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 2014 issue, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win 100,000 AAdvantage miles. Want a chance at the miles? Simply email your thoughts to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Studying American Way
I am a business professor at Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield, Mo., and I wanted you to know that I use American Way in my classes. Your magazine contains a diverse array of topics like no other magazine. I find myself traveling quite a bit, and I bring back copies of the magazine to hand out in class. I then assign students to read through the magazines to find business and sociocultural trends that could be of importance to study. Many of my students have not traveled much, so from interesting advertisements to fascinating articles, this magazine helps to expand their horizons.
Editor Adam Pitluk responds: I’ll make you a deal, Professor Rogers: You teach a class on travel writing or journalism, and I’ll fly up on our direct from DFW to SGF and guest lecture. Whaddya say?
No doubt that Kazumi Chapa takes her job seriously (“Gearhead,” March 1). I think all American Airlines flight attendants should read this article. The difference in a flight experience is how serious and responsibly the flight attendant performs his or her job. As an Executive Platinum who has flown close to 4 million miles, I can attest that American Airlines has many Kazumis and that the new American will succeed if newcomers emulate Kazumi’s way of life. Congratulations, American Way, for recognizing superb employees.
Flight attendant Kazumi Chapa responds: Thank you, Dr. Gonzalez, for your kind words. Your observation about American Airlines is correct — we do have many flight attendants who share my work ethic, empathy and customer-service skills. The new American Airlines is comprised of dedicated people from all departments who are working smarter to create an airline that gives loyal customers like yourself the best travel experience in the industry.
A Familiar Face
Gillian Smith, my wife, is the frequent flyer in the family — so much so that she won the 2013 Grand Prize in your Road Warrior contest. I do not fly as often, but I always pick up American Way no matter how long or short my flight is. You bring many people and places to life, but the April 15 edition became very personal to me. During my initial flipping through the pages, the picture of the Shark Valley entrance to Everglades National Park looked very familiar. I spent many hours there as a volunteer over a dozen years ago, shortly after moving to the U.S. from Germany. Volunteering truly helped me make South Florida my new home. Right away I was drawn into the article about ranger Christine MacKarvich (“Buckle Up”), whom I met many times back then and ever since on visits to the park with my family. To my amazement, your article told me many things about Christine that I never knew. I am so grateful that surprises like this can be found in the most unexpected places. Thank you for making this glimpse into my own past so special.
Senior editor jan hubbard responds: It is a fascinating coincidence for us to write about a place you worked, Uwe — in a magazine where your wife had been a Road Warrior. We appreciate you letting us know, and we’re glad we could reacquaint you with Christine, the former dancer, dental assistant and Miami Dolphins cheerleader.
As I turned my April 1 issue of American Way from vertical to horizontal, I noticed a quizzical glance from a fellow passenger. But I was gazing at a two-page spread of the one and only Jimmy Fallon in one of his great suits with a mysterious pink ball at his feet. I then turned the page and became enthralled with your article (“Figure of Fun”) about the fresh-faced humor impresario of our time. How great to read about what a genuinely funny, nice and sincere guy he is. Jimmy’s charm and unassuming vibe came through loud and clear as you recounted how his rise to becoming host of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon came about. Thanks for giving us a glance into the persona of someone who sets a great example as a nice guy and a well-grounded friend and family man who just seems to have fun making us laugh. Realizing the pink ball in his photo was a gift from him as a way to have fun was a nice way to wrap up an insightful article.
Group Design Director David W. Radabaugh responds: Thank you for the kind words, Susan. I’m happy to learn you were in on our “centerfold” joke. My compliments to you for noticing that the feature begins and ends with a pink ball. So fun!
A Rockin’ Journey
I didn’t expect to be a band manager in my late 40s, but when my 16-year-old daughter formed a rock band, it quickly began to take off, and they needed a manager who would work for free. They call me “Momager.” My daughter Moxy and her three Southern California bandmates hit the ground running, and all of a sudden I had a new career. When the band Moxy and The Influence won a contest for a $100,000 fully produced music video, we needed to take the band to Florida for filming. Being an AAdvantage Gold member, I wanted to fly American. What I didn’t know was that the other band members had little experience flying, and two of them were afraid to fly. So I needed their flights to run smoothly because we don’t expect them to be playing local gigs for the rest of their careers. We were able to put together the flights we needed, and the Gold desk worked hard to get us all sitting close to each other. The flight attendants helped us find a place to stow a guitar, a bass and a big banner on board. Moxy and The Influence has fans and now, because of a great flight experience, Moxy and The Influence are fans of American Airlines. Given the current trajectory of the band, we expect them to be booking shows all over the country — and hopefully the world — soon. We look forward to having American Airlines help us transport this young band into the future.
Karen Sepulveda Buls, AA Director of Marketing Production, Creative Services and Email Marketing, responds: It’s so nice to hear from you, Elisa. We’re glad you and your family are doing well and that you are fans of American. Congratulations to your daughter and her band, and thanks for continuing the family legacy of flying American Airlines.
Admittedly, this is a little awkward for me, but I wanted to share a great experience I had with American Airlines. I am a Delta frequent flyer who flies American at least once a year to keep my miles active. I tweet my travels, so I tweeted @AmericanAir about my trip home recently from DFW to New Orleans (@AmericanAir started following me after my last trip on your airline a little over a year ago, which involved a chance meeting on a flight with New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton).What happened next was a spectacular and very entertaining exchange between @AmericanAir and myself involving about two dozen tweets over the course of my flight home. I was very impressed with your social-media team and how responsive it was to me. I have no status on AA, but that personal touch from your airline meant a lot to me — so much so that I am now contemplating doing a status match with AA and perhaps flying your airline with a little more frequency. Keep up the good work, American! You may be seeing more of me on your flights soon!
Annette Hernandez, AA Social Customer Service, responds: Thanks so much for your kind words about the responsiveness of our Social Customer Service team, Ron. It’s always a pleasure engaging with our customers on social channels, regardless of how often they travel with us. We’d love to see you onboard again soon, and you can count on us to keep you company via Twitter!
Short but Sweet
I enjoy the articles in American Way, but what I enjoy the most are those articles that appear in “Itinerary.” In the March 15 issue, one of them made me especially happy — the one about the Muppets and the two old grumpys called Statler and Waldorf. Beyond how the article made me laugh, it reminded me of my childhood, when I anxiously waited for The Muppet Show to appear on TV. I liked the show so much that I even nicknamed one of my best friends Gonzo. Nowadays, I watch the show with my little daughters, who enjoy it just like me and love Kermit just as I did.
Associate Editor Christiana Nielson responds: Statler and Waldorf are indeed amusing characters, Mauricio, and I’m glad you enjoyed their friendly banter. It’s always nice to read things that remind you of your childhood and that can bring back those memories, which you’re now passing on to your daughters. I think it’s safe to say that the Muppets are timeless.
A Travel History
On a recent flight, I started to skim through the April 1 issue of American Way and checked out the article on Jimmy Fallon. I ended up where I usually do — the last pages with the maps of all AA and codeshare destinations. Those are my dream pages: the ones responsible for planning my Christmas vacations, memories of past travels and the prospects of journeys to come. American Way has been a binding resource in my business and personal travel. I had initially enrolled in the AAdvantage program through the magazine. I have continued to use the magazine as a resource for an array of additional purposes encompassing obtaining and upgrading credit cards, banking services, recipes, travel tips, airport-terminal mapping, product/service purchases and — since I love planes — checking on AA’s expanding fleet and corresponding specifications. American Way has served me well in so many ways, and it has equally served those who faithfully invest their time and resources in constructing each edition.
Group Executive Editor Travis Kinsey responds: Your letter is a true boon to us, Adolfo. Making a connection with our customers is exactly what we strive to do with every issue of American Way, and we’re glad we’ve done that with you.
The Sundays: Hoping for a Comeback
Editor Adam Pitluk’s April 15 “Editor’s Note” on The Sundays excited their legion of fans and flooded the “Air Mail” email account. Here are some of the responses:
Your column on The Sundays was a pleasant surprise and makes me more comfortable admitting that despite living in 2014, I sometimes — often — listen to Blind on my way to work. Traffic doesn’t seem half bad when Harriet Wheeler is singing. “Wild Horses” is about as good as it gets. I joke with my music-snob friend that the Rolling Stones do a good remake of that tune by The Sundays.
I was at the same Sundays concert as you in Cleveland in 1993, and your writing brought back a lot of memories. 1) It was very hot inside the Agora, and at one point Harriet Wheeler commented on it. 2) Harriet looked great in denim overalls. 3) Some drunken buffoon standing near me constantly complained that they hadn’t played “Wild Horses.”
Awaiting a Return
I was at The Sundays’ last U.S. show in December 1999, at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta. I saw two shows, and on the second day and last performance I waited out back to get an autograph. I met Harriet and David and their daughter, Billie. I still remember Harriet asking me my name and then asking “Is that Gil with one L or two?” Ever since then, I have been waiting for them to come back.
Your column on The Sundays reminds me of the timeless values of being true to ourselves and valuing those close to us. My top pick for a reunion venue is the Blue Note in Columbia, Mo. But if all you can arrange is a show in Fiji, well, AAdvantage has been good to me, and I’ve got enough miles to meet you and The Sundays there.