Key Points about “flight number”
- The flight number can be found on boarding pass.
- It is also listed on airline confirmation email.
- The flight number is important for tracking flights.
- It is used to identify airline, route, and schedule.
- The flight number may change due to schedule updates.
- It can also be found on airport departure/arrival screens.
- Mobile apps can provide real-time flight number info.
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Every day, almost 200,000 aircraft take to the skies worldwide to transport passengers or goods from A to B. The number of each flight is assigned a corresponding number. To keep track of them all, each flight is assigned an appropriate number. Logically, this is called a flight number. Although it is supposed to provide a better overview for air travelers, it often leads to confusion among them. “Where can I find the flight number?”, many people ask. How to find out your flight number and where to look for it, we will show you below.
What is the flight number?
Since thousands and thousands of airplanes cross the sky every day, you need an instrument to be able to assign them. The flight number has come into being as a more than suitable ordinal number. But what is a flight number? The usually six- or seven-digit combination of letters and numbers can be found on the boarding pass, for example. It always starts with the so-called IATA code. This is made up of letters and numbers and is reserved exclusively for the airline under whose flag the aircraft is departing.
The flight number kills several birds with one stone. On the one hand, it provides passengers with more orientation, and on the other, it helps them to keep track of their flights at large airports such as Frankfurt Airport, from which almost 100 planes take off within an hour. On large display panels, each flight number can be assigned to the appropriate gate. But the flight number is not only helpful at the airport itself. In the digital age, you also need it to check in conveniently in advance on the Internet. When sorting flight numbers, various aspects apply. In particular, parameters such as the duration of the flight or the region play a role.
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|Short distance up to 1500 km
|Medium distance up to 3500 km
|Long distance from 3500 km
|e.g. London – Edinburgh
|e.g. London – Athens
|e.g. London – Tokyo
What does a flight number look like?
Since there are a few numbers on a boarding pass, some people look in vain for the flight number on the ticket. But it is not that difficult to find. After all, airlines nowadays make every effort to ensure that you can find this important combination of numbers quickly, even in stressful airport situations. If you still can’t find it, or it’s not recognizable because of stains or printing errors, there are other sources for the flight number. For example, it can usually be found on a normal flight ticket. Alternatively, it is worth taking a look at the booking confirmation, for here you will find it, too.
Most airlines mark the flight number with the suffix “Flight”. Some German airlines even explicitly say “flight number”. Unfortunately, airlines have not agreed on a uniform positioning of the flight number. If it is in the top left-hand corner of one boarding pass, it may be in the bottom right-hand corner of another airline’s ticket. There is, however, a promising trick that will help you to recognize a flight number straight away. All you have to do is remember how it is structured. It is always made up of large letters or letters and numbers at the beginning, followed by four or five numbers.
How do I find the flight number?
It is advisable not to look for the flight number at the airport. It is better to take a look at your travel documents at home and find the flight number there. By the way, there are several ways to find out the flight number. Below, we list the different possibilities for you.
The most classic and obvious source for the flight number is undoubtedly the boarding pass. You should always have it handy at the airport anyway. To find the flight number, all you have to do is look for terms like “flight” on the ticket. Alternatively, you only need to know how a flight number is made up. It consists of capital letters at the beginning, followed by a four- to five-digit combination of numbers.
Since nowadays, a large part of all travel in general and flights, in particular, are booked online, you can also take a look at the documents. Thanks to e-mail, you can browse through the documents even if you have forgotten the printed documents at home. In addition to the booking confirmation from the airline, it usually also sends you a so-called e-ticket. This not only has a practical QR code that gives you access to the plane. You will also find the flight number here.
However, when searching for the flight number, you should also keep in mind that there might be some confusion. After all, it sometimes happens that air travelers confuse their flight numbers with other number combinations. It is particularly common to confuse it with the online booking code. This combination of numbers and letters, also known as the “booking reference”, also has six digits, which is why it is quite similar to a flight number. Unfortunately, this code does not help you to find your flight number.
So finding the right flight number is not really complicated. We can only warmly recommend that you take a look at the flight number at home before departure. This will save you unnecessary stress at the airport. But what about multiple flights? Especially when traveling to distant destinations (long-haul or non-stop flights), you often have to change planes. It is also often the case that different airlines are used. If you want to get to your destination on two different flights, you will of course get different flight numbers.
Where is the flight number located?
There are different places where you can find the flight number. Of course, the number-letter combination is on the flight ticket itself. But what if you can’t find it straight away? Fortunately, there are other ways to get the flight number. A look at the booking confirmation can also help. If you use the internet and book a trip online, you will receive the most important documents by e-mail. In addition to the payment and booking confirmation, this also includes the so-called e-ticket, which is a digital ticket for check-in. It also contains the flight number.
Since not every airline uses the same layout for its boarding pass, this can sometimes lead to confusion. But even without a detective’s intuition, you can usually find the flight number quickly and easily. Many airlines provide the flight number with an appropriate heading such as “Flight”, “Flight number” or “Flight”. On the boarding pass, this is usually on the left-hand side. It is also easy to find the flight number in online documents such as booking confirmations and e-tickets. If you are worried about this, we can only advise you to find the flight number early.
While you are searching for the flight number, the question can of course quickly arise as to why it exists in the first place. First, let us clarify how the combination of numbers and letters is explained. The two letters at the beginning form, so to speak, an abbreviation of the airline you are traveling with. An example is Lufthansa, which is abbreviated in the flight number with “LH” at the beginning. However, since most passengers will certainly know which airline they are flying with, the degree of information provided by this is certainly limited.
The letters only really acquire a meaning in combination with the numbers. For example, you can use the flight number to find out in advance whether your flight might be delayed. The same applies to your friends and family. If you are in the air with your plane, you will not be able to send messages if your smartphone is switched off. So you cannot inform a potential pick-up person about delays. However, with the help of the flight number, others can also find out via flight trackers whether a delay is imminent.
While the combination of letters at the beginning of the flight number may make sense quickly, you have to dig a little deeper for the numbers that follow. These have more to do with the region in which you want to take off or land. Sometimes you may need the flight number even after you have already boarded. If the boarding pass is missing in this case, the question arises as to how you can get the flight number afterward. In this case, it is worth taking another look at the booking confirmation. Since this is certainly still in your e-mail inbox or in your document file at home, you can still get the flight number even after you have started your journey.
However, if you are also missing these documents, you don’t have to throw your hands up in horror. There are websites such as Flightstats that can help you find out the flight number even after the flight. All you have to do is enter the departure and arrival data. However, it is advisable to keep documents such as booking confirmations. After all, such services also cost money after a certain period of time has passed since the flight.
Is the booking number the flight number?
A trip usually also involves a lot of paperwork. Fortunately, the digital age ensures that you no longer have to march to the check-in counter with a stack of paper. But regardless of whether you want to bring your documents with you in paper form or conveniently present them via smartphone – the important thing is that they are available to you in presentable form. In addition to the flight number, the booking number also plays a major role. For some people, however, having both a booking number and a flight number can lead to a great deal of confusion. After all, the airlines also rely on so-called IATA codes when assigning their booking numbers. These are made up of letters and numbers – just like a flight number. But what is the difference?
While the flight number helps passengers to find their way around the airport, the booking number is more important for the airline. After all, with its help, they can see the most important information about every booking. Unlike a flight number, which is valid for each individual passenger, the airline only assigns a number to each booking. If families are traveling and several seats have been reserved with one booking, only one number will be assigned accordingly. If you have booked an outward and return flight at the same time, you will also have the same booking number for both flights.
The booking number is most important for you when you check in at the airport. This is where they check which services you are entitled to. If you want to check in online in advance, you will of course also need the flight number. An extremely important document that you must not forget among all the numbers is your ID card. This will be checked together with your booking at check-in. If everything has gone according to plan, you will be given your boarding pass. This will contain a summary of the most important flight data.
Can the flight number change?
There is one thing that should be avoided at the airport, and that is stress. After all, it can spoil your holiday mood even before you start your journey. But what happens if the flight number suddenly changes? This is certainly where many people get anxious. And for good reason. After all, an airline only has to change the flight number if a flight is canceled. In the case of a mere delay, the flight number remains the same.
Here is an overview of the most important airline letter combinations:
How can Flightright help you?
Your trip is well planned, you are looking for your flight number. You arrived at the airport and discovered that you have a flight delay. Is your flight overbooked, or canceled?
According to the EU Passenger Rights Regulation, passengers are entitled to compensation in the event of a delay, cancellation, overbooking, or missed connection. You can claim up to 600 euros of compensation per person (minus commission fee). This compensation is independent of the ticket price. Flightright enforces your right for you. If necessary also in court.
As experts on the subject of air passenger rights, we enforce your right to compensation against the airline! Flightright’s air passenger rights experts are also happy to help you with ticket reimbursements