Up, Up, and Away: Airline Themed Games
Thomas Heaney
United States
Quincy
California
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With the mountains of great train games out there, you'd think there would be some good, well-themed airline games out there. But if train games were the President of the US, airline games would be the President's dim and annoying younger brother. While we wait for the "Age of Steam" or "Ticket to Ride" equivalent of an airline Euro-game, here's a list of games that are out there.

Please feel free to add your comments or maybe a game that I've overlooked.

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1. Board Game: Airlines [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:3428]
Thomas Heaney
United States
Quincy
California
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In the space between Acquire and Union Pacific lays Airlines. Take airline stocks, merge airlines, and reap riches. Haven't played this one, but it appears that many players have reservations about the game (especially compared to its successor, Union Pacific).
 
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2. Board Game: Airlines [Average Rating:4.60 Overall Rank:15063]
Thomas Heaney
United States
Quincy
California
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A beautiful and well-theme card game of airline competition that I just never thought was much fun. I love the look of the cards with their nice balance of technology-oriented graphics with instructional text, and one can make the argument that this is among the most accurately-theme game in this list (what with slots, gates, seats, commuter airlines, and fare wars). (I do think the game is innovative in its use of icons, particularly the airport cards.) But game play seems to be both too-luck oriented and awkward. Constantly scoring seats, for me, makes the game tedious and time-consuming.
 
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3. Board Game: Airlines: United States Set 2 [Average Rating:5.23 Overall Rank:13773]
Thomas Heaney
United States
Quincy
California
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More cool-looking cards. (OK, this image is from Airlines 1, but you get the picture.)
 
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4. Board Game: Airport [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:11815]
Thomas Heaney
United States
Quincy
California
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Although limited by a monopoly-structure, this one is pretty fun and feels well themed (although the bits are SO 1970s). The game has "slots" on its routes on which players place their aircraft (er . . . blank, colored disks), the slots are limited in number and as the slots fill, the income per aircraft decreases. Combined with different numbers of income opportunities, players must use a significant amount of strategy in choosing which routes to use. (The game has many similarities in gameplay with "The Farming Game.") Unfortunately, luck plays too much of a role, but this would be a good game to redesign and republish.
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5. Board Game: Airline [Average Rating:4.22 Unranked]
Thomas Heaney
United States
Quincy
California
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Airline themed games seem to fall into two catagories. The above games are all about running an airline. The other category is about flying an airliner with passengers or cargo to specific destinations. With a board that looks borrowed from Trivial Pursuit, Airline is a game of delivering passangers to places like New York and Hong Kong. I haven't played this one, but it looks like the best part of the game is the cover art on the box.
 
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6. Board Game: Take Off [Average Rating:5.42 Overall Rank:12875]
Thomas Heaney
United States
Quincy
California
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This one is on my "to buy someday" list. A game of collecting the right planes that match up to your flights (which are defined by neat-looking ticket cards).
 
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7. Board Game: Airport [Average Rating:2.60 Unranked]
Thomas Heaney
United States
Quincy
California
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I have no idea about this one. It looks like you are competing by moving planes around the airport.
 
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8. Board Game: Airport [Average Rating:4.33 Unranked]
Thomas Heaney
United States
Quincy
California
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Another "fly your plane to a specific destination" game. This one has a realistically-themed board, but that's all I know about it.
 
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9. Board Game: Airline [Average Rating:5.34 Unranked]
Thomas Heaney
United States
Quincy
California
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I'm not at all familiar with this one, but it looks like another monopoly-structured airline game, but with an international perspective. Any thoughts?
 
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10. Board Game: Airport [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Thomas Heaney
United States
Quincy
California
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Similar to the preceeding game except this is about cargo carriers. The BBG entry mentions "hand management," which sounds interesting, but having never seen it, I can't really comment.
 
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11. Board Game: Take Off! [Average Rating:5.23 Overall Rank:14172]
Thomas Heaney
United States
Quincy
California
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An airline-themed educational geography game in which you fly a few airlines to specific places in the world. I have a feeling this wouldn't be as much fun as "10 Days in Africa".
 
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12. Board Game: Air Baron [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:2913]
Thomas Heaney
United States
Quincy
California
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Oops, forgot one of the most important. Air Baron is more like an airline game combined with a wargame, but it is pretty fun and I love map which centers around the control of hubs and spokes. Not the easiest game, but it is the highest rated of all the airline games.
 
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13. Board Game: Air Empire [Average Rating:5.83 Unranked]
Daniel "Cahwyguy" Faigin
United States
Northridge
California
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Geek Description: Build an Air Empire! Start air routes and make money --- but you have to maintain them, too. Expand, bid & eliminate the competition. No business experience needed. One of the earliest AH games --- before they made their move to Harford Rd.
 
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14. Board Game: Jumbo Jet [Average Rating:4.76 Overall Rank:15078]
Nate Sandall
United States
Portland
Oregon
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My friend is an airline enthusiast and has left this game at my house for the last six months. I've glanced at it maybe, but I'd rather play Air Baron again.
 
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15. Board Game: Air Charter [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:11215]
david mackay
United Kingdom
WARWICK
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This is an entertaining light game about shipping air-freight in the East Indies. Imho one of Waddington's better efforts.
 
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16. Board Game: Commander [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Andrea Angiolino
Italy
Rome
European Union
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From a beloved Italian game publisher of the '70s.
 
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17. Board Game: Air Traffic Control [Average Rating:4.74 Unranked]
THE MAVERICK
United States
Roseville
California
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This game of transatlantic flights uses a jumbo sized board.
 
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18. Board Game: U-Fly-It Air Traffic Controller [Average Rating:6.15 Unranked]
Humphrey Clerx
Belgium
Sluizen
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Another air traffic control game.
 
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19. Board Game: The Concorde Game [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Gaz Smither
United Kingdom
Portslade by sea, East Sussex ,UK
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Good Game. Glad I found this on Ebay recently. Remember having as a kid. Loved it then, love it now.
 
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