6 Things You Need to Know About Your Flight Number


Last updated on Jun 6th, 2024 by Heena Ganotra

A flight number is the unique identifying code that is assigned to every flight. It identifies a particular trip, like the flight from Sydney to New Delhi or the flight from Bengaluru to Melbourne. When you have your flight number in hand, you can get information about things like departure, arrival, origin and destination airports, and more! Fortunately, the flight number search isn’t very complicated. Here’s what you need to know to make the search easier:

1. Format of the Flight Number

A flight number is usually the combination of the airline’s IATA designation and a number that can range from 1 to 4 digits. All of these codes are unique across different airlines and destinations. Let’s look at some of the flight combinations so you can understand what flight numbers look like:

  • Air India flight from New Delhi to Melbourne is AI 308.
  • Qantas flight from Sydney to Bengaluru is QF 67.
  • A connecting flight trip from Canberra to Chennai includes Virgin Australia’s VA 1217 flight from Canberra to Brisbane, Singapore Airline’s SQ 236 flight from Brisbane to Singapore, and Singapore Airline’s SQ 526 flight from Singapore to Chennai.

These examples showcase what flight numbersyou can expect to see on your ticket. The next time you’re asking yourself ‘how to find my flight number’ you can simply look at your ticket for a number that looks similar to the ones mentioned above.

2. The Return Journey has a Different Number

In the above example, we mentioned that the Air India New Delhi to Melbourne flight is designated AI 308. In most cases, the return journey will be the number before or after that. In this case, the Air India flight from Melbourne to New Delhi is AI 309. 
This is usually how the numbering works across different airlines. The Qantas flight from Sydney to Bengaluru is QF 67 and from Bengaluru to Sydney is QF 68. Of course, not all return journeys are the same. If you book a ticket on a different airline or have a connecting flight on your return journey, the flight number will be different.

3. PNR Numbers and Flight Numbers are Different Things

Many people confuse flight numbers for PNR numbers but they are two completely different things. What is a PNR number in flight ticket? PNR stands for Passenger Name Record and it is a digital certificate of the passenger’s details. It typically includes 6 alphanumeric characters and is automatically generated after the booking is confirmed. A PNR code is unique to your journey. While the flight number will remain the same if you book the same combination of airlines and places, the PNR number will change every time you book a fresh ticket. 

It can be used to manage your booking, retrieve a digital copy of your ticket, cancel your ticket, and more. The flight number only provides details about the airline and flight but the PNR includes other important information like date of departure, time of arrival, class of service, and more. 

4. Where is Flight Number on Ticket?

There is no strict format about where the flight number is printed on the ticket. It will appear differently on different types of tickets. For example, in a computer printout of your ticket, the flight number may appear at the far left of the page, either at the top or on the side. The code is usually found under the ‘Flight Information’ column of the ticket. 

Fortunately, it is very easy to spot and you can even do a flight number search online to find it. For example, you can type ‘flight from Sydney to Delhi’ on your search bar and find the flight number at the top of the results page. 

5. IATA Codes of Popular Australian and Indian Airlines

Many airlines operate flights from India to Australia or domestically within these countries. Knowing the IATA codes assigned to popular carriers can be helpful, especially if you plan to travel frequently in the future. Codes can help you identify your flight easily and ensure you don’t miss any important announcements. Codes of popular airlines are:

  • Air India – AI
  • Qantas – QF
  • Virgin Australia – VA
  • Jetstar Airways – JQ
  • Air New Zealand – NZ
  • Singapore Airlines – SQ
  • Etihad Airlines – EY
  • Emirates – EK
  • Thai Airways – TG
  • ANA – NH
  • Japan Airlines – JL
  • Cathay Pacific – CX

These are most of the airlines that operate between Australia and India regularly. Some of these flights are full-service while others are low-cost. 

6. What is Flight Tail Number?

The flight number and the flight tail number are two different things. The flight number is the number of a particular route by a particular airline like the Qantas flight from Melbourne to Bengaluru. 

The flight tail number, on the other hand, is the unique identifying code written on the tail or body of the airplane itself. It is a call sign that’s not very useful to passengers but is of primary importance to air control officers, pilots, and airport authorities. This code refers to the registration of that particular aircraft and it is unique to that aircraft.

The aircraft operating on the route and possessing the flight number of a particular airline and destination can change. The flight tail number will change along with it. The tail number often indicates the country where the aircraft is registered. For Australia, the nationality is represented by VH. You won’t find the tail number on your ticket or booking confirmation message. You will have to carry out a flight tail number lookup online or simply look at the aircraft you’re boarding for the information. 

That’s almost everything you need to know about a flight number! If you’re curious, you can search online for different flight numbers related to the trip you’re planning. The information is readily available.


Q. How are flight numbers assigned?

Ans: Flight numbers are assigned by the IATA and generated by a program to ensure it is unique. The code consists of the IATA code for the airline and a few numbers. On their own, these numbers don’t mean anything. They simply identify the airline and the route. 

Q. How to find flight number without ticket?

Ans: It is easy to find the flight number without having a ticket. It is a common bit of information available to everyone. You can either search it online, visit the IATA website, or look at the information related to your flight during booking. The flight numbers are always mentioned on the booking website so you don’t have to spend much effort to search a flight number.

Q. What is flight confirmation number?

Ans: The flight confirmation number is the unique itinerary identifying number sent to you at the time of booking. It can help you with the check-in process and ensure you can retrieve the trip information if necessary. The confirmation number doesn’t always mean that you have been granted the ticket. You will get a separate message with the ticket number or PNR after you get a seat on the flight. 

This looks like a lot of information about something like a flight number!

book flights to India

Perhaps it is time to focus on booking the tickets and planning your trip. MyTicketsToIndia can help with that. We have a team of expert travel agents that offer personalized booking services for cheap international flights tickets to India and back. We will find excellent discounts on the most comfortable seats and airlines for you. Just call us on 1800 860 816 or request a callback by filling out our online form. You can also join the live chat. We will be happy to look for the best flight tickets for you. And yes, we will share the flight number as well. 

About Heena | View Posts

A writer by both passion and profession, Heena Ganotra is "half agony, half hope" but all heart. And oh, she has been a book lover from the start! Her love for books is what convinced her to make a career in the wonderful world of words. She loves what she does and is out-and-out a satisfied soul with a wish to spread happiness and kindness in abundance. Insight- Some say she is living the best life anyone could because she reads, writes, travels, and makes merry. They’re right because what else does one really need! :)

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  1. Rajendra Simkhada says:

    I didn’t receive my ticket soft copy which was book for 10th of April

    1. Heena Ganotra says:

      Hello Rajendra ji,

      Did you book your tickets with us? If yes, we are utterly sorry for the inconvenience. Could you please share your email id so we can raise the concern? Rest assured, you’ll receive the requisite copies.

      Warm Regards,
      Team MyTicketsToIndia

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