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AS YOU KNOW, a big theme running through all of our lives these days is connectivity. From the ­Internet to globalization and from the near-ubiquity of mobile devices to the explosion of social media, today we are able to bring people, places, and ideas together like never before. It’s an exciting time to be in the connection business, and this month I’d like to tell you a little bit about what American is doing to harness the connective power of social media to inform, engage, inspire, and better serve our customers.

You might say we have an active social-media life, since every 40 seconds or so, someone, somewhere in the world, mentions American on Twitter, Facebook, or some other social network. That’s a lot to keep up with, but fortunately, we have an award-winning team of professionals who are more than up to the task. There are a couple of things you should know about the team. First and foremost, the people on the team are, in fact, people. You won’t get an automated response from us. Second, our trained social-media specialists hail from all corners of the airline. So, no matter what your question or concern, chances are we’ve got an expert ready to help. The @AmericanAir ­Twitter team is a great resource to use before, during, and after your trip. In addition to broad expertise, they have lots of destination ideas for your next adventure on American.

One of the most engaging places to visit is American’s channel on Instagram. Every day, our customers are sharing images of our iconic airplanes, the places we fly, and the amazing views that are available only out the window of an airplane. We’d love to add your pic to our channel, so visit us on Instagram and tag your photo with #AmericanView. Just be sure, if you’re using your phone, that it is in airplane mode and the crew has advised you that it’s safe to use electronic devices.

The American Airlines community on YouTube is another great place to visit, especially if, like me, you love airplanes and would like to see footage of our new B777-300 and A319 aircraft. You can also check out our “Behind the Scenes at American” videos, a series that was inspired by questions fielded by our social team about how our airline works. We enlisted experts within the company to answer such questions as “What happens during a weather delay?” and “Why do airfares change so much?”

Through our social channels, we are sharing the latest news about the #newAmerican — from route launches to fare sales to new products and services. But the true power of social media is not that it gives us a new way to sell; it’s that it gives everyone a voice. While you get direct access to our social and airline experts, we get to listen to you directly — and your input is making us a better, smarter airline.

To us, social media is all about engagement, about building stronger, deeper, and longer-­lasting relationships with you and your fellow travelers. It might start with a simple question, but we hope that question grows into a real conversation.

While American Airlines has been connecting people and places for nearly 90 years, the forces driving ever more connectivity in our society these days — and I’d put American’s rapidly modernizing fleet, our pending merger, and the oneworld global alliance on that list — make it feel like an exciting new era has begun. I hope you agree, and I hope that either during or after your trip today, you’ll take a moment to follow us on Twitter (@AmericanAir), to “Like” us on Facebook, and to look for us on Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Thanks for flying with us today. Have a great trip!

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Thomas W. Horton
Chairman & CEO
American Airlines