at right from Jørgen
Lindegaard, President and CEO, The SAS Group, to customers in the
opening pages of the March 30, 2003 edition of the SAS Travel Book
introducing a streamlined format for their printed timetable provides a
good overview of how the IT revolution in aviation is cascading to the
benefit of the passenger.
As collectors, we have savored the
history of commercial aviation through the art and data of the printed
timetable. What a wonderful window these pages have been for us in
watching our industry grow and change over the past 80 years.
But like the transition from
railroad-style columnar timetables of the '30s, '40s and '50s into the
'quick reference' editions of the 1960s, the internet revolution of the
past few years seems destined to again transform how the airlines
communicate their basic products with consumers.
Over the past few years, electronic
timetables have been produced in a variety of formats including Ansett's
mailing list distribution of their schedule on floppy disk.
Common ET formats on the web today
include downloadable media such as:
PDF format for Adobe Acrobat
stand-alone software for PCs
media for various PDA formats
Click for larger view
On-line ET versions are usually
route-specific intended to facilitate immediate ticket sale. Some
smaller carriers present their complete schedules in a basic web text
The need for drastic cost-cutting in the
post Sept. 11 economy has accelerated focus on ETs with an increasing
number of carriers reducing or eliminating print timetables.
Today, very few US airlines save AirTran and Southwest produce hard copy
timetables. As Mr. Lindegaard's letter suggests, this trend will
likely globalize over the next few years.
Likely, there will remain some need for
hard copy flight schedule presentation. At the risk of mixing hobbies,
I'm reminded of Star Trek's 24th Century Captain Picard picking up a
hard bound volume of Shakespeare.
Delta Air Lines, which had discontinued
print editions this Spring, has now responded to customer feedback with
plans for a limited production print edition for launch later this year.
However, as the flexibility and power of
the internet become increasingly accessible worldwide, the trend towards
electronic timetable distribution seems unstopable.
May 7, 2003
The Travel Book that you're holding in
your hand is the product of the revolution that is known as IT.
Accessing the Internet for information
and services is not part of everyday life, so we've moved most of the
contents of the printed Travel Book to our website, www.scandinavian.net.
This edition is limited to a timetable of flights coded SK for SAS, and
a brief description of some of our new products.
Since speed and convenience are two
of the biggest benefits for internet users, we've designed our
site to make planning and booking your travels as easy as
possible. And to maximize your freedom of choice.
If you want to store a personal profile
with us, that's up to you. If you're traveling on an E-ticket, you can
pick the card you prefer. If you have an SAS Travel Pass or a Travel
Pass Corporate, you can load it with the new flights whenever you
choose. And those are just a sample of the options available.
Naturally, you're free to select the
level of service that suits you best. If you want personal service
from a travel agent of or a SAS Call Center, that's up to you. But
you'll find that booking flights at the SAS web site is always the least
Internet check-in is another service that
makes traveling easier for you. It's available for up tot two
pieces of baggage on domestic flights
within and between the
Scandinavian countries, and for other selected SAS flights. This
service is rapidly expanding, so be sure to visit our site and stay
Another benefit of visiting the SAS site
is that you'll find special offers at very attractive fares, and most of
them are available only on the Web. What's more, you can also book
snowflake flights to a selection of popular destinations in
Europe. snowflake offers one-class, one-way tickets at cut-rate
fares, with no overnight or stay-away requirements. And you can
book them whenever you like.
As you can see, the SAS site is dedicated
to making your travel as comfortable and as convenient as possible - on
the ground as well as in the air.
Have a good Trip
of 'Class 1'
timetable issue dates to Collector's Guide pages
of ETs on gallery pages where practical (initially, AS,
AA, CO, DL, UA)
links to current on-line timetables on individual airline
past-date PDF versions for selected carriers
December 1, 2002
November 16, 2002