct” flight is purely so it can be ticketed as one segment (a benefit in GDS systems) but doesn’t mean anything else.

Accordingly, there is no guarantee that you make your connecting direct flight, even if it has the same flight number. It is a common occurrence for people with a “direct” flight (say, flight 123 from AAA to BBB to CCC, “direct” AAA-CCC) to arrive at BBB late on flight 123 and find out that flight 123 BBB-CCC has left.

In 2011, having the same flight number on a “direct” flight is no guarantee of the same seat, aircraft, gate, anything. The “direct” flights are a sales scheme that have zero operational impact and are treated as a connecting flight by most non-ticketing software (e.g., operational, tracking).


#5

This doesn’t make any sense whatsoever in the case of a direct flight without a change of gauge. I can see if the direct flight involves two different aircraft (e.g. SEA B777 - DEN B737 - BNA). Two different seat assignments and 2 different boarding passes to reflect the different seats.

Now, let’s change the flight to a single aircraft from SEA to DEN to BNA). Does it make sense to make a passenger flying from SEA to BNA to change his seat? It increases the boarding time of the other passengers boarding the aircraft at DEN due to the through passengers having to move their carry-on baggage to another seat.

But the definition of a direct flight is that it is just that - a no-change-of-flight-number flight. In some cases, there is a change of gauge in which case I can see the need for a new boarding pass. But in the cases where there is no change of gauge, I can’t see the airline inconveniencing a passenger by making him change seats and submit a new boarding pass.

Airlines have been doing this for decades.

In the case of your connecting flights, I think you should eliminate the same flight number flights when showing connecting flights. Southwest passengers get only one boarding pass for a given flight number, regardless of the number of stops made enroute.