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I have booked through different agencies a flight from the Tokyo Haneda airport to Munich Airport, Germany. The two different agencies have given me, based on my requirements, two tickets, but I did not verify that the flights and thus airplanes are actually the same.

It turns out that the same airline company, Lufthansa, is operating a flight departing at 12:45 and reaching Munich. There are two flight codes: LH4923 and LH0715. Like stated, they both take off at the same exact hour.

Is this normal? Could it be that only one airplane will actually fly? I would like to have the tickets I bought to be associated to the same airplane. I am not sure if I can make any changes on a short notice.

Can anyone confirm that these are indeed different airplanes departing for the same destination at the same time?


Later edit:

  • it is indeed not a normal/common situation, but it turns out that this is what they actually do. ANA and Lufthansa have agreed to fly separately, but simultaneously from the same source and same destination.

  • passengers are advised to check all flight details, even if the same company operates (directly or under a code-share) the flight

Useful fact:

  • if desired, one can change the company, but it is usually only possible from ANA to Lufthansa. There is an exchange and ticket reissue fee amounting approximately 200 dollars. This is possible, of course, only if there are any available seats remaining.
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They are different flights.

LH4923 is a Lufthansa codeshare for a flight actually operated by All Nippon Airways as flight NH217: http://www.flightstats.com/go/Mobile/flightStatusByFlight.do?flightNumber=4923&airline=LH

LH715 is an actual Lufthansa flight: http://www.flightstats.com/go/Mobile/flightStatusByFlight.do?airline=LH&flightNumber=715&departureDate=2017-03-14

It's uncommon, but not unheard of, for this to happen: for example, all 3 daily flights from Tokyo to Sydney depart within a few minutes of each other, two of them from the same airport (Haneda).

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    I don't think it is so uncommon. If a time is very popular to travel at, then airlines will want to put their planes on at that time, in order to tap into the biggest demand. There's no point in running a flight at an unpopular time of day, because you will have to sell cheap tickets to entice people to travel. It's the same reason why the number 24 bus only stops outside my house once every fifteen minutes at night but every five minutes during the day. – Calchas Mar 15 '17 at 11:32
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    @Calchas It's pretty unusual for them to leave at exactly the same time though. – jpatokal Mar 15 '17 at 11:33
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    That is a fair point. NH&LH are in a joint venture to coordinate schedules and prices, perhaps they took the meaning of "coordinate" to its maximum extent. – Calchas Mar 15 '17 at 11:36
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In this case LH 4923 is a codeshare flight operated by NH 217 (All Nippon Airways); LH 715 really is a different flight.

You can tell flights are codeshare as they will depart at the same time, from the same gate - but with different flight numbers, as depicted on this picture:

enter image description here

(Source: Wikipedia)

Lufthansa and ANA have a "joint venture" which enables them to coordinate prices and schedules, and share revenues, on routes between Japan and Europe. Therefore the extra capacity was deliberately organized to capture the high demand for travel at this time.

It is quite common for flights to clump together and depart at around the same time, because if a departure time is popular with customers, then of course everyone wants to put their plane on at that time to charge higher fares.

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    Flights leave at similar time not because it is a popular departure time with customers, but rather because it is coordinated with flight banks. Airlines use hub & spoke systems, so flights come in from various destinations, then passengers change planes to connecting destinations. Flights are timed to maximize potential connections. And since both flights feed off of and into the same banks at each end, they fly in between around the same time. There is also safety in numbers on long haul routes where there is not a lot of ground stations and pilots need to relay weather, wind etc. – user13044 Mar 15 '17 at 14:37
  • @Tom Passenger demand for the right flight times really is a big factor in timing intercontinental flights. Feed does matter but if you are flying Europe to Tokyo, your route will stand or fall on O&D traffic; indeed JAL and NH are famously reluctant to provide much in the way of international feed to their partners anyway. That is particularly true at Haneda, with its limited capacity for connections. (In the past I have been one of only fifteen connecting passengers coming off BA 7. Meanwhile BA 8 is timed to make almost all connections impossible.) – Calchas Mar 15 '17 at 15:01
  • My apologies, I forgot that every airline does things the way BA does. – user13044 Mar 15 '17 at 15:40
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    You're both right in that flight banks exist, but they are timed based on demand. The Dulles early evening bank is timed so that TATL flights arrive in Europe in the morning, but pax on morning TCON flights can still connect, and those flights are timed because even if curfews didn't apply, no one wants to arrive in Europe at 3am, no one wants to leave LA at 3am, especially when you already have the unpleasantness of flying through IAD. – choster Mar 15 '17 at 18:11
  • And even if people did want to arrive or depart an airport in the middle of the night, SYD is closed to arriving and departing flights overnight. – Michael Hampton Mar 15 '17 at 23:08

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