Pulmonary carcinoids (PCs) display the common features of all well-differentiated neuroendocrine neoplasms (NEN) and are classified as low- and intermediate-grade malignant tumours (i.e. typical (TC) and atypical carcinoid (AC), respectively). There is a paucity of randomised studies dedicated to advanced PCs and management principles are drawn from the larger gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) NEN experience. There is growing evidence that NEN anatomic subgroups have different biology and different responses to treatment and, therefore, should be investigated as separate entities in clinical trials. In this review, we discuss the existing evidence and limitations of tumour classification, diagnostics and staging, prognostication and treatment in the setting of PC with focus on unmet medical needs and directions for the future.