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A NEW AMERICAN AIRLINES
What a pleasure it was to read the March 15 issue and CEO Tom Horton’s comments in “Vantage Point” regarding the new livery and the history behind it. Earlier this week, I was inbound to DFW and rolled into the normal east side. Gated there was the retro Astrojet! What a sight in and among the current fleet. I enjoyed the silver lining of my rerouting (I was supposed to go through Chicago, but alas, snow!) thanks to this old-school treat.
Here is what made this trip even more rewarding: I just flew into DFW again on my return trip, and while fumbling through the Sudoku puzzles as we were arriving, I looked out the porthole and to my amazement, I saw the two new birds in full livery, as described by Mr. Horton, parked on the D terminal hardstand. They looked outstanding. What a striking image to carry the new American into the future. Fate has a way of providing a reward. I am enjoying the new fleet look.
AMERICAN AIRLINES CEO TOM HORTON RESPONDS: Many thanks for your letter, David. As excited as we all are about the many changes under way at the new American Airlines, we are particularly pleased to get letters from customers who, like you, enjoy travel, are knowledgeable about our rich history and are frequent American Airlines fliers. You can expect many more improvements in the months and years to come, whether you are traveling to Dallas, Chicago, Charlotte or anywhere else in the world. We truly appreciate your loyalty and wish you the best on all your journeys.
RESPECT IS APPRECIATED
On a recent American Airlines flight, I was struck by the actions of one flight attendant, who announced there was an American soldier on board. She thanked him for his service and initiated a round of applause. It was a good feeling. While I was waiting for takeoff, I opened American Way and was pleased to find Cathy Booth Thomas’ article about Mary Jessie Herrera (“Buckle Up,” March 1). I have met thousands like Mary who, despite war injuries, embrace life and support other veterans. I waited to be the last one to deplane, and I stopped to thank the flight attendant for recognizing the soldier. I told her what she didn’t realize was that he was a three-time mobilized soldier and that she will never know the lasting impact her recognition will have on him. As the soldier’s commander, I left the airplane satisfied that American Airlines understands that the simple things leave the greatest lasting impact on those they serve.
Commander, 865th Combat
Support Hospital, Utica, N.Y.
EDITOR ADAM PITLUK RESPONDS: Thank you and your troops for providing a safe world for us, Col. Clark. American Airlines is without a doubt the most patriotic airline around, and American Way celebrates that patriotism. Blessings to you, your family and the 865th.
I’m a hard-core American Way fan who does not get to travel as much now that I’m running my own company and making my own black history every month. When I travel, it is an extra treat to get to read your magazine. But nothing could have prepared me for the wonderful Feb. 1 issue of American Way with the Magic Johnson cover feature (“Holding Court”) and the fantastic profile of Barrington Irving (“Taking Flight”), showcasing two outstanding black men leveraging amazing talents and giving back to bring others along on their own magnificent journeys. I love the contrasts of the articles that magnify the nonathletic endeavors they’ve undertaken. If you were going for inspiration with a bit of history and a glimpse at the future of black America, you’ve succeeded. Well done.
A.P. RESPONDS: This is exactly the sort of letter our annual Black History Month issue was designed to elicit, Denise. We are all one global community these days, but we almost weren’t. Thanks to guys like Jackie Robinson (“American Hero,” Feb. 1), Magic and now Barrington Irving, the world is a little smaller and dreams are a little more achievable.
A SPECIAL ISSUE
I have flown with American Airlines for 10 years, mostly from my country of Argentina to the United States. If I had to name one thing that makes my experience with you guys special, it is American Way. It is the first thing I look for in the seat pocket. Sometimes I get so engaged reading articles that I don’t notice when the plane lifts off. An excellent example is the article on Magic Johnson (“Holding Court,” Feb. 1). Basketball is not a big sport in Argentina; soccer is. We know only the names of Argentinians who play in the NBA and those of legends like Magic or Michael Jordan or Larry Bird. It was a revealing article and showed the life of this entrepreneur who helps others, owns teams and companies, and keeps achieving great things. It is articles like this one that make your publication No. 1 on my reading list.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAN HUBBARD RESPONDS: Your compliments about our magazine are very flattering to us, Alejandro. Soccer may be No. 1 in your country, but since winning the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics, Argentina has built a special reputation in the basketball world.
A GREAT CARE PACKAGE
I stopped traveling for a while and then toward the end of last year, my travel really picked up again, and the thing I looked forward to was getting on the flight and being able to read American Way, cover to cover, even on those 6 a.m. flights where the extra hour or two of sleep would have made for an easier day. My sister also loves reading your magazine, but she doesn’t travel as often. She’s having surgery soon, and she will be out of commission for a while, so I’ve decided to put together a care package. Rather than buying the latest magazines on the shelf, I have been collecting American Way, and I have about eight copies to give to her. Thanks for providing such a wonderful magazine to your customers, always keeping them in the loop on the best travel destinations, music and lots of other interesting articles.
MANAGING EDITOR TRAVIS KINSEY RESPONDS: Wow Payal! Not only do you choose us over sleep, but we’re included in a care package? We are thrilled that you find our content to be so enjoyable.
AA AND FAMILY
Seeing the American Airlines logo gives me a rush of emotion that is easy to explain. My elderly parents live in Bogotá, Colombia, and my brother lives in North Carolina. I live in Madrid with my husband and children, so all three of our destinations are connected by American Airlines. Getting on a plane is much more for me than going on a vacation. AA has flown me to my brother’s wedding, to the baptism of my godson, to my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary (with my whole family wearing T-shirts made up for the event) and to a family gathering welcoming my brother back from his third deployment in Iraq as a doctor. This time, for landing, I tucked American Way back into the pocket for the next passenger to enjoy as much as I had. I felt my heart pounding with excitement because it had been a year since I’d seen my parents, and I knew they’d be waiting to give me an enormous hug.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR JESSICA JONES RESPONDS: Mónica, I’ve said before that the best part about working for American Airlines is knowing that we help connect loved ones and allow them to share important moments in their lives together.
OVER OR UNDER?
Whether it’s the column about the toilet paper being hung with the loose end hanging over or under the roll (“Final Approach,” Feb. 15); the vending-machine caviar, the interview with Phylicia Rashad or the colorblind test (all from the Feb. 15 issue’s “Itinerary”); the snow skiing in New Mexico [“Sun + Ski,” Feb. 15]; the pictures; the ads; the puzzles (my favorite); the helpful passenger information about where American flies or the diagrams of the airports, American Way has it all. There is something for everyone regardless of age, gender or race. This magazine is truly one of the highlights of all of my trips. Hopefully we will always have American Way, no matter where we sit or what the budget cuts are.
J.H. RESPONDS: This is probably the first time a magazine has been praised for articles about skiing and toilet paper in the same letter, Anne, but we do try to be at the forefront of many issues. Thanks for the very thorough compliment.
AMERICAN WAY IN THE CLASSROOM
AN AMERICAN WAY TO LEARN
I was on several recent American Airlines flights, and I thoroughly enjoyed the Feb. 1 edition of American Way celebrating Black History Month. As I was reading the articles, I wanted to share them with my reading students, who are assigned to my seventh-grade class because of low test scores or no scores at all. I focus on building their reading skills and teaching them useful strategies in order to comprehend text better. One of those strategies is text marking. Most of the students’ text skills are not consumable, therefore it makes it difficult for them to fully grasp the concepts I am teaching. The copies of American Way that you sent us served many purposes. One of those was exposure to great African-Americans. Another was building their reading comprehension skills. By having their own personal copies, it opened many teaching opportunities for me. Thank you so much for sharing the magazines with us. When I travel, I always look in the seat pocket for American Way. Reading the Feb. 1 issue, I knew I could count on the magazine to provide me with something inspiring.
Farnell Middle School
EDITOR ADAM PITLUK RESPONDS: American Way welcomes every opportunity to advance education, Deirdra. Playing a role in helping students with their reading lessons is a highlight for us. Thanks for distributing the magazines to your students.