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The Secret Meanings Behind The Flight Number On Your Boarding Pass

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FROM the moment we arrive at the airport until we pick up our luggage at the other end, our flight number guides us every step of the way.

But have you ever wondered what this assortment of letters and numbers means?

Getty – Contributor Your flight number reveals a lot of information about the journey you are taking

There’s a lot of information hidden in your flight number, from the direction your plane is headed to how important that route is to the airline you’re flying with.

Here, we reveal what it says about your flight…

The letters

As you should already know, the two letters at the start of the flight number denote the airline.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be publish The two letters at the start of the flight number denote the airline, and British Airways is BA

These two-letter codes are issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association for international airlines. And of course, no two airlines can have the same code.

Many seem like no-brainers. QF is Qantas, Virgin Atlantic is VS, AA is American Airlines, BA is British Airways and NZ is Air New Zealand.

But others are a little less obvious — like WN, which is the code for Southwest Airlines, and AY, which is used by Finnair.

Wait — what?

When Southwest Airlines sought its code, SW was already taken — and is used to this day — by Air Namibia. That’s because Air Namibia used to be called South West Air Transport.

Similarly, Finnair was called Aero O/Y once upon a time, which is where AY comes from.

Getty – Contributor It also matters whether your flight has an odd or even number. There are exceptions, but flights heading east or north are often given even numbers

The numbers

The numbers reveal a lot more information. For starters, the lower the number, the more prestigious the route — such as Qantas’ Sydney-London service, QF1.

“Airlines often give lower numbers to their more prestigious, long-distance routes,” pilot Patrick Smith previously told news.com.au.

“If there’s a flight 001 in an airline’s timetables, it’s the stuff of London-Sydney or Paris-New York.”

It also matters whether your flight has an odd or even number. There are exceptions, but flights heading east or north are often given even numbers and those heading west or south are assigned odd numbers.

Qantas uses odd numbers for outbound international flights (like the London-bound QF1) and even numbers for inbound international flights (like QF44 from Denpasar to Sydney).

Alamy The lower the number, the more prestigious the route — such as Qantas’ Sydney-London service, QF1

On Qantas flights, numbers between 1 and 399 are international flights, including codeshare, while flight numbers higher than 400 are domestic flights.

Generally, across most airlines, four-digit flight numbers beginning with a 3 or higher indicates codeshare flights operated by partners.

For example, British Airways flight BA7420 is a codeshare flight from Auckland to Sydney operated by Qantas.

Numbers airlines like – and don’t like

Alamy Airlines traditionally retire numbers of crashed flights

Airlines have a fair bit of freedom in assigning flight numbers and some can be quite creative.

American Airlines flight AA1776 from Boston to Philadelphia, for example, is said to pay tribute to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which happened in Philadelphia in 1776.

Superstition sometimes influences numbers.

Many airlines have incorporated the number 8 into their Asian routes because that number is considered lucky in many Asian cultures.

United Airlines’ flight from San Francisco to Beijing, for example, is UA888.

“Lucky” numbers are sometimes also used on flights to popular gambling destinations.

Getty – Contributor Many airlines have incorporated the number 8 into their Asian routes because that number is considered lucky in many Asian cultures – United Airlines’ flight from San Francisco to Beijing, for example, is UA888

Then there are the numbers airlines don’t like to use.

Sometimes that’s also due to superstition, which rules out “unlucky” numbers 13 and 666. Another rarely seen number is 911.

Airlines traditionally retire numbers of crashed flights. The Kuala Lumpur to Beijing route formerly flown by Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 now uses the number MH360.

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United Airlines and American Airlines, which had planes hijacked in the September 11 attacks, renumbered the affected flights.

But in the absence of superstition or tragedy, flight numbers can stay with airlines for a very long time.

“Numbers can stay in use for many years, even as departure times and aircraft types may change,” Mr Smith told news.com.au.

“In some cases they outlast airlines themselves. To this day, some of the flight numbers used by Delta on its European routes trace their origins back to Pan Am, whose European network was sold to Delta more than 20 years ago.”

Travel

Family Horrified To Find Dead Rat In Their Suitcase After American Airlines Lost It For Five Days

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A FAMILY have spoken of their horror at discovering a rat in their suitcase after they lost it on an American Airlines flight.

Merry Cannon, 36, was excited to be joining her husband on a business trip to Germany and France from Arkansas with their two young children aged one and five on March 5.

Merry Stuhlsatz Cannon / Facebook An American family discovered this rat in their suitcase after it was lost on an American Airlines flight

Unfortunately, their holiday had gotten off to a bumpy start, as their flight from Fayetteville was cancelled due to a broken windshield and they then they missed their connecting flight in Chicago.

On arrival in Chicago, they were called to report to the American Airlines customer service desk where they were told their seats “had been given up”.

It took hours to get rebooked, and they didn’t fly out until 10pm the next day, so they had to skip the whole leg of the trip to Germany and fly into Brussels, rent a car and drive two hours to Lille, France.

But all of these inconveniences paled into insignificance when it came to getting hold of their luggage.

Merry Stuhlsatz Cannon / Facebook When Merry got home with the bag, it smelt so bad that she emptied the contents for washing outside

Merry told News.com.au: “They lost our luggage for five days. The night before we were leaving for London to return home, it was delivered at 10.30pm.

“By then it was comical and my husband joked that at least when we get home we won’t have all that laundry to do.”

Little did they know what extra surprise would be waiting for them inside the bag.

Merry added: “When we returned home in Arkansas I immediately went to the American Airlines customer assistance desk to report how awful my bag smelt. I actually told them that it smelt like something had died.”

She claims the staff member told her the smell may be from it getting wet while it sat for days on the runway.

“He thought it was mould, but even said it smelled far worse than that.”

Alamy The airline lost their bag for five days and only showed up the night before they were due to return home from London

She alleges she was told to go and wash the bag and its contents to see if would come clean, then file a claim through the airline’s baggage claim department, ensuring nothing was thrown away as it would need to be sent to the airline.

Merry said: “When we returned home, we took the bag to our back porch because the smell was so horrendous.

“I washed one load three times in bleach, vinegar, OxiClean and Tide and finally decided whatever was on them would not come clean.

“I placed all those clothes in [rubbish] bags. I grabbed more clothes in hopes that maybe the bottom of the bag didn’t get wet, so they would come clean.
“When I grabbed the clothes is when I saw the rat. I have never screamed and cried so much in my life and I ran inside and began scrubbing my hands and arms.

“I had touched the things in this bag because American Airlines told me to just wash everything.”

AP:Associated Press Merry alleges American Airlines told her to go and wash the bag and its contents to see if would come clean

Merry called the airline and claims she was simply told to write everything down and her claim would be expedited in two to three days.

She refused to touch the items anymore and the staff member agreed and said they would handle it.

Later that day, she contacted the US Department of Health for advice seeing as the items were brought inside her house.

Merry said: “For three minutes the health inspector just repeated, ‘OMG. This is horrible. I don’t even know that to say’.

“Finally when I asked if the rat needed to be tested he said that because we don’t even know what country the rat is from, they wouldn’t even know where to start.

“I then asked if I should be concerned and he said, ‘The biggest concern would be the plague’  – that never even entered my mind.”

The other main concern was fleas, as rats always carry fleas which carry disease.

Alamy After she discovered the rat, Merry called the airline and claims she was simply told to write everything down and her claim would be expedited in two to three days

After that conversation, Merry contacted the airline again to confirm her bag would be dropped off and that she would be compensated for it all. They agreed.

It took four hours to fill out the paperwork the airline required to deal with her case.

A week later, she claims that she called them again and left message after message.

She said: “Finally they told me that they would give me $1,600 (£1,146), which is the maximum international payout. My bag and its belongings totalled $3,217 (£2,304).

“The whole trip with American Airlines was a bit of a nightmare and the rat in the bag was, for lack of better words, the cherry on top.

“I along with my husband travel fairly often and I can honestly say this is the worst thing we have experienced.

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Travel

Dead Rat Found In Family’s Suitcase That Went Missing For Five Days After American Airlines Flight

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AN American family have spoken of their horror at discovering a rat in their suitcase following an American Airlines flight.

Merry Cannon, 36, was excited to be joining her husband on a business trip to Germany and France from Arkansas with their two young children aged one and five on March 5.

Merry Stuhlsatz Cannon / Facebook An American family discovered this rat in their suitcase after it was lost on an American Airlines flight

Unfortunately, their holiday had gotten off to a bumpy start, as their flight from Fayetteville was cancelled due to a broken windshield and they then they missed their connecting flight in Chicago.

On arrival in Chicago, they were called to report to the American Airlines customer service desk where they were told their seats “had been given up”.

It took hours to get rebooked, and they didn’t fly out until 10pm the next day, so they had to skip the whole leg of the trip to Germany and fly into Brussels, rent a car and drive two hours to Lille, France.

But all of these inconveniences paled into insignificance when it came to getting hold of their luggage.

Merry Stuhlsatz Cannon / Facebook When Merry got home with the bag, it smelt so bad that she emptied the contents for washing outside

Merry told News.com.au: “They lost our luggage for five days. The night before we were leaving for London to return home, it was delivered at 10.30pm.

“By then it was comical and my husband joked that at least when we get home we won’t have all that laundry to do.”

Little did they know what extra surprise would be waiting for them inside the bag.

Merry added: “When we returned home in Arkansas I immediately went to the American Airlines customer assistance desk to report how awful my bag smelt. I actually told them that it smelt like something had died.”

She claims the staff member told her the smell may be from it getting wet while it sat for days on the runway.

“He thought it was mould, but even said it smelled far worse than that.”

Alamy The airline lost their bag for five days and only showed up the night before they were due to return home from London

She alleges she was told to go and wash the bag and its contents to see if would come clean, then file a claim through the airline’s baggage claim department, ensuring nothing was thrown away as it would need to be sent to the airline.

Merry said: “When we returned home, we took the bag to our back porch because the smell was so horrendous.

“I washed one load three times in bleach, vinegar, OxiClean and Tide and finally decided whatever was on them would not come clean.

“I placed all those clothes in [rubbish] bags. I grabbed more clothes in hopes that maybe the bottom of the bag didn’t get wet, so they would come clean.
“When I grabbed the clothes is when I saw the rat. I have never screamed and cried so much in my life and I ran inside and began scrubbing my hands and arms.

“I had touched the things in this bag because American Airlines told me to just wash everything.”

AP:Associated Press Merry alleges American Airlines told her to go and wash the bag and its contents to see if would come clean

Merry  called the airline and claims she was simply told to write everything down and her claim would be expedited in two to three days.

She refused to touch the items anymore and the staff member agreed and said they would handle it.

Later that day, she contacted the US Department of Health for advice seeing as the items were brought inside her house.

Merry said: “For three minutes the health inspector just repeated, “OMG. This is horrible. I don’t even know that to say.

“Finally when I asked if the rat needed to be tested he said that because we don’t even know what country the rat is from, they wouldn’t even know where to start.

“I then asked if I should be concerned and he said, ‘The biggest concern would be the plague’  – that never even entered my mind.”

The other main concern was fleas, as rats always carry fleas which carry disease.

Alamy After she discovered the rat, Merry called the airline and claims she was simply told to write everything down and her claim would be expedited in two to three days

After that conversation, Merry contacted the airline again to confirm her bag would be dropped off and that she would be compensated for it all. They agreed.

It took four hours to fill out the paperwork the airline required to deal with her case.

A week later, she claims that she called them again and left message after message.

She said: “Finally they told me that they would give me $1,600 (£1,146), which is the maximum international payout. My bag and its belongings totalled $3,217 (£2,304).

“The whole trip with American Airlines was a bit of a nightmare and the rat in the bag was, for lack of better words, the cherry on top.

“I along with my husband travel fairly often and I can honestly say this is the worst thing we have experienced.

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Travel

This Is The Best Place To Hide If A Terrorist Attack Happens On Holiday

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IT is everyone’s worst nightmare to be caught up in a terrorist attack anywhere on the planet – but if you are far from home it could be even more terrifying.

The best place to hide in the unlikely but horrifying event has been identified by an expert – who reveals that it’s inside a jewellery shop.

Getty – Contributor Jewellery shops have high security measures in place and are one of the best places to head in a terrorist attack

Travel expert Lloyd Figgins told the Express: “Jewellers are good places to go to. You have to remember that they have CCTV, panic buttons, and shutters.

“If you were to go into one, they can just press a button and call the police.

“Tell them there is a terrorist attack out there and they need to get the shutters down.”

Terror attacks have happened in recent years in tourist destinations such as Paris, Barcelona and Berlin.

Getty – Contributor Several tourist cities have been the victim of terrorist attacks in recent years

The beach resort of Sousse in Tunisia suffered a terrorist attack in 2015 when a gunman stormed a beach, killing 30 British tourists.

Egypt is also classed as high-risk by the government.

Lloyd also recommends taking shelter in a place of worship as they aren’t often targeted in Western holiday destinations.

Terrorism expert and Marine Corps veteran Drew Dyer has also shared tips on how to travel safely when on holiday.

He told Sofrep.com where the best place to stay in a hotel is in case of emergency.

Getty – Contributor The top floor of a hotel does not allow for any manoeuvre room, according to an ex-CIA agent

One of the most important tips was that guests should always request that their room is on neither the ground floor nor the top floor when booking a hotel.

Drew said: “The ground floor is readily accessible to intruders and the top floor does not allow any manoeuvre room.

“The first or second floors allow access for most third world country emergency vehicles.”

Drew also advises that guests should request a copy of the fire escape plan, usually found on the backs of hotel room doors, as soon as they check in.

Terrifying footage shows Tunisian terrorist’s beach rampage

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