3 Clever American Airlines Flight Numbers

Flight numbers frequently have meaning. The lowest flight numbers can be used to signify importance.
For instance after United bought Pan Am’s Pacific routes, it operated round-the-world service and it was a source of pride, not profits. At one point United flew New York JFK – Los Angeles – Hong Kong – Delhi – London Heathrow – New York JFK. United flights 1 and 2 traveled in opposite directions around the globe.

Three years ago the final US Airways flight was US1939. It was given that number for the year the airline commenced operations. Ed Colodny, who had been CEO from 1975 through 1991, was on board the flight. He had led the airline’s rebranding from Allegheny (US Airways was said to stand for ‘US Airways Still Allegheny In Reality Why Alter Your Signs?’).

Today American Airlines has at least two flight numbers which remind us just how American the airline is. And there’s at least one more flight number that’s just fun. Do you know of any other flight numbers like this at American?

American Airlines Celebrates the Country’s Founding, Every Day

On April 18, 1775 Paul Revere rode through what’s now Somerville, Medford, and Arlington, Massachusetts to warn that British troops were enroute and that they sought to capture Sam Adams and John Hancock.of the regulars’ movements later that night would be the capture of Adams and Hancock.

He never yelled “the British are coming” — the mission was meant to be discrete. And he wasn’t the only rider that night. In fact William Dawes set out first. Malcolm Gladwell theorizes in The Tipping Point that it’s Paul Revere’s social connectedness around Boston that made him the more well-known figure. Alternatively it may have been his first-hand written accounts that led to his immortalization by Longfellow.

The American revolution began that month, but it was July 2, 1776 that the Continental Congress in Philadelphia formally declared independence and two days later that it approved the wording of the Declaration of Independence.

Today you can fly Philadelphia – Boston roundtrip each afternoon on American flight AA1776. And American offers Sam Adams beer on board.

American Airlines Discovered America in 1492

It’s almost de rigueur to caveat any mention of Columbus with a criticism. Of course saying that Columbus ‘discovered’ America would certainly have seemed odd to the people already living here at the time.

My freshman year of college there was a funeral march on campus to commemorate Columbus Day. One of my friends stood along the march as a counter protester, holding up a sign which simply read “Western Civilization is Good.”

Without taking sides in any debate over Columbus, that most American of airlines does of course fly there (and indeed, Columbus was once a hub for America West). So their late morning Dallas Fort-Worth – Columbus flight, returning Columbus – Dallas Fort-Worth in mid-afternoon, uses flight number AA1492 in both directions.

Fly Lucky 7’s to Las Vegas

There are 7 days of the week, 7 seas, and 7 continents. God is said to have rested on the 7th day. There are 7 deadly sins and 7 wonders of the ancient world. If 7 is lucky, then 777 is triply so: on most slot machines 777 is jackpot.

So it’s appropriate that American Airlines flight AA777 runs Phoenix – Las Vegas.

When the airline eventually flies Los Angeles or Dallas – Guangzhou to connect up with China Southern, in which it owns a small stake, they’ll need to re-assign flight 888 from Pittsburgh – Philadelphia in celebration of the luck that venture will bring them.

Incidentally neither American nor United nor Delta regularly offers a flight 666.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. In the summer AA adds a second JFK to Bermuda flight – AA1609. 1609 is when the first settlers landed in Bermuda and is the name of a popular restaurant there.

  2. Since the number 8 is considered lucky by many Chinese, I would assume that 8s would figure prominently in flight numbers in China.

  3. +1 Jean & Kevin! How about these which should be Flight 420: DEN–YVR on AC &or UA! YVR–AMS on KLM!
    When I was a child in the 1970s, a charity called “Prevent Blindness” had P.O. Box 2020!
    I once flew CLE–MKE on CO Flight 1666! I interpreted it positively as A. The one is 1000 which > 666, which means that one person standing alone can sometimes be greater than all the forces of evil; and B. Dialing “1” before a long-distance number, so “May you never be close enough to make a local phone call to Hell!

  4. The office of a casino riverboat is at 21 Blackjack Drive. Perhaps Gamblers Anonymous should set up at 22 or 23 Blackjack Drive 🙂 !

  5. IIRC the Pan Am around the world flights that United inherited were numbered 1 and 2.

    I was able to work out a business itinerary to fly PA 1 in Clipper Class once. I seated my private pilot colleague in a starboard window seat for our landing at Kai Tak in Hong Kong and watched his eyes pop as he looked into apartment windows before we made the 90-degree turn and landed.

  6. american airlines once featured fllght 21 which featured meals from the 21 club in new york city—believe it was a trans con flight jfk-lax…..there is still an american flt 21 no longer operates coast to coast and of course food is not offered from the 21 club……..lloyd cole

  7. Spirit has NK 777 FLL-LAS, NK 954 LAS-FLL (Ft. Lauderdale Area Code), as well as NK 407 MCO-DFW (Orlando Area Code)

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