Airline Maps: Last Minute Gift Idea for the Airline Dork You Love


It’s the end of the year, and that means airline news starts getting lighter as people turn away from work and go spend time with their families (unless they’re in management at Boeing; they might have other things to do this year). But what if you still haven’t found that perfect gift? Allow me to help.

I was sent a review copy of the appropriately-titled book Airline Maps: A Century of Art and Design. It is pretty much exactly what you’d expect, and that’s why it’s a great gift for the airline dork in your life.

If you’re looking for something heavy on text, this isn’t it. The authors mostly let the maps speak for themselves with only brief summaries and guiding captions. The book is arranged chronologically, and it focuses on the route maps that could (and should) be considered works of art.

I found myself staring at some of these maps for long periods of time, marveling at the work that went into them. For example, I just love this old Air Canada route map.

Some of the maps are more utilitarian while others are more fanciful, but all are mesmerizing. So, if you’re an airline dork, send this blog post on to your family as a strong hint. And if you’ve stumbled upon this post as part of your desperate search to find a gift for the airline dork in your life… you’re welcome. The book is for sale at all the usual booksellers.

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8 comments on “Airline Maps: Last Minute Gift Idea for the Airline Dork You Love

  1. I have Mark Ovenden’s book of transit maps, it’s really interesting. A couple of interviews with him are on youtube, notably one with Jeff from “All the Stations”

  2. If you want to save a few dollars, it looks like ordering via is about $3.50 less than Amazon (Amazon, for me, is $22.13 all in for this book). Abebooks appear to send it direct from the UK – takes longer, but is cheaper. I have no affiliation with Abebooks other than having successfully ordered books from them in the past.

  3. Cranky’s doesn’t recommend books often, but the book recommendations he’s made in the past have been spot on. Ordered.

    Still waiting for another aviation author to ask Cranky to write the foreward or introduction to their book, though.

  4. Is it very North America and Europe heavy, like many others? Does it cover any Asian airlines? Couldn’t tell from intro on amazon… thx

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