Airline Tycoon 2 is a traditional economical simulation in the same style of its predecessors: the player manages an airport and tries to maximize the profits. The player has the usual options available: buying new planes, hiring employees, sabotage, interior furnishing, planning the flying routes, etc. To spice things up a bit there are also random missions, e.g. a special flight for the pope.
All those settings are changed in several menus which are reached through different rooms in the airport. The player can either walk with the player character (there are four with smaller advantages, e.g. cheaper fuel) through the airport or directly with a shortcut. Before reaching the menu itself, the player needs to have a word with the employee in charge - the conversation mainly consists of the character saying a humorous line and then choosing the menu.