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In US domestic air travel, do single airlines (= single carrier) ever have more than one "physical flight" scheduled to leave the same airport, on the same day, with the same flight number? If so, can two flights with the same number of the same carrier be scheduled to leave at the same time?

Notes:

  • I don't mean rescheduling of the same flight as the result of a delay.
  • I don't mean technical problems causing the same physical flight to be displayed twice on a list of departures.
  • By "physical flight" I mean one single unique physical airplane with its crew passengers and cargo.
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    can two flights with the same number of the same carrier be scheduled to leave at the same time? - sure. It happens daily. Those flights even have the same machine, the same crew and the same passengers. – Neusser Nov 29 '17 at 14:25
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    @Neusser: Was that a humorous comment? If it isn't, I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Sorry for being dense. – einpoklum Nov 29 '17 at 14:27
  • @neusser I think what OP means specifically, are flights with different machines, as he mentions "physical flights" – Kuba Nov 29 '17 at 14:28
  • This might be a better question for the folks over at Aviation.SE. – Michael Seifert Nov 29 '17 at 14:36
  • What do you mean by "can"? It's not illegal as far as I know (though the two flights would probably have to select different call signs to talk to ATC). But I very much doubt that any airline ever does this intentionally (it could happen as a mistake). Of course, it's hard to prove a negative. – Nate Eldredge Nov 29 '17 at 14:44
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I can't answer for all airlines, but for the airline I work for (one of the US big 3), the answer is No. We regularly use the same flight number for multiple flights in a day but when that happens they are guaranteed to be departing from different airports at different times. Sometimes we use the same equipment, but sometimes the same flight number can hop to a different aircraft. It seems like a reasonable guess that other major airlines would take the same approach, if for no other reason than having multiple flights with the same number leaving from the same airport in a day would make crunching the numbers (i.e. looking at revenue, number of pax, etc) much harder after the fact.

  • Additionally, flights delayed overnight will almost always get a new flight number to distinguish it from the scheduled one. – Johns-305 Nov 29 '17 at 16:02
  • So, that's indeed my experience too - an airline's "flight" with a distinct number has several flight legs - say, from airport A to B to C to D - but at most one departure from each of airport per day. However - I want to make sure this is universal (no pun intended) rather than common. – einpoklum Nov 29 '17 at 16:46

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