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Is the route map dead?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:00 pm
by scutfarcus
Bit of a rant...

Like many of you I love looking at route maps. Mainly just for kicks but also so that I can see clearly where an airline flies non-stop. You used to be able to get a clear route map on almost any airline's website. The really good ones allowed you to mouse-over a city and easily see non-stop destinations pop up. Southwest still has a great one.

More and more, however, it seems traditional route maps are being replaced by crappy maps that force you to "pick an origin" which then (maybe) shows you the destinations from that point, but usually doesn't distinguish between direct, connecting and non-stop and attempts to sell you a ticket while making it very hard to go back to just a pure map. The ones powered by "innosked" are among the worst.

Furthermore, even in print, airlines (Delta, I'm looking at you) print route maps with so many partner routes on them that they're completely illegible.

What's going on? Do people actually buy tickets by clicking on a map? I find it hard to believe.

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:02 pm
by oosnowrat
I feel your pain.

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:07 pm
by RJNUT
haven't seen many I like. I suppose the ones I have liked are where you click on a city and it only shows NONSTOP routes to/from that point. Comprehensive maps are too busy , spaghetti bowls!

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:13 pm
by MIflyer12
I'm looking at Delta's interactive route map in a browser. Clicking on the Destinations tab, one can enter a city or airport code, with tick boxes for connections/non-stop only, and for codeshares. I don't see reason for your complaint. Everywhere they fly non-stop from CVG? Done in five seconds.

As for printed maps displaying every route, that just isn't going to work in screen/letter page size for networks of 300+ destinations (DL, AA, UA all) and 5000+ flights a day.

If you want to roll the clock back 50 years to a time when AA served about 40 cities, sure, maps showing all routes were fine. https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/573364596284536097/

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:36 pm
by tigerotor77w
To the first three posters: does this suit your fancy? It's not tied to an airline, but it allows a fair bit of customization.

http://www.flightconnections.com

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:39 pm
by loisencroach
oosnowrat wrote:
I feel your pain.


AS in particular for me

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:42 pm
by SRQKEF
I know Icelandair for one are proud of their routemap, and have a huge version of it on the wall of the check-in hall at KEF. Here's the online version:
http://www.icelandair.is/information/tr ... /routemap/

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:53 pm
by airportugal310
jetBlue has a pretty good one on their website...

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:54 pm
by LAXLHR
tigerotor77w wrote:
To the first three posters: does this suit your fancy? It's not tied to an airline, but it allows a fair bit of customization.

http://www.flightconnections.com


Fantastic. Should make a lot of people happy!

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:58 pm
by longhauler
scutfarcus wrote:
What's going on? Do people actually buy tickets by clicking on a map? I find it hard to believe.

No one does. That's why they are so rare.

Gone are the days of looking at a map to choose a destination. People know where they are, where they want to go and chose the cheapest seat. A map doesn't even enter into the picture any more.

The only time I have recently seen an airline route map in print, is Air Canada's Navi magazine.

https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/hom ... /navi.html

It is an airline enthusiast's dream. Full of printed schedules, aircraft data, seat charts, etc ... and pages of maps! In addition to enRoute magazine, it used to be placed in seat pockets. Now, they board them with "entertainment" packs and can be requested from a Flight Attendant.

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:00 pm
by Flighty
You know, an airline map is just as useful today as ever. If you don't know where an airline flies, it is a bit like driving around by GPS instead of knowing what road you are on. For example, during irregular ops, if you know an airline's route network, rather than waiting 1+ days for the airline's preferred rebooking, you can request a custom re-route. I have done it several times. You can get where you are going a lot faster.

Delta also continues to print route maps in the magazine.

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:07 pm
by RJNUT
tigerotor77w wrote:
To the first three posters: does this suit your fancy? It's not tied to an airline, but it allows a fair bit of customization.

http://www.flightconnections.com

Yes, very cool. A keeper!

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:24 pm
by 11725Flyer
Here are a few Twitter accounts that feature route maps:
https://twitter.com/AvGeek71
https://twitter.com/airlinemaps

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:42 pm
by babastud
I love route maps, it is such a shame that they have been fading out. Over the years, on a long flight, checking out places I had no idea the airline flew. They do have value, and they also tell a story unique to each airline and it's history. I for one vote to bring back real route maps in a petition, let's start at United, They have such a pathetic system now!

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:44 pm
by infinit
scutfarcus wrote:
Bit of a rant...

Like many of you I love looking at route maps. Mainly just for kicks but also so that I can see clearly where an airline flies non-stop. You used to be able to get a clear route map on almost any airline's website. The really good ones allowed you to mouse-over a city and easily see non-stop destinations pop up. Southwest still has a great one.

More and more, however, it seems traditional route maps are being replaced by crappy maps that force you to "pick an origin" which then (maybe) shows you the destinations from that point, but usually doesn't distinguish between direct, connecting and non-stop and attempts to sell you a ticket while making it very hard to go back to just a pure map. The ones powered by "innosked" are among the worst.

Furthermore, even in print, airlines (Delta, I'm looking at you) print route maps with so many partner routes on them that they're completely illegible.

What's going on? Do people actually buy tickets by clicking on a map? I find it hard to believe.


My sentiments exact...
I still try to find route maps for a quick visual reference by googling AIRLINE route map.

RE those forms to search for routes, its an example of how technology doesnt make things more effecient.

Its like how shopping malls in Singapore used to have their directories on one big board where multiple people could find stored at a glance and all at once. These days their replaced with personal screens. First you need to get used to the user interface and only one person can access it as a time.

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:56 am
by BAINY3
tigerotor77w wrote:
To the first three posters: does this suit your fancy? It's not tied to an airline, but it allows a fair bit of customization.

http://www.flightconnections.com

I go to that website all the time, it's fantastic. I will say it has a handful of quirks, though.

(1) Some routes are only flown in one direction. Think triangular routes. This may make you think a nonstop flight exists from ABC to XYZ, where the airline actually only flies it as CDG-XYZ-ABC-CDG, for example. But usually you can notice these because the schedule information on the left side (where it shows the days of the week next to the airline) are completely greyed-out.

(2) Not always 100% up to date, although it does get updated periodically. For example it will usually show cancelled or suspended routes for some time after the suspension happens. For instance there was a period of time when it looked like DL flew both MSP-NRT and MSP-HND, when in reality DL simply moved the flight from NRT to HND. And Air Berlin routes were shown for a period of time after the airline shut its doors.

(3) When building routes that aren't served by nonstop flights, it can suggest wildly impractical connections. Maybe it says you can fly ABC-SVO-XYZ, where ABC-SVO only operates on Mondays, while SVO-XYZ only operates on Thursdays. The website doesn't consider connection times at all when trying to suggest the fastest itinerary. Instead it only adds up the lengths of the flights themselves.

(4) Seasonal flights are pretty much only shown during the given season, up to a couple of months in advance. For instance, if you are trying to look up routes for Summer 2018, some options will not appear. Condor's seasonal MSP-FRA does not currently appear. The same thing happens in reverse during the summer, where flights like MSP-ZIH will not be shown because they only operate in winter.

In summary, Flightconnections is a very useful website to get a general picture of an airline's current route structure at a given time of year, but it has limitations especially when trying to look up possible flight itineraries. It's best paired with something like Google Flights if you want to do actual schedule research.

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:17 am
by SANFan
loisencroach wrote:
oosnowrat wrote:
I feel your pain.


AS in particular for me

There is now a link on AAG's current route map page that takes you to the interactive routé map which, in my opinion, is one of the best ones around! Here's the link:
http://as.fltmaps.com/en

bb

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:15 am
by zrs70
I remember when Eastern was going through one of their many tough times. They shut down the hubs in MCI and CLT. Point to point flights up and down the east coast were largely stopped and replaced with ATL connections (with the exception of NYC-Florida).

I remember EA stopped publishing timetables with route maps in favor of timetables with destinations only. It showed they still served lots of cities. But it didn’t reveal how cut back the airline was.

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:35 am
by kimshep
Qantas (QF) still maintains a decent worldwide route map on it's website.
You can find it here: http://www.qantas.com/travel/airlines/r ... /global/en

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:52 pm
by United_fan
Delta has a good one in their magazine. But they also list partner flights in the same color ,so you don't know if its a Delta flight or,say,an AM flight.

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:41 pm
by TEY1330
I remember in the early 1980s Continental ticket counters had these elaborate display maps with the routes floating on the wall. Maybe made of tim or some other metal.

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:08 pm
by loisencroach
SANFan wrote:
loisencroach wrote:
oosnowrat wrote:
I feel your pain.


AS in particular for me

There is now a link on AAG's current route map page that takes you to the interactive routé map which, in my opinion, is one of the best ones around! Here's the link:
http://as.fltmaps.com/en

bb


Didn't know about that. Thanks!

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:29 pm
by Flighty
United_fan wrote:
Delta has a good one in their magazine. But they also list partner flights in the same color ,so you don't know if its a Delta flight or,say,an AM flight.


Yeah that is completely bogus. It just confuses the hell out of people. They could instead show DELTA branded flights, then FULL joint venture partner flights in another color, then a few icons that say "Also search for out codeshare partners."

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:11 pm
by evank516
airportugal310 wrote:
jetBlue has a pretty good one on their website...


I second this.

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:44 am
by BuildingMyBento
United_fan wrote:
Delta has a good one in their magazine. But they also list partner flights in the same color ,so you don't know if its a Delta flight or,say,an AM flight.


Does their map still list Cambodia as "Kampuchea?"

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:07 pm
by dfwjim1
RJNUT wrote:
tigerotor77w wrote:
To the first three posters: does this suit your fancy? It's not tied to an airline, but it allows a fair bit of customization.

http://www.flightconnections.com

Yes, very cool. A keeper!


Just checked out the site...what does a city with a red dot mean?

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:48 am
by vatveng
Some airports have their own route maps. They're not always 100% up to date especially if they're manually generated and posted by the airport instead of being dynamically generated using OAG data, but some of them work pretty well.

For example, my home airport:
https://www.norfolkairport.com/flight-info/route-mapper

Richmond uses a different data source and you have to do some clicking to get a map of nonstop routes but it will show you one.
http://www.flyrichmond.com/index.php/route-map

IAD posts clickable JPG images of their domestic and international route maps but they regularly update them.
http://www.flydulles.com/iad/nonstop-destinations

Even an airport as small and seasonal as Vail/Eagle has a route map.
https://www.flyvail.com/flight-information/route-map

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:25 am
by texdravid
As a kid, I went often to our local travel agents office and on their entire back wall was the whole Panam route map showing all continents and destinations.

Ah those long ago days!

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:37 pm
by Yflyer
dfwjim1 wrote:
Just checked out the site...what does a city with a red dot mean?


I just took a look myself. It looks like the red dot indicates a small airport, a yellow dot indicates a medium airport, and a green square indicates a large airport. Presumably those sizes are based on the FAA's definitions.

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:07 am
by jensju
I hope this is what some of you are looking for. We've been working on this website for the last couple of months and made a release last week. :-)

https://www.flightsfrom.com/

You can basicly select an airport and see all destinations illustrated on a map with the option to filter by airlines, aircrafts, date etc...

(I am one of the creators behind the website, I hope its okay to post it anyway since I found it relevant for this thread - if not moderator please delete it!)

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:31 am
by TG788
jensju wrote:


This is pretty good, thank you! Are there any plans to add in direct flights like say QF1 (SYD-DXB-LHR) or TG507 (BKK-KHI-MCT)?

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:49 am
by jensju
TG788 wrote:
jensju wrote:


This is pretty good, thank you! Are there any plans to add in direct flights like say QF1 (SYD-DXB-LHR) or TG507 (BKK-KHI-MCT)?


Yes - we do have these plans. As for now we only show non-stop flights. (QF1 SYD-DXB & QF1 DXB-LHR). But it would make sense to include direct flights with layovers/technical stops. But we need to present them in the best way for the user on the interface so thats what we need to work on before adding them.

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:26 am
by TG788
jensju wrote:
TG788 wrote:
jensju wrote:


This is pretty good, thank you! Are there any plans to add in direct flights like say QF1 (SYD-DXB-LHR) or TG507 (BKK-KHI-MCT)?


Yes - we do have these plans. As for now we only show non-stop flights. (QF1 SYD-DXB & QF1 DXB-LHR). But it would make sense to include direct flights with layovers/technical stops. But we need to present them in the best way for the user on the interface so thats what we need to work on before adding them.


Thanks, that’s great news. I look forward to seeing it :)

Re: Is the route map dead?

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:25 pm
by steveinbc
What a great thread. I love maps and thanks for the posters who provided the two website links....ive now spent over an hour playing with them! As an aside I remember as a teenager heading through Piccadilly in London and seeing all the airline travel offices each of which had a huge route map on their back wall along with those huge aircraft models in the window
....those were the days. (Sigh)!