NICE SWITCH
I used to fly United Airlines until they sort of abandoned South America in 2007, but by that time I was a million-mile flier.

The oneworld Alliance is great, and the service I receive as an Executive Platinum is fantastic. The staff on the ground and in flight are friendly and efficient. The onboard entertainment is excellent and constantly improving.

I am now going for 2 million miles with American Airlines (less than half a million to go), and you can count on my trying to break a record. Sounds like Up in the Air with George Clooney, doesn’t it?
Elio Bemaor, Montevideo, Uruguay

Managing Editor Travis Kinsey responds: It sounds like George Clooney has nothing on you, Elio. We’re glad that American and our oneworld Alliance have served your South American travel needs so well.



OPERATION: GRANDMA SALLY

The story of Grandma Sally (“Editor’s Note,” May 15, 2011) began a movement by passenger Lorri Briggs of Parkland, Fla., to support our troops. The following is Lorri’s update:

My family and I had a long layover at DFW airport. To pass the time, we began looking around our terminal for uniformed soldiers that we could thank and offer to buy them a meal. I believe we found eight soldiers that day. What a fun and meaningful way to spend a long layover.

My husband was traveling on business. I received a text message from him, “Operation: GS successful — Just passed two Air Force guys. Bought them some food for their next flight.”

Recently, we were at the Miami International Airport when we spotted a young soldier in line a ta food kiosk. We got in line behind him and asked for permission to buy all the items on his tray.  The lady in front of the soldier turned around and said, “Oh my, I was going to buy his meal.”

The compromise? We bought him two of everything since he still had several flights ahead of him.Thank you for all you do to make American Way such an exceptional, superior magazine.
Lorri Briggs, Parkland, Fla.

Editor Adam Pitluk responds: This is truly awesome, Lorri. I shared your update with my family, and we’re all so honored that you and your family could start such an important tradition; that Grandma Sally was the catalyst is so special. Please keep AW posted as OGS continues to grow.


KEEP FLYING
Let me start by saying that I always look forward to reaching for American Way, no matter how much reading material I bring with me on my flights. As a frequent flier and a struggling actress, I rely heavily on my AAdvantage miles to get me to the festivals around the country each month. American Airlines personnel have always been both patient and accommodating with all of my last-minute changes, and, on a few occasions, they have managed to save me even more on the price of my ticket. In my experience, it has paid to be a loyal AA customer, and I plan to keep flying American.
Marion Dunham, Los Angeles

Associate Editor Jessica Jones responds: Thanks for your note, Marion. We strive to give all of our customers the best in customer service, and I’m happy to hear we’ve more than met your expectations.


BIG BROTHER
In 2006 I lost my big brother, Ben, in an accident when he was 32. He was three years my elder, and he was not just my only brother, he was my best friend. I got the call late on a Saturday night, and I flew from Chicago to London the very next day. Crying for eight hours straight is exhausting, but the flight crew took great care of me. By the time I landed to face and comfort my parents, I was as ready as I’d ever be to be the strong one.

Now, six years later, I still miss him just as painfully as I did on that flight home in 2006. After reading about Luke Woodward (“Editor’s Note,” April 1), I stopped for a while to remember my brother. I was struck by the thought that he was always three years my elder, but now, six years later, I was exactly three years older than him. Does that make me the big brother? I guess in one way it does, but just like my conscience, he’s still hanging around telling me what to do. It was a bummer of a realization, but no matter how much I miss him, I always have a sense that he’s still with me. Thank you for reminding me of that.
Robert Gibbs, Chicago

A.P. responds: What a beautifully written tribute to your brother, and what a profound commentary on the passing of time. Blessings to you and your family.


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 2012 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 ?editor@americanwaymag.com.


HEAVENLY
The Chinese believe that the higher up you go, the closer you are to heaven. Well, flying First Class on a new Boeing 777 to Beijing, I can tell you I was there.

I travel internationally on many airlines, but I must say the 777 is by far the best. The seats were wide and comfortable. When it was time to sleep — the seats were easily made into a flat bed with one simple control — I didn’t even need a degree or instruction. The food was equal to a five-star restaurant, including the extensive wine selection.

From the captain to the entire flight crew, I take my hat off for making the flight a “heavenly” experience. Thank you, American.
Dorothy Barrie, Miami

Design Director David W. Radabaugh responds: AA is deeply committed to providing you the best possible in-flight experience.