Hey Batter Batter!
My boyfriend, Paul, and I are huge baseball fans, and American Way has continuously fed that obsession by publishing unique articles and insightful book reviews that keep us perusing the pages for more. I have been tempted to buy yet another baseball book after reading the review of Craig Robinson’s Flip Flop Fly Ball: An Infographic Baseball Adventure (“Itinerary,” July 15). As soon as I read the review, I knew we had to have that book, and we had a copy in hand within 24 hours. Needless to say, this is not the first time AW has lured me in with the written baseball word. Two years ago, it was the review of Bruce Weber’s book As They See ’Em: A Fan’s Travels in the Land of Umpires (“Down Low,” April 1, 2009) which made a great Christmas gift for Paul. Also in the April 1, 2009, issue, J. Rentilly’s article “Take Me Out to the Ball Games” inspired me to take Paul to Coors Field in Denver for his birthday, where he called two innings of the game from the fantasy announcer’s booth. As much as I travel, I do not have time to shop and find unique gifts. AW has solved that problem for me. With Christmas not far away, I will be looking to AW to come up with even more gift ideas for the baseball-obsessed.
Editor Adam Pitluk responds: Oh, Robin, Paul’s a lucky guy. We’ll keep the baseball stories coming. (FYI: The cover story we did on Albert Pujols on July 1, 2010, just won a Magnum Opus award for Best Feature Story.)
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 ?firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoy Your Flight
In these days of Internet, blogs, Facebook and Tweeting, I was very pleased (I taught writing in college) to find first a print publication and in addition, one with real articles, interviews and information (not just ads) that is well written and interesting. Fortunately, on the day in question, I had two American Airlines flights, so I could finish the article I started reading. Keep up the good work in print media!
A.P. responds: You’re right, Barbara, on two fronts: 1) We’re moving way too fast these days. It helps to have these onboard downtime airline hours to just sit back, clear the mind and chill. That and there’s nothing better than having some good reading material while sky high. Which is why 2) we’re fiercely proud to be the only in-flight that publishes twice a month. To that end, we’ll be seeing you (and you’ll be seeing us) soon.
The Windy City Staff
Recently I was traveling from San Jose, Calif., to Chicago on a business trip. At the Chicago terminal I saw an elderly Indian couple. They could not get their point across due to a communication problem. I was observing them from a distance. The lady had developed back pain, and they were looking for a wheelchair. The agent kept telling them to go back, as their group number had yet to be announced. Finally, the other agent paid attention to them and after a lot of sign language and gestures was able to understand their need. He quickly arranged for a wheelchair and also let them board. Despite the communication gap, the agent was a smart guy to figure out the requirements of the passenger, and I think this is what sets American Airlines staff apart.
Every airline pays special attention to the first- and business-class passengers, but the thing that makes a difference is how much they are willing to help the economy-class passenger. Seeing the professional service that AA provides to each of its passengers and the effort the staff puts into making the journey comfortable really is an example worth emulating.
Associate Editor Cheryl Krzywicki ?responds: Having been an AA ticket agent in Chicago for a number of years, I understand firsthand what it is like interacting with our passengers while they are traveling. I always enjoyed being able to assist all of our customers, answer whatever questions they may have had and help make their trip go smoothly.
As an avid Sudoku player, I always look forward to American Way magazine when I travel. I am disappointed when I find someone has already completed or started the three Sudoku puzzles. However, when I tell the flight attendant, they are always able to find me a new copy of the magazine so I can work on the Sudoku puzzles. I really appreciate the three levels of puzzles, as I am always able to complete the Gentle and Moderate ones, but I have to admit that the Diabolical games are really challenging. I want to thank you for helping me pass the time away during my flights and for your very helpful flight attendants.
Managing Editor Travis Kinsey ?responds: While the Diabolical grids may be a challenge, given that we here at American Way are word people and not numbers experts, we’re always in awe of anyone who has the guts to even attempt the Diabolical puzzles. You earn our respect for that, Fred, and our appreciation for your interest in the magazine.
A Picture worth 1,000 Words
I do not frequently write comments on the Web or any other means of communication, but when asked by American Airlines to comment about your magazine, I found myself with some time and motivation to let people know about this resource that sits right in front of them on so many flights.
On my last trans-Atlantic flight on American, I read the magazine cover to cover and can say that there is a bit of life in it for everyone, and for those who want to escape from their own life, there is a bit of that in it as well. There are sections that address travel (of course), food, cultures, other countries, business, technology, sports and so much more. Then there are the puzzles like Sudoku, Crossword and Mensa quizzes to help pass the time. What sometimes doesn’t get recognition is the quality of the photographs. They are great! American Way magazine has a lot to be proud of. I have even seen a passenger slip one off the plane. I don’t know if that is allowed, but what a great resource American gives us right under our noses. I hope everyone gets to read and look through it, young and old.
Design Director David W. Radabaugh ?responds: All of that and more twice a month! We are fortunate enough to work with skillful photographers from across the globe to bring you an insider’s view of our fascinating destinations. For example, you’ll find photographer David Ingram’s images of Nova Scotia beginning on page 44. And you’ll be happy to learn that American Way is yours to keep.
I stuffed a copy of the July 1 issue in my bag because I was in the middle of an interesting article about two-time cancer survivor Sean Swarner (“Against All Odds”) when my plane landed. Back home, I never managed to finish reading the piece. However, when my wife went into labor and asked me to read her something to distract her from the pain, I was happy to have my American Way magazine close at hand. We read it cover to cover through a long night of contractions. The piece “The Disappearing Deli” brought back fond memories of savory corned-beef-on-rye sandwiches that were staples of my childhood growing up around New York City. Around 5 a.m., my wife and I decided that our 10-year-anniversary trip will be to Puerto Rico based on the enticing description of the sights and culinary delights on the island in that issue’s “Itinerary.”
I must admit that I did suggest naming our baby something like “James A.W. O’Brien” or “James A.A. O’Brien,” but my wife vetoed it. I did try.
A.P. responds: That’s a first for us, David. We’ve never been in-labor reading material before. Perhaps we should branch out and be available in your seatback pocket and your delivery room. Another first would have been to name your kiddo A.W., but there’s always next time. Congratulations!