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Why do airlines keep "direct" flights that require a plane change?

Why do airlines keep "direct" flights that require a plane change?

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Old Feb 17, 19, 4:30 pm
  #16  
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There are also international-international direct flights, such as for a while MSP-NRT-SIN which now seems to be SEA-NRT-SIN. IIRC therehave been NYC-ATL-EZE and LAX-ATL-EZE direct flights at some point and of course the ATL-LAX flight that "continues" to SYD.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 7:33 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
DL has done out-and-back flights with the same flight number. (I recall a ATL-PWM-ATL.) Does DL do many multi-stop domestic flights on a single number? WN has a TPA-DEN-LAS-LAX-ATL-DTW flight as #1397 , for example.
I feel like a lot of DL's out and back end up getting the same number, due to how many flights they have operating on their schedule.

At least I seem to recall all my recent flights through ORD have an out and back, because whenever I track my flight leaving ORD I always get the in progress flight coming into ORD.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 8:34 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
There are also international-international direct flights, such as for a while MSP-NRT-SIN which now seems to be SEA-NRT-SIN. IIRC therehave been NYC-ATL-EZE and LAX-ATL-EZE direct flights at some point and of course the ATL-LAX flight that "continues" to SYD.
Those may all have been thru-flights in the past but they are not at the present - at least not on the date I checked.

I remember a NW A320 on MEM-SEA-NRT-TPE. Overheard on the MEM-SEA segment from a woman behind me, 'How is this little plane going to make it all the way to Taipei?'
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Old Feb 17, 19, 9:37 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
In talking to GA they do not like such flights. I did not get a specific reason. As a medallion PAX they suck because one can not automatically be put on the UG list, get credit for a single flight (rather than two), and get less miles. Also when waiting for the continuing flight it appears that the flight is already closed when it plainly is still a the gate.
Had this only once and called delta and they split up the flight into two segments. Fixes all of the issues you cite.
That said, can someone really confirm these are real?
- not on the UG list for the second flight?
- get less miles? so you get a non existing mileage based on point to point that is less than the sum of the two segments?
- delta app not working properly and thus showing as closed instead of boarding etc?

seems ridiculous to me, though again, I split up my ticket in that case so there is a workaround.
And the reasons why the airlines do it have been explained above already.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 10:22 pm
  #20  
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Originally Posted by mayhem View Post
Had this only once and called delta and they split up the flight into two segments. Fixes all of the issues you cite....
and in true FT fashion, here’s a counterexample (granted it dates from ~2005, and I was FO, maybe GM) — DL939, IAD-SLC-SEA involving an equipment change ... multiple calls and email contacts with DL Customer Service yielded absolutely nothing
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Old Feb 17, 19, 11:00 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
Trying to keep this DL-specific, it seems DL likes to use a single number for some domestic-international and international-domestic (but I'm challenged to find any flight numbers at the moment).
DL 30 (DFW-ATL-LHR) comes to mind, though it seems it hasn't been used as such in the past few weeks at least.

Update: I see DL 32 is now being designated as the direct flight between DFW and LHR (via ATL).
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Old Feb 18, 19, 5:06 am
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DL42 (MSP-JFK-BRU ) last year comes to mind here. Some Delta systems didn't like that same flight number; Delta app & couldn't board the normal way at JFK. Maybe because i already boarded 'DL42'
However got the normal SMs, MQMs and MQDs for such flights.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 6:47 am
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Thumbs down

Originally Posted by drminn View Post
Ironically I have missed the second leg of an international "direct" flight because the first part was arriving late.
I have also. It was on an Aero Mexico flight I had purchased on Delta's website. The routing was JFK-MEX-Acapulco. When I originally purchased the ticket the connection time in MEX was over 2 hours but that time changed to just over 1 hour but it was still a legal connection. I was one of the first passengers off the plane but I did not make the connection in MEX. I presented myself at the gate while the aircraft was still there but my seat was not protected and was given away. So this thru flight with the same flight number had not benefit to me and was handled as a regular connection.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 7:40 am
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This is definitely a practice that needs to die. At its best, it is a half misleading marketing practice. At its worse, it is an edge case that causes inevitable IT and travel issues.

Not on Delta, but I had a "direct" flight from ATL-CLT-CDG a few years back on AA (with about a 50 minute connection in CLT to make the CDG flight). The inbound was an out-and-back doing CLT-ATL-CLT and it was going to depart CLT about the same time a pretty heavy line of thunderstorms was going over the airport. I'd seen this rodeo before, so I got to the airport early to try to try to do standby on an earlier flight... I got to the airport, and was told I could not standby for the earlier flight because it was an "international direct" flight (whereas I would have been able to do it had it not been a "direct" flight). Despite my protests of the insanity of calling it a direct flight when it is just a normal connection, they said that they literally could not do it on their system and that there was nothing they could do.

Long story short, the earlier flight went out with several empty seats and the next ATL-CLT got (unsurprisingly) delayed and I missed my "direct" flight from CLT-CDG. As it was just a short weekend trip, I had to cancel my plans entirely (they tried to put me on a later-departing CLT-LHR flight but it was all booked up and could only [ironically] offer me standby - plus I would still have arrived in Paris about 9 hours later than originally scheduled which did not make sense given that I was only going to be there for the weekend anyways).
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Old Feb 18, 19, 10:28 am
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Originally Posted by rucksack View Post
DL 30 (DFW-ATL-LHR) comes to mind, though it seems it hasn't been used as such in the past few weeks at least.

Update: I see DL 32 is now being designated as the direct flight between DFW and LHR (via ATL).
If you see a domestic flight number with just 2 digits or a 1XX flight number on Delta, there’s a good chance it’s the domestic leg of a “direct” international flight. For example, DL 185 is MCO-ATL-PVG. I frequently flew on DL 128/129 between SEA & LAX which were the domestic legs of a LAX-SEA-PEK/PEK-SEA-LAX flight.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 11:02 am
  #26  
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I agree this is horrible practice. I can't even think of a current situation where there is actually an option to stay on the same plane. I don't even think there are many direct flights out there that don't have a scheduled change of guage.

At least back in the day, grandma could take a direct flight instead of a connection so she could just stay on the plane and not worry about the connection. I had friends in PHX that loved WN and their direct flights because they hated changing planes and they stopped 3 or 4 times sometimes on the way to IND and were happy about it.

I repeatedly warn my coworkers when they misuse "direct" vs. "non-stop." They are tired of it. It will burn them sometime.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 11:05 am
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Originally Posted by indufan View Post
I repeatedly warn my coworkers when they misuse "direct" vs. "non-stop." They are tired of it. It will burn them sometime.
According to George Carlin we all misuse “nonstop” because he insisted that his flight actually stop at some point, preferably at the airport.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 2:38 pm
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Originally Posted by WWads View Post
I feel like that's not supposed to happen.
That's exactly how I felt. Don't remember the flight number, it was a flight from GRU to MSP via DTW quite a few years back. Check out flight 41, JFK - LAX SYD, with an aircraft change in LAX from 757 to 777, could easily happen there.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 4:58 pm
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Originally Posted by drminn View Post
That's exactly how I felt. Don't remember the flight number, it was a flight from GRU to MSP via DTW quite a few years back. Check out flight 41, JFK - LAX SYD, with an aircraft change in LAX from 757 to 777, could easily happen there.
And currently, the actual aircraft that goes LAX to SYD as flight 41 leaves ATL as flight 195. That is the true direct flight to SYD. Same arrival gate at LAX as the departure to SYD as flight 41.

DL Definitely manipulating the JFK-SYD as "direct" in the reservation systems mostly to prevent double connections from appearing from northeastern cities who don't have nonstops to LAX.
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Old Mar 12, 19, 10:50 am
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FWIW I wrote ole Ed a note with quite a few irritating issues with the flights (not just the direct issue). As part of it I did request the real MQM for two flights. While a got a better than average canned reply they declined to give me the full MQMs. They did give me a few miles for my time. Whoopee.
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