View Full Version : On-Line Airline Timetables

Squawk 6042
4th Jan 2019, 10:15
In the dim and distant past there were hardcopy airline timetables which you could browse at your leisure for destinations and travel dates.

I now find that even the on-line versions of these have disappeared and all that you seem to be offered for an airline ‘timetable’ these days is a menu where you have to enter a specific destination and specific travel dates. This makes general browsing cumbersome to the point of not worth bothering with.

Are there any websites about that allow easy and more general browsing of current airline timetables?

Is it only me!?

Any thoughts or comments appreciated.

4th Jan 2019, 15:59
You can pay a small fortune for a subscription to OAG - https://www.oag.com/

monthly paperbacks plus even more expensive on line guides listed by Departure City

Our company used to have a subscription until a year or so back but then cancelled it - a pity I still feel....................

4th Jan 2019, 17:18
I agree! It varies from one airline to the next and part of it is - that schedules are now changed far more frequently than when I started paxing in 1965! Carriers may alter a schedule and not want to draw attention to it. They may add more rotations or change times of rotations during the season. Not often, but it does happen. I suspect another reason for not giving comprehensive long date ranges in PDF/searchable form is that - by doing so they are telling their competition what they are doing.

If I want to know a specific airline's timetable, I pick a week in the general time span (allowing for high/low season) in which I am interested and then note what it says and, yes, sometimes you have to sample 7 times. I was doing this just last night and found that BA gave a week at a time for the destination, whereas Virgin Atlantic gave only the single date, eventhough they operate the route 7 nights a week. I also found that they (VS) had changed their flight numbers for the destination. This was irritating as they had stayed the same for over 20 years and I knew the numbers for quick searching.

If I want to know overall options between two points, I use one of the (too numerous) search sites and select 'direct flights only' and ignore all the pricing - just the carriers and airports. This will tell you a lot and you can then narrow it down but there is no easy, free, shortcut that I know of.

4th Jan 2019, 17:35
SkyTeam NA-Europe timetable Jan-Mar 2019 (276 pages) (https://services.skyteam.com/Timetable/Skyteam_Timetable_NA_EU.pdf)

Squawk 6042
5th Jan 2019, 04:36
Thanks all.

It would seem in general the answer is no, although the Sky Team link is appreciated. Now don't get me started on the multiple flight numbers for what is the same flight.....

I am aware of various historic airline timetable sites, and it seems an oddity of the digital age that airline schedule information from only a few years ago may well be permanently lost whereas the hard copies and their scans from decades ago will persist.

5th Jan 2019, 07:33
Lufthansa is offering this ("again") - the yellow book (blue now :D)
Timetable View by Sky-Chiefs (http://www.oim.de/timetable/lh/index.php?lang=en)

Squawk 6042
5th Jan 2019, 07:48
Ha! As you note, I like the way the website calls it the 'yellow book' when the 'cover' is now blue to reflect the new LH colour scheme.

It would be nice if all airlines could do similar, especially as I am someone with great flexibility on travel dates and destinations. Helps geography quizzes too...

11th Jan 2019, 18:29
I find I am reduced to going to FlightRadar24, essentially an enthusiast's website, to find which carriers operate where. But if you are after a flight which doesn't go every day then it becomes just impossible.

It's not as if the airline IT department could not produce a good lookalike pdf timetable automatically from their data. Some did that, but bizarrely threw them away. Even those got ruined by including all sorts of ludicrous connections and equally ludicrous 10 lines of codeshares on the same flight. Yes, I know some flights may change. But most don't. I'll take my chance that when I come to book it, it may differ. As carriers seem quite happy to change thngs after booking but before departure, they can't be too fazed by that.

It's like going to a restaurant where, instead of being able to see a menu, you are asked "How hungry are you, when will you next eat, how much money is in your pocket ... etc", and then THEY tell YOU what you are getting and how much it will cost (we'll ignore for now "Do you want to sit at the same table as the rest of your family", a separate topic).

Basically it came because the schedule detail is just a hack of the booking system, and it has been ignored that anyone will want to see the flight availability before they are ready to book.

Haven't a clue
11th Jan 2019, 20:45
I take a look at the arrivals and departures of the desired destination's airport website. For example I'd like to visit the USAF Museum at Dayton, Ohio. Dayton International Airport website tells me which airlines are operating to and from where, and the arrivals and departures boards also give me an idea of timing. Using that information I then look for the appropriate US entry airport with flights to/from it from the UK which offer potential "connections".

12th Jan 2019, 00:31
When researching a route I go to the Wikipedia page of the required airport - they list all the carriers and destinations served. Then I move to the carrier of choice and look for specifics. Aalthough I use FR24 to monitor flights in the usual way, I never use it for this. I often find obscure local routes this way.

12th Jan 2019, 16:04
flightmapper [dot] net might be useful. (I'm new so can't post urls).

Can search by airline and city/country.


12th Jan 2019, 16:39
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/270x390/scan_20180201_9__4f24612bcf27ec2c2671d52b3c7be2236c1225dc.jp g

13th Jan 2019, 09:21
Dave Reid, as a youngster I used to go to a local travel agent every month or so, and they would give me their old copies.
great memories sitting there reading about all the different aircraft and routes, multi stops in Australia and America, I think some were up to 9 stops....
Looking at BA TriStars operating to Manila with 2 stops, VC10 from Johannesburg to Hong Kong, some great flights.

Squawk 6042
13th Jan 2019, 12:10
Dave Reid, as a youngster I used to go to a local travel agent every month or so, and they would give me their old copies.
great memories sitting there reading about all the different aircraft and routes, multi stops in Australia and America, I think some were up to 9 stops....
Looking at BA TriStars operating to Manila with 2 stops, VC10 from Johannesburg to Hong Kong, some great flights.

Me too!!!

That's why I was wondering - Where is the digital equivalent?

13th Jan 2019, 12:32
That's why I was wondering - Where is the digital equivalent?

You can buy the digital equivalent (but it's far from cheap).

In a previous life I used to buy SSIM data from ABC (later OAG) for analysing potential customers' route networks.

Having said that, I also had a ceiling-high stack of WAGs in my garage. :O

OAG SSIM (https://info.oag.com/hubfs/OAG-WebTheme-2016-Images/Product_Sheets/Schedules/Schedules_SSIM.pdf?hsLang=en-gb)

13th Jan 2019, 17:21

14th Jan 2019, 00:36
This from the mid-1930s.


The modern equivalent is a little more tricky to read http://www.arcgis.com/apps/OnePane/storytelling_basic/index.html?appid=605204b677894f0da7a1acd83b9ee308&_ga=1.47316964.235754488.1426102017

14th Jan 2019, 02:48
Interesting PAXboy. Names like 'Doncaster' saved from the flames! Routes had the same flight number out and back. You say 'mid-1930s' but the map clearly states 1938!

Squawk 6042
14th Jan 2019, 07:22
Thanks for all the above.

We seem also to be touching on ‘History and Nostalgia’, but interesting nonetheless.

This all arose because for the last couple of years I have needed to travel several times a year between Manchester and Dar es Salaam (and onward, but that is a whole different story) and will be doing the same this year.

However, I became aware that I had no general feel for the options available that I might have had in the ‘hardcopy’ era and I had to trawl the airline and flight booking websites to get the picture, which took some time.

I have been using KLM or Etihad, and am also aware that the other Mid-east (including Turkish) airlines offer options as well as Swiss (nearly wrote Swissair!). Recently, Ethiopian has started operating ADD-BRU-MAN creating another option, but in the run up to commencement the Ethiopian website proved difficult to navigate.

Anyway, I am on top of this routing for now, but just wondered if anyone else found that the more open ended travel options were difficult to find in the digital era - It would seem so.

I think digital works where flights are point to point and daily – Which the vast majority of long haul seems to be these days. Whereas it is not so easy if the flight only operates on certain days and stops off along the way or a change of aircraft is required, as is usually the case for the less well frequented long haul destinations when you start from Manchester..

I liked WHBM’s restaurant analogy!

PAXboy – Your historic map/timetable post is very interesting – Is this available on the internet or is it a scan of a document you possess?

14th Jan 2019, 08:43
For those who have been interested by the CLS (Czechoslovakia) 1938 map-style timetable page, and indeed many other "proper" paper timetables from long past, your source, which a number of us here are actually contributors to, is

Airline Timetable Images - List of Complete Timetables (http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/complete/complete.htm)

Work through to the airline lists, click on the carrier to see all the cover pages, or click on the individual dates to see all the pages, one page at a time. The particular one featured above is


The map-style timetables, unique to Central Europe, were generally produced by the pre-war German independent publisher of the "Luftreisekursbuch", who used the basic artwork for various carriers and countries, overprinted by the red detail you can see here. The Lufthansa timetable of the era was the principal foundation for this, several other carriers used it as well. The printing format is hand written (look closely) on copper plates by engravers, and the red overstamp put on top where required.

The operating carriers are not shown but the flight numbers are in blocks for each airline, there was some all-Europe co-ordination for this, and with a bit of knowledge of the pre-war airline scene can be worked out. A number of the routes were pool arrangements between airlines of different countries, with the flights run by different national carriers on different days.

The last carrier to use this style appears to have been Finnair, their 1974 timetable gets the whole world into this format. Once you get the hang of them, quite interesting.


14th Jan 2019, 13:58
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/270x390/scan_20180201_9__4f24612bcf27ec2c2671d52b3c7be2236c1225dc.jp g

Now that takes me back

I seem to remember there was a US publisher of a guide as well .... anyway I believe OAG bought out

14th Jan 2019, 15:56
Thanks S.o.S. for pointing out my obious mistake! I gained this image when posting in the Aviation History & Nostalgia forum, in reply to a question about a flight my grandfather took in the 1930s. WHBM and others were very helpful.

14th Jan 2019, 17:16
Squawk 6042. I am happy for some nostalgia in here. Mostly it's 'breaking news' but I think this thread of more than enough interest. The only rule that we do watch out for is not to have the same topic discussed in two (or more) forums at the same time. This particular topic has experienced some 'thread drift' and that is fine.

14th Jan 2019, 21:35

In that case - You want nostalgia S.o.S.????

14th Jan 2019, 22:32
At BA in the mid-70s I shared an office for a while with a wizened old IT guy who was building a prototype ticket printer, in the days when the norm was for them to be written out longhand.

15th Jan 2019, 00:21
I certainly remember the time when the ATB ticket came out and we thought this a great step forward! By the way, what did ATB stand for?

Ancient Mariner
15th Jan 2019, 05:13
I certainly remember the time when the ATB ticket came out and we thought this a great step forward! By the way, what did ATB stand for?
Automated Ticket and Boarding pass.

Ancient Observer
16th Jan 2019, 13:34
Some friends of ours are on their own boat drifting (they call it sailing) around the Caribbean. We tried to find a Virgin flight to get us to one of the islands.
Virgin make you select a specific date.
Forget it. I do not have enough time left on this planet. Loss of business for Virgin.

16th Jan 2019, 15:22
I'd guess that most / all carriers want specific dates as they price per flight. The same daily flight might have a different seat price (in each price class) for each day of the week.

Sultan Ismail
16th Jan 2019, 22:45
On the enquiry page where you state departure, destination and date of travel there is a box "flexible travel dates", tick that and you will be presented with a 7 day pricing schedule centred on your chosen date.

16th Jan 2019, 23:56
I have seen the 7-day options but they still want you to narrow it down. I find that - on the times when i have to travel on specific dates - it costs a lot and, when I can be flexible, the variation in price is very little. I must be doing something wrong with my life ...

21st Jan 2019, 03:25
Matrix ITA (https://matrix.itasoftware.com/) let's you do some powerful searches. Google bought them to run the back-end of Google Flights searches

21st Jan 2019, 05:14
Matrix ITA (https://matrix.itasoftware.com/) let's you do some powerful searches. Google bought them to run the back-end of Google Flights searches
Unfortunately, yet again, it's a hack of a booking system, which takes precedence, rather than a timetable. What time is my colleague arriving ? Not shown, because the flight has already left. What options are there for return flights ? Only shown longwindedly as fare combinations of outward flights. Etc.

I really conclude that the current generation of sales and IT personnel cannot read a conventional timetable, and conclude that thus nobody else can either. And they can't bear the thought that anyone looks at the flights they offer without coming away having bought something.

Some years ago Google Flight Search used to be quite good. I think they must have taken it from SSIM data. Nowadays getting you to book through them, showing flights in fare order, and emphasising their favourite carrier to the exclusion of others seems to the fore.

21st Jan 2019, 09:22
I understand what you are looking for, but to me it sounds like a niche product rather than something of value to the majority of air travel consumers.

Also, I'm sure 'sales and IT personnel' would counter that an aviation enthusiast / pilot doesn't understand complexities of software development or airline marketing :rolleyes:

27th Jan 2019, 02:17
AC still does 'em


try a giggle for your airline+timetable...maybe you'll luck out...