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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 2013 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 editor@americanwaymag.com




WELL DONE
I would like to congratulate you on the philosophical and pedagogical value of your publication. I teach at a nationally recognized public liberal arts institution known for its broad educational focus and a curriculum that develops real-world skills. Browsing the Oct. 15 issue of American Way, I was struck by the array of topics: culture, the arts, gender studies, economics, global studies, medicine, geography, physical fitness and even mental-flexibility exercises. I applaud the service you provide through this publication, which encourages a well-rounded and informed world view. It also informs in areas perhaps outside people’s primary interests and invites connections across disciplines. In an era of specialization in higher education and the job market, your publication extends people outside their primary foci and informs them broadly. The article that sums up your perspective — oddly enough, a book summary — was Stephen J. Lyons’ review in “Itinerary” of Some Nerve: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave by author Patty Chang Anker, who encourages us to go beyond, to extend our comfort zone and to be enriched by an array of experiences. Thanks for providing a valuable experience through your publication.
Dr. Stephen Weber, Professor of Music, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Chickasha, Okla.

MANAGING EDITOR TRAVIS KINSEY RESPONDS: It makes us feel good when someone recognizes — like you have, Dr. Weber — what we’re trying to do at American Way: offer content that benefits our customers not only during their travels but in their lives after their flight is complete.



NOT WELL DONE
Many employees who work for our company are AAdvantage Executive Platinum members and are appalled at the selection of candidates for this year’s Road Warrior contest. To be a finalist, must you be a top-level executive, be on some board, stand for some philanthropic cause or work in tourism like these finalists? There are many of us who are not top-level executives, are not involved in philanthropic causes or don’t work in tourism like the finalists selected. Many of us “other” Road Warriors are entrepreneurs and mothers who travel the world without the same beauty-pageant contestant image as these boring candidates chosen by you. Can’t you be more original? We are very disappointed in your elitist selections. Is there hope for selecting more unique candidates from all the entries for the next Road Warrior contest in 2014?
Alice Olson, Las Vegas
 
SENIOR MARKETING MANAGER GWEN BALDWIN RESPONDS: Our Road Warrior finalists come from a variety of backgrounds, Alice. You are entitled to your opinion, but we are pleased with this group, including working parents, who are all very deserving.



DRIVEL-FREE
I typically read the first few words of “Editor’s Notes” and smirk at the self-serving drivel of desperation trying to convince the reader of the merits of a publication. I honestly didn’t understand what the purpose of this column was until I read Adam Pitluk’s column in the Nov. 1 issue of American Way (“Wise Bird”). It must be challenging to edit the magazine given your rather nebulous audience of people who fly, and I’ll admit that not every article resonates with me. But Adam’s note did. I thought it was a masterful piece of storytelling mixed with genuinely useful information followed by a soft sales pitch that I wholeheartedly accepted. Later, I even found myself touting­ my knowledge of Jimmy Russell with co-workers. Thank you for the wonderful writing.
Donny Epp, Fayetteville, Ark.
 
EDITOR ADAM PITLUK RESPONDS: Thank you, Donny, for the compliment. It was nice to know that unlike some editors, I avoided a self-serving drivel of desperation for at least one issue. But I’m confident I can create it again in the future.



A ROYAL DINNER
In the last 30 years, my new husband has flown more than 8 million miles on ­American Airlines. We have found extremely good tips in American Way, one recently when we were on our honeymoon trip to the United Kingdom. In the Oct. 15 issue, we read “British Food Power” by Jan Hubbard. My stepdaughter lives in London, and we decided to invite her to dine with us at The Fat Duck, which was one of the restaurants featured in the article. We enjoyed eating as we never had before, and we all agreed at dinner that American Way was the best magazine ever. We love you guys.
Karla Jimenez, Caracas, Venezuela

ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAN HUBBARD RESPONDS: I’m very jealous, Karla. I was able to write about The Fat Duck and interview head chef Jonny Lake, but I did not eat there. It’s definitely on my bucket list.



ADVANTAGE: BARRACHINA
On a recent flight, my husband stumbled upon “The Piña Colada Battle” in the Oct. 1 issue of American Way, and we happened to be on our way to San Juan, Puerto Rico. While there, we decided to do our part in deciding who won the battle. We headed to Barrachina and had the most amazing piña colada! So good. But we never made it to the Caribe Hilton. I guess the decision on who wins the battle for us will have to wait until next time we are in San Juan.
Jennifer Lynn Friesz, Pearland, Texas
 
COLUMNIST GUS GARCIA-ROBERTS RESPONDS: Delicious, right? The Barrachina piña colada is like the holy grail of booze, Jennifer. Don’t feel bad about not making it to the Hilton. Just be proud that you made it home — there’s a lot of rum in that drink.