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The first thing our loyal and devoted readers will notice is that our name looks different. The letters are all the same height, and the geometric sans-serif format looks like it was forged in the 1930s. That’s because it was. But hold that thought.

In your seat, right at this very moment, you’re rocketing into the future at 500 miles per hour. American Airlines has long been the trailblazer in commercial aviation, and as we start 2011 (and celebrate the 45-year anniversary of American Way), this year will be no different.

Many of you are sitting in a newly minted first-class cabin in our CRJ-700 regional jets. Many more of you are sitting in a brand-new 737. In the not-so-distant future, you folks flying far, far away will be in an industry-leading, jaw-dropping 787 Dreamliner. American Airlines is moving forward, and American Way is moving forward right along with it.

Before you start to examine the rest of the magazine in your hands, let me tell you about some of the editorial changes we’ve made. For starters — literally — our newest section, Itinerary, is the first section in the book. Here, we’ll cover all the interesting goings-on in pop culture, travel, fashion, technology and trends. We’ve also added two pages of Briefs: One page will highlight a destination and the other page will be a Q&A with someone who has something consequential to say, like the Grand Ole Opry’s Pete Fisher on page 22.

We’ll continue to publish writers who are the best of the best — all experts in their respective fields, and many of whom are award winners. We will remain the only in-flight magazine published twice a month. We will also continue with a policy we adopted two years ago of publishing a celebrity cover on the first of the month and a destination cover on the 15th. We do this because we want you to enjoy our entire magazine, cover to cover. We strive to have something for everybody. In a sea of oysters, American Way has long been the pearl, and we don’t want people looking forward to their in-flight magazine only for the crossword puzzle.

Try as we might, however, we know that some passengers mainly want the crossword. We’ve accounted for you. Starting in this issue, our crosswords are from The New York Times’ premier puzzle editor, the legendary Will Shortz. We now have the best puzzles in the business.

Along with bringing you meaningful content, like our story about the Frank Gehry–designed New World Center in Miami (page 28), and practical travel content, like a list of alternative winter activities (page 46), we’re also going to lighten things up. With the addition of four new back-page columnists this year, we intend to make you laugh, think, reminisce and, when appropriate, react. We’re retooling, ladies and gentlemen, so that we can remain the most read in-flight magazine.

We're blogging!

American Way is published twice a month, but our new blog, OnTheFly, is updated regularly with exclusive content not found in the magazine. Visit the blog for our product giveaways, great videos, travel news, recommendations and much more. (You can even talk back to us.) Visit us at www.americanwaymag.com/blogs
Which brings us back to our name. American Way has long been the leader of the in-flight magazine market, just as American Airlines has long been a leader in the field of aviation, starting with the introduction of the industry-leading, jaw-dropping DC-3. Back in 1936, AA began service between Chicago and New York on this storied aircraft. American Way’s new design director,David Radabaugh, a former instructor at the University of Dayton, studied our company’s history in order to find the best typefaces, as well as a sleek and streamlined design, for the future. Leading a first-class team consisting of veteran art director Samuel Solomon, veteran project coordinator Betsy Semple and new-edition designer Danielle Marino, David and company came to a very sophisticated conclusion: “With the redesign of American Way, everything old is new again. Inspired by the exuberance of a simpler time, the goal is to make a more contemporary, more graphic and more relevant magazine that serves our readers as an invaluable source of fascinating narratives and insider information.”

The new American Way font is the same one from the 1930s, a font that proudly graced the fuselage of each American Airlines DC-3, the iconic plane that flew us into the hearts and minds of the traveling public. It is our sincere hope that the redesigned American Way flies itself into the hearts and minds of you, our loyal and devoted readers. We know where we came from and where we’re going … and that’s why the first cover of the new year features a man named Legend. When it comes to the aviation industry — as well as the publishing industry — both American Airlines and American Way are fluent in two languages: strength and growth. We are going to continue to grow strong.
Here’s to rocketing into the future.

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Adam Pitluk