When Airlines First Went Online: The Top 15 Airline Websites Circa 1999

June 5, 2014

The airlines' first forays into the World Wide Web are relics of awesomeness. Today, we celebrate how far airline websites have come in the past 15 years...

Top 15 Airlines Websites of the Late 90s

1. RYANAIR  | June 2000

The question has been posed, can you really go wrong with animated flames? As Ryanair clearly demonstrates, you can't.

Ryanair First Website 2000

2. LUFTHANSA | November 1996

Lufthansa can lay claim to having the earliest airline website (in our collection, anyhow). Check out this 1996 beauty!

Lufthansa First Website 1996

If, like me, you forgave the palm tree collage because they were early adopters (after all, it was 1996), you'll be disheartened to know the collage stuck around for the 1998 redesign. Just smaller and grayed out.

Lufthansa website 1998

3. ALLEGIANT AIR  | January 2000

Allegiant Air shied away from collages (or any sort of graphic, really) and went minimalist for their foray into the World Wide Web in 2000.

Allegiant Air First Website



American Airlines first website

5. FRONTIER AIRLINES  | December 1996

A couple classics to note: (1) Recommended broswers; Netscape 3.0 and Internet Explorer (2) "Under Construction" stripes

Frontier Airlines first website

6. HAWAIIAN AIRLINES  | December 1996

One of the oldest airline websites we found, Hawaiian airlines did a pretty nice job for 1996, don't you think?

Hawaiian Airlines first website

7. VIRGIN ATLANTIC  | August 1997

Virgin Atlantic first website 1997

8. SOUTHWEST AIRLINES  | December 1997

Southwest Airlines first website 1997

And of course, this gem at the bottom of the home page explaining Why Southwest Doesn't Accept E-mails.

Southwest Airlines first website not accept emails

9. ICELANDAIR  | June 1997

Icelandair's first website 1997

Wondering what's under the "FUN" tab? The suspense was killing me too! Games, quizzes, a Runegame... oh me oh my!

Icelandair 1997 website fun tab

10. AIRTRAN | December 1998

AirTran First Website 1998

11. ALITALIA  | June 1997

Alitalia's first website 1997

12. DELTA AIRLINES  | October 2000

Delta Airlines First website 2000

13. BRITISH AIRWAYS  | January 1999

British Airways first website 1999

14. UNITED AIRLINES  | April 2000

United Airlines first website 1999

15. WESTJET  | December 1996

Westjet first website 1996


Which is Your Favorite?

My favorite? Bringing up nostalgic memories of my high school years, RyanAir's flashing menu bars and animated flame stole my heart. Although, Southwest's explanation of why they don't communicate via email was pretty classic too... what about you? Want to share, repurpose, reuse, or translate our content? Get information here about how to do that; we're under a creative commons license.

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About the Author
Steph Lee - Host Agency Reviews

Steph Lee

Steph grew up in the travel industry, helping on and off with her mom's homebased travel agency. She has worked with thousands of agents in her role as a former host agency director before leaving in 2012 to start HAR. She's insatiably curious, loves her pups Fennec and Orion, and -- in case you haven't noticed -- is pretty quirky and free-spirited.

If you’re looking for Steph, she leaves a trace where ever she goes! You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn (her fav) and Pinterest as 'iamstephly'. 🙂 You can also catch her on her Substack, Bumblin' Around, where she writes on things outside the world of HAR.