The Complete Package
American Way is a trusty travel companion and a welcome alternative to reading on an electronic device. It is fact-filled and covers many varied subjects, making every issue refreshing. [On a recent flight], I noticed a page describing how to deal with missing a flight. Lo and behold, that was the first flight in 20-plus years of travel where I needed the information.

Since American is the only carrier I fly, I was concerned about the recent reorganization. I was pleasantly surprised to see the matter addressed in the CEO’s column (Jan. 15, 2012). This transparency is no surprise and further reinforces the trust I have in American.

Every issue of the magazine is flawlessly executed. Lots of facts, puzzles and information. The only thing I can suggest is to incorporate some fiction, such as a short story. My favorite is science fiction, but any genre as a diversion would fit the bill.
Joe Bologna, Fox Lake, Ill.

Editor Adam Pitluk responds: You’re exactly right, Joe: There’s nothing like some good fiction to pass the time. We’ll definitely keep it in mind for future issues.

Creole Delight
I have been flying AA exclusively for over 12 years now and often read American Way, but I have never felt compelled to write in and say thank you until now. While reading the Feb. 1, 2012, issue, I came across the article “A Moveable Feast,” which meant a lot to me and was very accurate. My family is Creole/African-American, and we are part of the millions of families that headed west, where we still reside. For those who have never had gumbo, they should try it. It’s a delicious dish my mom makes, and I love it. Thanks for sharing my cultural history with the rest of American’s passengers and for transporting me and the millions of others to our destinations safe and sound. Keep up the good work, American Way!
Nahshon D. Anderson, Los Angeles

A.P. responds
: I share your love of the Creole culture, and of gumbo, Nahshon. In fact, I was in Lake Charles, La., last month and had some.

100,000 AAdvantage miles for your thoughts.

We enjoy hearing what you think about the magazine — so much so that if your letter to the editor is published in a 2011 issue, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win 100,000 AAdvantage? miles. Want a chance at the miles? Simply ?e-mail your thoughts to us at ?

Top Five Reasons
I travel a lot for work; probably more than I’d like to. I also travel for fun — and I love that. I am on airplanes (primarily American)? three or four times per month. And I have to say, I always make it a point to flip through American Way either at the start or end of a flight. Here’s why:
A. It’s a good time for a brief read.
B. I learn things about new (potential) haunts.
C. I learn new things about old haunts.
D. I learn things that are of interest to my friends and family (interesting books, cooking, music, the arts), and I share those things with them.
E. I like to look at the world map — what a fun place to be!

Please keep up your global perspective, peeking around corners and sharing undiscovered gems with us. It makes the personal travel so much more meaningful and the business travel bearable.
Michele Rowan, Addison, Texas

A.P. responds: It’s loyal readers like you that motivate us, Michele … you’re one of the main reasons why AW was just named Best In-Flight Magazine by the North American Travel Journalists Association.

The World of Deicing
I just wanted to pass along a very sincere thank-you for the “Editor’s Note” on de?icing that ran in the Jan. 15, 2012, edition of American Way. American’s deicing policies, procedures and training are authored and maintained by our office in Tulsa, Okla., and must go through a stringent approval process with the FAA annually. We consider the flight deck our primary customer, but the ground troops across our system, as editor Adam Pitluk pointed out, are the ones we empower to get the job done in the cold weather. It is often an overlooked, thankless task, and yet these are the people whose eyes just light up when you talk “Winter Ops.” These are the people we latch onto, and these are the ones who get the needed boost from this sort of article.

Thanks again for giving them their due, because the next day the sun comes out, and all is forgotten.
Don Borntrager, American Airlines 

A.P. responds: That “Editor’s Note” was from the heart, Don. I always feel safe getting on AA planes in the winter because I know you weather warriors are on the case. Please pass along a very special thank-you to your crew from me and the rest of us here at American Way.

Going Places
I am sure that I am one of the very few readers who spend any time reading the destination maps at the back of every American Way. As a Platinum ?AAdvantage member, I do my share of flying and, consequently, map reading. My goal has always been to visit as many foreign places as possible to see and experience different cultures. Over the years I have visited every continent multiple times (except Antarctica — although that’s on the list). The maps in the magazine have given me many ideas on places to visit and ways to get there on American and other oneworld airlines. But as you add more airlines and destinations, I am having a difficult time keeping up. Please slow down! (Just kidding.)
Jim Lynch, San Diego

Design Director David W. Radabaugh responds: Thank you for enjoying our maps. If you make it to Antarctica, please write back to tell us about your adventure.

Game Day
Some time ago I was traveling from Seattle to Dallas/Fort Worth and then on to Baton Rouge, La. After spending a week away from home, my only desire was to arrive on time to see my 10-year-old son play basketball. I decided to head to the Seattle airport and was able to get an earlier flight, but there was no confirmation on whether or not I would also get an earlier flight from Dallas to Baton Rouge. When I showed up at the ticket counter in Dallas, I was able to get a seat on an earlier flight home to see my son play. That day was a wonderful day, and I can’t thank American ?Airlines enough for being there for those special moments.
Santos Martinez, Geismar, La.

Project Coordinator Betsy L. Semple responds: Basketball is important in my family too; I’ve boarded AA flights from Dallas/Fort Worth to both Birmingham, Ala., and Houston to see my brother coach his high school and middle-school teams. The best part? Seeing his expression when I walked into the gym.

One in a Million
I was on a flight from Los Angeles to New York when I read “100,000 AAdvantage miles for your thoughts” in “Air Mail.”

“What are the odds of my letter being published in American Way?” I thought to myself. “What are the odds of me being the one to win the grand prize?”

I continued to flip through the rest of the magazine where I read a message from CEO Thomas Horton, along with articles about America’s most successful entrepreneurs, innovators, actors, designers, musicians and athletes. I found myself inspired.

Doing things “The American Way” means believing in the goal and taking on the challenge even if there is a one in a million chance of success. So sit back, relax and envision those possibilities. Who knows? Your thoughts might actually get published and you might even win those 100,000 miles.
Edan Amar, New York

D.W.R. responds: It’s been awhile since I’ve counted the letters in our mail bag, but it’s a safe bet that your chances are better than one in a million.

Entertainment for all
American Way is amazing — a lot of entertaining information, great app recommendations for the iPhone, and I have fun ?reading the Caribbean information.
Alejandro Sierra, Nogales, Ariz.

A.P. responds
: Follow us, Alejandro, and we won’t let you down.

What a welcome relief to read the article that the new American Airlines will retain the same quality customer service that we have become accustomed to with the airline that accurately touts “We know why you fly.” It is understandable that restructuring will bring many changes with American but, according to Craig Kreeger, ?customer service will remain top-shelf. Thank you for the reassurance.
Marsha Knuth, Dallas

A.P. responds: Mr. Kreeger speaks the truth, and we’ll follow him, arms locked, into the restructuring process. The best thing about it: Our commitment to you and your fellow passengers won’t change, and you won’t notice a thing.

{Our Appreciation}

We at American Way want to give kudos to AA employees working at the airports and in the air. Keep up the great work!

I just wanted to take a moment to say how impressed I am with the employees of ?American Airlines during this difficult time for the company. I’ve been aboard several flights recently, and I’ve seen nothing but dedication, professionalism and customer service as it should be. In fact, it seems that the employees are working even harder to earn my business. I am proud, when people ask what airline I fly, to say I fly American Airlines. I am proud to support a company that means so much to my chosen hometown of Dallas. And at the end of the day, all the fancy TVs and mood lighting can’t replace service with a smile. Thank you for your dedication. Rest assured that you’ve got me as a loyal customer.
Adam Lynn, Dallas 

The thing I love the most about flying is that no matter how cloudy and gloomy it looks on land, it’s always sunny or the stars are out once you get above the clouds. This lovely view and American’s excellent customer service always make me feel really peaceful every time I’m in the air.
Nicole Gravina, Ph.D., Chicago

As a frequent traveler for over 15 years, I am still amazed that all the agents at the check-in counter and gates still smile and enjoy their jobs. I’ve grown familiar with the faces at the St. Louis airport. They feel like family to me. Even though they don’t know me by name, I’ve always thought that they recognize me when I travel. I’ve watched these agents with all the passengers, and they treat everyone the same way. They answer the same questions over and over again, and they always do it with a smile and genuine courtesy. They extend that same warm, friendly feeling that I’ve enjoyed over the years to all their passengers. My message is simple: Extend that same courtesy to these agents with a friendly “thank you.”
Chris Dickhans, St. Charles, Mo.

I recently flew from Miami to Buenos Aires, Argentina — in first class for the first time — on a Boeing 777.

After saving up my miles (like putting coins in a piggy bank), it was a well-deserved trip … as I’m fast approaching 60.

Much to my great surprise, it was more fun than I could have ever anticipated. Shortly after takeoff, and after the complimentary champagne, wine and orange juice, we were all given pajamas. Yes, AA designer pajamas and slippers for the night flight!

I can’t tell you how much fun it was — with the always good-natured Argentinians and the congenial flight crew, we laughed, took photos of one another, toasted to a great flight and created a joyful atmosphere.

It really set the tone for the rest of my eventful trip. I kept the pajamas as a reminder of that great takeoff.
Linda Allen, Los Angeles