Differing Flight Numbers / Letter Suffix


Often here in BFL (and I’m sure other places) I see the same airline and flight expressed with two entries containing different flight numbers, and one with a letter suffix. I’ve searched for similar topics but didn’t find any. I see this frequently. Does anyone know why this is so? I’m gonna guess one is the codeshare and the other is for the actual airline (UA / Skywest)…??? I see it for Mesa as well.
SKW6326 E120 San Francisco Intl (KSFO) 06:12p PDT 07:10p PDT
SKW373M E120 San Francisco Intl (KSFO) 06:12p PDT 07:10p PDT
SKW588G CRJ2 Denver Intl (KDEN) 06:40p MDT 07:50p PDT
SKW5465 CRJ2 Denver Intl (KDEN) 06:40p MDT 08:02p PDT
Thanks for info in advance.



Most of the time, the additional letters mean that there is already a flight in the air with that same flight number and same callsign. No two flights (at least within the US ADIZ) can have the same flight number and callsign in the air. So to indicate that it is a different flight than the one already en route, the additional letter is appended to the flight number and the callsign.

this happens all the time with flights like VIR43, which is a daily EGKK-KLAS run. By the time the next flight is taking off, the previous flight is still over the US and Canada on its way to Vegas. So more often than not, you’ll see a VIR43W in the air.



You pretty much figured it out - the flights are operating (in the ATC system) with different numbers than they’re being marketed as. We’re working on a system to better correlate them so you won’t see duplicates on our site in the future.


That makes sense. Thanks! Here’s another interesting one. One number is the single leg, the other has all legs (in this case the origin of the flight)
SKW373M 10-Jul-2011 E120/G San Francisco Intl (KSFO) Meadows Field (KBFL) 06:42PM PDT 07:33PM PDT 0:51

SKW6326 10-Jul-2011 E120 San Francisco Intl (KSFO) Meadows Field (KBFL) 06:42PM PDT 07:36PM PDT 0:54
10-Jul-2011 CRJ2/L Gowen Field (KBOI) San Francisco Intl (KSFO) 02:45PM MDT 03:16PM PDT 1:31

Thanks for all the great info. I’ve loved and followed aviation and the airline industry since I was a kid and I still have lots of stuff to learn. :smiley: