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Summer is the time of year when I often find myself traveling to do things I love. So whether your aim this summer is to spend time with friends and family, to take in the sun and surf of your favorite destination or to enjoy the warm weather of a new location, I understand that getting from point A to point B can sometimes be more challenging in the summer months. Throughout my own summer travels, I’ve realized that a few helpful tips can get you and your family through the airport and on to your destination as swiftly as possible.

First off, it’s best to be flexible with your plans. It can be hard to get away whenever you want, but just a little flexibility can often help you save money. AA.com shows you the lowest fare for the day you want to travel as well as the lowest fares on three days before and after your desired travel date. If you’re trying to fit in a last-minute trip before school starts, be flexible with your timing and you’re likely to get a better deal. If you haven’t already, register your preferred cities on AA.com and you’ll then be notified when special fares are available to those destinations. That way, you can pick up and get out of town on a moment’s notice. Check AA.com’s News and Offers to see discounted rates that are available to a variety of destinations.

I prefer to check in online before heading to the airport. You can visit AA.com/checkin up to 24 hours before your flight to check in and print your boarding pass, saving valuable time at the airport. I also like to set up Flight Status Notification on AA.com to get alerts by text or email on the status of my flight, gate numbers, baggage-claim information and more. Traveling with kids or pets? To ensure a smooth check-in, go to AA.com/travelalerts before you leave for the latest policies. It’s also a good idea to allow for extra time when traveling during the summer months. You’ll be thankful you planned for the unexpected when you arrive at the gate with time to spare before boarding begins.

My friends often tell me that one key to the airport experience when traveling as a family is to relax in the Admirals Club before their flight. Visit AA.com/admiralsclub to purchase a One-Day Pass so that you and your children can enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, cybercafes, music rooms, soft drinks and snacks. Many of our clubs have children’s rooms equipped with computers and televisions with kid-friendly games and programs.

As a global airline, it’s important for us to be able to communicate with all of our customers no matter where they are located. In today’s increasingly digital world, we want to give you multiple ways to connect with us, whether it’s on AA.com, via our Facebook fan page ?(American Airlines) or through our Twitter handle (@AmericanAir). As you’re looking for information to make your experience easier,? we’re right there making sure it’s available for you when you want it.

Over the years, we’ve seen how your use of the Internet has changed: You expect up-to-date information and the ability to find answers to your questions with the touch of a button, and now more than ever, you’re connecting to the Internet on a mobile device. Our online channels provide you local content, ?discussions, travel advice, information on deals and the ability to interact with other American ?customers — all from your own Web browser. Plus, we keep you connected with mobile apps for your favorite smartphones and tablets.

If you’ve downloaded our app, be sure to use our mobile boarding pass and simply scan your mobile-boarding-pass image on the screen of your device when going through security and boarding. We’re constantly adding new cities to the list of locations that accept mobile boarding passes. Check out the latest locations at AA.com/mobileboarding.

While answers to your most pressing questions are likely to be found on AA.com, you have other ways of getting what you need from American — when you want it — with our social channels. Facebook and Twitter have become some of the leading sources of information in our culture. In much the same way, American’s Facebook and Twitter pages provide a channel for you to engage with each other and with us. As our Facebook fan, you have the advantage of being the first to hear about contests, prizes and updates. You can also visit us on Twitter to get real-time updates on the newest announcements and best fare sales or miles promotions.

I hope wherever you’re traveling this summer, you continue to fly American. Take a photo of your adventures and post it to our Facebook wall. We love to hear your comments, and we’re listening. Questions or concerns? Write to us at www.aa.com/customerrelations.

Craig S. Kreeger
Senior Vice President – Customer Experience
American Airlines