STEPPING INTO ACTION
An amazing event occurred when I was at the PriorityAAccess check-in at New York’s JFK airport. After having flown a series of back-to-back flights, I inadvertently ?became so short on sleep and fluids that I passed out at the ticket count?er. An ambulance had to be called and, of course, I missed my flight. What was so extraordinary was all the help I received from the staff and supervisors who immediately came to my aid. They got me water, a comfortable place to lie down, summoned medical assistance, retrieved my ?luggage from the Admirals Club and waved goodbye to me as I was driven? off to a doctor. I felt terrible putting them through this, especially on a busy afternoon. Despite this, the caring and compassion they showed me was nothing less than remarkable. I know in my lifetime few acts of kindness will ever surpass theirs, and I will always be indebted to them and American Airlines.
Steve Carducci, Brooklyn, N.Y.



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.


Senior Editor Anna Fialho Responds: We’re so glad to hear that you’re all right, Steve. As for the kindness and compassion shown to you by the AA staff, well, you’re family to us, and whenever and wherever one of our customers needs us, we’re there. Your safety is our top priority.


CHILDHOOD MEMORIES
As one of 12 children growing up amid the poverty of a sharecropper family in rural Alabama, I can still vividly recall long days of working in the cotton fields and occasionally glaring into the sky as I followed the plumes of a rare aircraft as it streaked overhead. Despite all odds, I wistfully allowed myself to imagine that one day I would experience some magical flight, what then seemed like such a distant, improbable dream. Decades later, I am proud to say I have reached that dream and much, much more.

I have amassed some 3.2 million miles on American Airlines and attained AAdvantage? Executive Platinum status for several consecutive years. That blessing has provided me the opportunity to see places and experience things that even that freckle-?faced kid couldn’t possibly have imagined, and for that I am humbly grateful.

Thank you for changing my youthful concept of “home” from a shanty in the middle of a cotton field to some of the most exotic and beautiful spots on this marvelous globe that, because of the mobility that air travel allows us, we can all call home.
Jimmy D. Britnell, Old Hickory, Tenn.

Managing Editor Travis Kinsey Responds:  Wow Jimmy! In one fell swoop, you’ve written both an inspirational life story, a travel journal and an endorsement for anyone who’s never flown before to climb aboard immediately. Your experiences sound rich beyond anyone’s wildest dreams, and they epitomize what both flying and living are all about. We’re very glad to have been the airline to help you see the world.


A TURN OF EVENTS
I checked in online prior to leaving my house and was confident that everything would go smoothly. When I reached the airport I noticed a higher-than-expected number of passengers — even the line for dropping checked bags was extremely long. I spoke to Alexy Mendez of Miami International Airport and explained my situation. I travel for business, and if I didn’t catch my plane, I would have compromised my boss and colleagues by missing the next flight. He was very understanding and helpful when I explained my situation, and thanks to him, I was able to catch the plane on time and meet my colleagues. Thank you, Alexy.
Sandra Ivette Puebla, Hollywood, Fla.

Agent Ops Coordinator Alexy Mendez Responds: American has all the necessary tools to be the leader once again in the airline industry, and I strongly believe in the capacity that we have; that is why we should treat all our passengers with respect so they can feel at home. Every one should be treated as an Executive Platinum.


MORE THAN EXPECTED
Being a frequent flier on a competing airline, I’ve gotten used to the services and perks of their program. So it was with some leeriness that I booked a recent flight on ?American, concerned that the experience would be far below what I am used to. I am writing to dispel that notion. I found the boarding process organized and professional, the seats in coach more comfortable, the staff courteous and the price very favorable. During my flights I enjoyed reading American Way, and I was particularly impressed with the fact that your magazine values feedback enough to enter those whose letters are published into a drawing for AAdvantage miles. I want to express my thanks for the care American took to get me safely to my destination and back home so comfortably.
Bruce Daniel, Asheville, N.C.

Editor Adam Pitluk Responds: Welcome to the good guys’ team, Bruce. And thanks for your universal praise of AA and American Way. Hope to have you back soon so that you can read your letter and my reply.


NOT YOUR AVERAGE WORKDAY
I never drive to work in my car like many people do each day; instead I fly American Airlines. As a business traveler, the everyday workday can be quite hectic. The only quiet time that I have all day is the time that I spend on the plane. This is the time when I free my mind of work and my busy schedule. American Way is always filled with informative and interesting articles. Reading American? Way is my little escape from my hectic day, and it is a portion of my day that I always look forward to.
Jana Pool, Dallas

T.K. responds: We’re incredibly glad that we can be both a respite and an inspiration for you, Jana, as you travel here, there and everywhere.