A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away airlines printed and distributed paper timetables. Travel agents, frequent flyers and people who needed to take a plane somewhere referred to them to find out airline schedules.

The Internet came along, and eventually the paper timetables became PDF files online, before being dropped altogether. Nowadays we refer to an airline’s website to search for flights, but it’s perhaps not as fun as the past.

What Did Timetables Look Like?

British Airways still have their final PDF timetable online for the Winter season 28 October 2007 to 29 March 2008. The only way it differs from the printed ones is that it doesn’t include all the aircraft seating plans in the back (which was actually my favourite part, but today we arguably have it better with aeroLOPA).

Back in the day it was fun to have timetables from large airlines like BA. There were so many different places you could go, so it was definitely food for the imagination reading all the different cities. I’d go so far as to say it was a bit more romantic than things are today.

A Current British Airways Timetable

Speedbird Online has current BA timetables on their website, in the same format as the PDF and printed versions from times past. This discovery has made a certain cohort of frequent flyers quite happy.

One of the limitations of airline websites is that it’s not really possible to easily flip through the various destinations. When you’re looking for inspiration, it takes much more effort than having an entire schedule at your fingertips, so this format is actually rather simpler all round.

Overall Thoughts

It’s fantastic to see this schedule online at Speedbird Online. One caveat is that you should not rely totally on the data, because things change very quickly in the airline world. If you’re planning to use it before booking flights, you will be smart to check the British Airways website to ensure the service you want is operating.

Surely it would not take much effort for an airline to have something like this available all the time, in this format, that updates automatically. The fact airlines have largely removed route maps is another bug bear of mine, because they were also really quite handy to look at for inspiration.

What do you think of airline timetables? Do you miss having them available or is it no big deal? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Rafael Luiz Canossa via Wikimedia Commons.