In 1957, the world's first special facility for flight attendant
training, the American Airlines Stewardess
College, was built in
On Jan. 25, 1959, American became the first airline to offer
coast-to-coast jet service with the Boeing 707. Also in Jan. 1959,
American introduced the Lockheed Electra, the first
designed turboprop airplane. American continued into the jet age with
the introduction of the turbofan engine in 1961, another industry first
for American, and with the Convair 990 in 1962, also powered by
At the end of 1959 and into the early 1960s, American, teaming up with
IBM, introduced and implemented SABRE (Semi-Automated Business Research
Environment), the largest electronic data processing system for business
use. By 1964, the SABRE network extended from coast to coast and from Canada to Mexico. It became the largest
real-time data processing system, second only to the U.S. government's SAGE system.
American added other jets throughout the 1960s and 70s, including the
Boeing 727 (1964) and the Boeing 747 (1966), as the older aircraft were
retired. American's last piston airplane flight was operated with a DC-6
in Dec. 1966. In 1968, American was the first to order the McDonnell
Douglas DC-10, which made its first scheduled flight in Aug. 1971.
American gained its first Caribbean
routes through a merger with Trans Caribbean Airways in 1970. It
expanded those routes throughout the early 70s, and acquired other
routes in 1975 from Pan American World Airways Inc.
In Feb. 1974, Albert V. Casey was elected president and chief executive
officer; in April of that year he also assumed the position of chairman
of the board.
Also in 1974, American introduced One-Stop-Automated Check-in.
American's first Boeing 747 freighter, capable of carrying 221,000
pounds of cargo, went into service in November. In 1975, American began
marketing SABRE to travel agencies in the
On April 24, 1977, American introduced the most popular fare in its
history, the Super Saver. Initially offering discount fares from
New York and California,
Super Saver was expanded to all of American's routes in March 1978 and
later to Mexico and Canada.
Airline deregulation took place in 1978 and in January 1979, American
launched a major route expansion, inaugurating service to new routes and
new destinations across the U.S.
and the Caribbean.
American moved its headquarters from New York City
to Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
in 1979. The new headquarters complex also included The Learning Center,
a training facility; the
Academy, the pilot
training facility, and the Southern Reservations Office.
Robert L. Crandall was elected president and chief operating officer.
With fuel costs soaring, American accelerated the retirement of the
Boeing 707 fleet in 1980. By August 1981, American had retired all its
Boeing 707s aircraft, including their freighters.
In 1981, American introduced the AADVANTAGE travel awards program, a
revolutionary marketing program to reward frequent fliers. Also that
year it unveiled "AAirpass," a concept that guaranteed fixed personal
and business air travel costs with five-year to lifetime range of
On June 11, 1981, American established its Dallas/Fort Worth hub. Later
American added new cities and new routes to strengthen its hub-and-spoke
Early 1982 brought American its first 767, its 500 millionth passenger
and its Chicago hub.
In April 1982, it began interchange service with Alaska Airlines,
linking Anchorage and Fairbanks
with Houston and DFW via
with 727s. American also returned to Europe with service between London's
Airport and DFW in May
On May 19, 1982, stockholders approved a plan of reorganization and a
new holding company was formed, AMR Corporation, which became the parent
company of American Airlines, Inc.
In 1983, American added the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 (Super 80) and
announced an agreement with Pan American World Airways to exchange
Boeing 747s for Pan Am's McDonnell Douglas DC-10s.
On Dec. 12, 1983, AMR Services was formed as a subsidiary to provide
aviation services to other airlines.
In 1984, American introduced the American Eagle system, a network of
regional airlines offering high-level service from small communities to
large cities through connections to and from American Airlines.
In the fall of 1984, American retired its 747 cargo freighter fleet and
focused on smaller shipments carried in the bellies of its passenger
In 1985, Al
Casey retired and Robert L. Crandall became chairman and chief executive
officer of AMR Corporation and American Airlines.
Super Saver fares were introduced in 1985, offering American passengers
up to 70 percent discounts and competition for the low-service, cut-rate
carriers which had sprung up in the wake of deregulation. American also
unveiled its Senior SAAVers Club, which offered discounts to senior
In 1985, American introduced second-day door-to-door freight delivery
using passenger aircraft. In 1986 and 1987, the delivery network
expanded and evolved into same-day service by 1988.
By 1985, more than 10,000 travel agency offices were using SABRE for
American opened its Nashville hub in
April 1986 and its San Juan hub in November.
Also in 1986, American employees topped 50,000 for the first time and
American sold its Sky Chefs subsidiary and completed the acquisition of
Air California (Air
By 1987, American had completed an underground facility -- secured
against fire, earthquakes and any other disasters -- in
Okla. to house the SABRE computer
equipment and software that formed the world's largest private real-time
computer network and travel information data base. Also in 1987, SABRE
became available via the personal computer.
In 1988, American acquired the Airbus A300-600ER to serve its
markets from locations on the mainland and in 1989, American put its
first Boeing 757 into service. 1988 also saw the opening of American's
reservations office in Raleigh/Durham, N.C.
Also in 1989, American opened its seventh hub in Miami on Sept. 13. American also began
construction on its second major maintenance base at
Airport in Fort Worth. Ground was also broken in Fort Worth for a
750,000-square-foot expansion of AMR's corporate headquarters complex.
Ground was broken again in 1990 for the expansion of American's
facilities at DFW International
Airport, an expansion of the
pilot-training facilities at American's Flight
Academy in the headquarters' complex,
and a new reservations center in
Tucson. Also, a new state-of-the-art System
Operations Control (SOC) Center opened in 1990.
Also in 1990, American's premiere international service, International
Flagship Service, was introduced. A San Juan
reservations center opened and American expanded its Latin American
service with routes acquired from Eastern Airlines, with
as the focal point of the expansion.
American's long-time president, C.R. Smith, died at the age of 90 in
American flew its billionth passenger, expanded its European routes,
opened its western reservations office in Tucson, and took delivery of its first
McDonnell Douglas MD-11 and Fokker 100 aircraft.
On January 16,
1992, American opened the first state-of-the-art airline maintenance
facility to be built in the United States
in more than 20 years - the Alliance Maintenance and Engineering Base at
Fort Worth's Alliance Airport.
American introduced Value Pricing. The plan was designed to make fares
simple, sensible and fair. It offered customers substantially greater
travel flexibility, and was a major revision to American's fare
structure. Intense price competition made the Value Plan unfeasible,
however, and American was forced to abandon it.
AMR Consulting Group, a new subsidiary, was formed in 1992 to take
advantage of a growing demand for consulting services in airline-related
businesses. This expanded into the AMR Training and Consulting Group in
Also in 1992, American introduced American Flagship Service, a premium
three-class transcontinental service for domestic travelers, and also
continued its expansion in the European market with flights to
In 1993, AMR Corporation formed the SABRE Technology Group. It included
AMR Information Services (AMRIS), SABRE Travel Information Network
(STIN), SABRE Computer Services (SCS), SABRE Development Services (SDS),
and AMR Project Consulting and Risk Assessment Units.
On July 3, 1993, the American Airlines C.R.
opened at its headquarters complex in
In April 1994, American signed a comprehensive service agreement with
Canadian Airlines International to provide access to state-of-the-art
airline administrative services and computer technology. Canadian
Airlines successfully converted to AMR computer systems in November
In May 1994, American added additional routes to
to become the airline with more service to
than any other U.S.
airline. Also in 1994, American launched its first non-smoking
In October of 1994, American launched First Call, allowing travel
planners to speak with a group specialist to evaluate group travel
needs, negotiate fares, book space and generate agreements in minutes.
In 1995, Donald J. Carty became president of the AMR Airline Group and
of American Airlines. Also in 1995, American announced its World Wide
In 1996, AMR announced the SABRE Group's filing for Initial Public
Offering (IPO), the first step in making SABRE its own company.
In Sept. 1996, American officially launched AAccess ticketless travel
and AAccess boarding. Also in 1996, American added in-flight laptop
computer capabilities to its aircraft, and announced that it would equip
certain aircraft with defibrillators.
In 1997, all American Airlines flights became non-smoking. Also,
American introduced "stickerless" upgrades and became the first airline
to expand ticketless travel to all transatlantic flights. Also in 1997,
American introduced the College SAAver program.
On May 20, 1998, Donald J. Carty became chairman, president and chief
executive officer of AMR Corporation and American Airlines, Inc. upon
the retirement of Robert Crandall.
In 1998, American announced the addition of defibrillators to all of its
aircraft, and said American Eagle would acquire small regional jets.
Plans for a new Dallas reservations center
also were announced.
Additionally in 1998, American announced its acquisition of Reno Air and
American Eagle's acquisition of Business Express. American Eagle
completed its acquisition of Business Express in March of 1999, and Reno
Air was fully integrated on August 31, 1999.
On Sept. 21, 1998, American and four other airlines announced a new
customer-driven global alliance - oneworldTM -
launching a multi-million dollar program designed to raise the standard
of global air travel. The new alliance took off on Feb. 1, 1999.
In 1999, American dedicated the new Terminal B facilities at DFW and
announced plans to build a new terminal at New York's JFK Airport,
breaking ground in New York
In 1999, American also introduced the Boeing 777 and the 737-800 and
completed the installation of defibrillators on all its aircraft. Also,
American became the first airline to offer DVD in-flight video players
on scheduled flights.
Also in 1999, American began an expansion of its West Coast service, and
American Eagle opened a new terminal in
Los Angeles and took delivery of its first
37-seat Embraer ERJ-135.
In February 2000, American announced More Room Throughout Coach,
removing an average of two rows on every aircraft to add legroom
throughout the entire coach cabin. American later decided to expand
legroom in business class.
In March 2000, American received the CIO Magazine's 2000 Web Business
50/50 Award for its AA.com web site.
Also in 2000, AMR completed the spin-off of SABRE into its own company.
In 2000, American announced plans to renovate Terminal B at
Logan Airport and also announced the addition
of fully flat Flagship Suite seating for its Boeing 777. Also, American
named Alliance as the
"maintenance home" for its 777 fleet.
2001, American's first aircraft featuring bigger overhead storage bins
took to the skies. Also, American announced that it had agreed to
purchase substantially all the assets of Trans World Airlines, Inc.
In April 2001, American Airlines completed acquisition of TWA's assets.
At about the same time, American opened a new Admirals Club and Lounge
facilities at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in memory of former Special
Services employee Walter Henry Hagan.
In 2001, American Eagle accepted delivery of 15 44-seat regional jets
(ERJ-140) manufactured by Embraer of Brazil. American also announced
plans to accelerate retirement of 36 aircraft -- 19 DC-9s, 12 Boeing
727s, 4 MD-11s and one Fokker 100.
Also in 2001, American Airlines was recognized by the State of California EPA's 2001 Governor's
Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards Program. The award
complemented the previous Breath of Life Award, the Clean Cities Award
at El Paso and the National Clean Cities Award
received by American Airlines earlier this year.
In October 2001, American announced that it will accelerate construction
of its new $1.3 billion terminal at New York's JFK
Airport, advancing the completion date nine
months to September 2006.
On April 2, 2002, Gerard J. Arpey was elected President and Chief
Operating Officer of American Airlines.
In April 2002, American began daily nonstop Boeing 777 service between
New York JFK and Tokyo, giving AA four U.S. gateways to Japan.
On April 30, 2002, American operated its final Boeing 727 passenger
flight, marking the retirement of an airline industry workhorse by its
largest operator. AA began flying the 727 in 1964 and was among the
first to operate the airplane. At its peak, AA operated 182 Boeing 727s.
In May 2002, American was named to DiversityInc.com’s annual list of Top
50 Companies for Diversity, coming in 15th. AA was the only airline to
make the list.
On Aug. 1, 2002, American officially dedicated its $300 million
improvement project at Los Angeles International Airport’s Terminal 4,
culminating four years of work on what was the largest project of its
type ever undertaken by a single carrier at LAX.
In a move to make popular Web fares more widely available to consumers
while reducing its total distribution costs, American on Sept. 25, 2002,
announced its innovative EveryFare program. With EveryFare, AA provides
traditional travel agents in the U.S.
the option to access and sell its very low Web fares, previously offered
only via American’s own Web site, AA.com, and select low-cost
distribution channels. In exchange, travel agents provide AA with
long-term distribution cost savings through a creative cost-sharing
On April 24, 2003, Edward A. Brennan was named Executive Chairman of AMR
Corporation and Gerard J. Arpey became Chief Executive Officer and
President of AMR.
On Jan. 14, 2004, American celebrated the 30th anniversary of operating
the first commercial flight ever to carry passengers to the new
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The inaugural flight on Jan.
14, 1974, was AA Flight 341 from
Memphis to DFW.
In April 2004, American began daily nonstop service between
Los Angeles and
with Boeing 777 aircraft.
Gerard J. Arpey was elected Chairman of AMR Corporation and American
Airlines, Inc., in May 2004.
On July 10, 2004, Albert V. Casey, who served as Chairman and CEO of
American from 1974 until 1985, died at his home in
Tex. He was 84.
In June 2004, AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines
and American Eagle, celebrated 65 years of being listed on the New York
In July 2005, American opened the first phase of its new
1.5-million-square-foot terminal at New York’s Kennedy International
In October 2005, American began operating from the new
2.1-million-square-foot International Terminal D at Dallas/Fort Worth
On Nov. 14, 2005, American launched daily nonstop service between
and Delhi, India, flying the 7,500 miles – AA’s
longest nonstop route – with Boeing 777 aircraft.
In 2006, American celebrated the 25 th anniversary of its AAdvantage
program – the world’s first frequent flyer program that revolutionized
the airline industry and set the standard for similar initiatives in
many other businesses. AAdvantage began with 300,000 members. Today, it
has more than 50 million members.
On April 2, 2006, American launched its first-ever service to China by inaugurating a daily nonstop Boeing 777
flight between Chicago and Shanghai.
On June 11, 2006, American celebrated 35 years of service to Puerto
Rico, now the focal point of its Caribbean
In October 2006, C.R. Smith, aviation pioneer and long-time head of
American Airlines, was inducted into the Texas Transportation Hall of
On Jan. 17, 2007, American relocated to Terminal 2 at
Narita International Airport.
It was a move that significantly improved convenience for travelers to
Japan by housing American and
four of its fellow oneworld
airlines in the same Narita facility.
In May, 2007, American moved its international service at
into Concourse B of its new $1.3 billion JFK terminal. The new terminal
is near a new U.S. Customs and Immigration facility. The move set the
stage for improving the overall travel experience for passengers
arriving into and departing from the JFK gateway.
On May 19, 2007, American celebrated the 25th anniversary of its nonstop
service between Dallas/Fort Worth and
London. An American Boeing 747 operated the first
DFW-London Gatwick trip on May 19, 1982.
American announced plans to begin daily nonstop service between Chicago
O’Hare International Airport and
effective Dec. 13, 2007.
In September, 2007, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded
American the tentative right to begin service between
Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and
March 25, 2009. American already flies daily between Chicago O’Hare and
In September, 2007, American marked its 65th anniversary of service to Mexico. The
airline began serving
on Sept. 6, 1942. Today, American and its regional affiliate, American
Eagle, jointly offer more than 360 weekly flights between
and the U.S.
and serve 14 Mexican cities from five of their largest hubs.
In October, 2007, American announced that it will begin nonstop service
between Chicago O’Hare International Airport and
Russia, on June
On Oct. 26, 2007, American launched nonstop Boeing 767-300 service
between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport
and London’s Stansted Airport.
In November, 2007, AMR Corporation, the parent company of American
Airlines, announced that it plans to divest American Eagle, its wholly
owned regional carrier. The company said it expects to complete the
divestiture in 2008, but that the form of the divestiture is still under
In January 2008, employees at American’s
Kansas City maintenance base completed the first
aircraft installation of the Aircell Internet broadband connectivity
solution. American is the first
airline to offer the broadband solution. AA plans to install and test
the technology in 2008 on all 15 of its Boeing 767-200 aircraft that
primarily fly transcontinental routes.
In January 2008, American introduced a mobile version of AA.com that
allows customers to access many of the helpful features of AA.com via a
Web-enabled cell phone or other Web-enabled device. With the mobile
feature, customers can conveniently log on to AA.com wherever their cell
phone or PDA works – in the middle of a city or miles out in the
country, in the United States or overseas – without
the need for a desktop or laptop computer.
The American Airlines Cargo Division (AA Cargo) received the
“International Airline of the Year” awards from the Delivery and
Logistics Association at its annual AirCargo 2008 Conference in
In March 2008, American launched Travel Bag, a new application on the
Facebook Platform that makes it easy for users to share travel
experiences with friends in their network, offer and read reviews and
comments on things such as restaurants and shops, and even create
countdowns for upcoming events or trips to let friends know what they’re
In April 2008, American added another level of convenience, flexibility
and choice for customers by offering the option to pay by electronic
check when buying tickets on the airline’s AA.com Web site. This allows
customers who purchase tickets at AA.com to pay directly from any
personal bank account – such as a checking account or saving account –
that is funded in United States
In April 2008, American presented Golden Heart awards to 19 flight
attendants who have administered emergency medical attention by using
onboard defibrillators. In ceremonies for the awards, American and the
Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which represents AA’s
flight attendants, also honored the 82 people whose lives have been
saved since American became the first airline to install defibrillators
on its aircraft in 1997.
In April 2008, American expanded the diversity and inclusion information
on its AA.com Web site, further enhancing the airline industry’s most
comprehensive online resource for such information. AA’s commitment to
diversity and inclusion can be explored within the site’s “About Us”
section, just one click from the home page.
On May 1, 2008, American celebrated the 10 th anniversary of its nonstop
service between Chicago and Tokyo. AA opened the route on May 1, 1998.
On June 2, 2008, American launched its first-ever service between the U.S. and Russia
with a daily nonstop Boeing 777 flight between
Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and
AA became the first U.S.
carrier to fly directly from Chicago to Domodedovo Airport.
In June 2008, American added thousands of additional hotel properties to
its AA.com Web site. Combined with a new Price-Match Guarantee and a No
Cancellation or Change Fee policy on all hotel bookings, the added
properties made AA.com an even more compelling customer resource for
booking hotel stays.
In June 2008, American celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Chefs’
Conclave, a program that enlists the expertise of prominent and
well-respected chefs to help AA craft the direction of its inflight food
service. American was the first airline to gather such culinary
expertise when the Chefs’ Conclave was founded in 1988. The stars of
today’s Conclave are Nancy Brussat of Convito Cafe’ & Market, Dean
Fearing of Fearing’s, and Stephan Pyles of Stephan Pyles.
On August 11, 2008, American and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the
world’s largest breast cancer organization, announced an expanded
partnership with the unveiling of two specially co-branded aircraft – an
American Airlines 757 and an American Eagle Embraer 145 – each
incorporating the renowned vivid pink-ribbon motif. Under the broadened
partnership, American becomes Komen for the Cure’s official airline and
first-ever Lifetime Promise Partner. AA pledged to raise $1 million
annually for eight years to fund Komen for the Cure’s first Promise
Grant – a $7.5 million, five-year study to inflammatory breast cancer at
The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
In August 2008, American announced it will take delivery of another six
Boeing 737-800 aircraft in 2010, bringing the total of 737-800s to be
delivered to American in 2009-2010 to 76 aircraft. AA also has firm
commitments made previously for 11 737s in 2013. The announcement was
another step in American’s fleet renewal plan designed to replace its
MD-80 fleet with more fuel-efficient 737 aircraft while also lessening
AA’s impact on the environment and continuing its investment in products
and services for the benefit of customers.
In August 2008, retired American Airlines Captain Dave Harris was
honored by the Organization of Black Airline Pilots for being the first
African-American to fly for a commercial airline. Capt. Harris retired
from AA in 1994 after more than 30 years of service.
In August 2008, American became the first airline to offer full
in-flight internet in the
when it launched the mobile broadband service, Gogo provided by Aircell,
on its entire fleet of Boeing 767-200 aircraft.
On Sept. 15, 2008, AMR Corporation, the parent company of American
Airlines, completed the sale of American Beacon Advisors, its wholly
owned asset-management subsidiary, to Lighthouse Holdings, which is
owned by investment funds affiliated with Pharos Capital Group and TPG
Capital, two leading private equity firms. AMR received a total
compensation of $480 million. While primarily a cash transaction, AMR
will acquire a small equity stake in the parent company of Lighthouse
Holdings. American Beacon will continue to provide a number of services
for AMR and its affiliates.
In September 2008, American announced that it had completed upgrades to
its Boeing 777 fleet, giving premium customers greater comfort,
flexibility, convenience and privacy. With the upgrades, all 47 Boeing
777 aircraft now feature luxurious Flagship Suite and next-generation
During September 2008, the American Airlines Cargo Division played a key
role in bringing an extraordinary exhibition,
Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the
Pharoahs, from London
to the U.S.
for an extended engagement at the Dallas Museum of Art. AA Cargo was
entrusted with shipping more than 130 priceless artifacts.
In late September 2008, American was preparing for the introduction of
PriorityAAcess privileges for its top customers. PriorityAAccess is an
array of enhancements designed to make the airport process and overall
travel experience more convenient. It is aimed at American’s AAdvantage
elite status members, First and Business Class travelers, AAirpass
customers, and passengers traveling on full-fare Economy Class tickets.
In late September, American wrote a letter to Congress supporting
passage of the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The letter
noted that American was the first major airline to implement same-sex
domestic partner benefits, first to implement both sexual orientation
and gender identity in its workplace non-discrimination policies, and
first to have a recognized LGBT employee resource group – GLEAM.
On Oct. 15, 2008, American announced that it will enter a purchase
agreement with Boeing to acquire 42 fuel-efficient Boeing 787-9
Dreamliners, with rights to acquire up to 58 additional 787 aircraft.
The initial 42 Boeing 787-9 aircraft is scheduled for delivery beginning
in September 2012 and ending in 2018. The 58 additional 787 aircraft may
be scheduled for delivery beginning in 2015 and ending in 2020.
On Oct. 26, 2008, American relocated its operations at Raleigh/Durham
International Airport into the airport’s new Terminal 2. American has
been serving RDU since 1985.
In October 2008, American Airlines Cargo Division announced its
participation in the
launch of an air cargo industry e-freight initiative which supports a
move toward paperless documentation. E-freight eliminates the need to
send 12 paper documents with air cargo shipments.
On Nov. 13, 2008, American introduced mobile boarding passes at selected
airports for use with mobile phones or PDAs. The service gives customers
at select airports the choice to receive their boarding passes
electronically on their mobile phones or PDAs.
On Nov. 20, 2008, American Airlines Chairman and CEO Gerard Arpey was
nominated Chairman of the Governing Board of
oneworld, the leading
quality global alliance. American is a founding member of
In December, 2008, American announced that it will begin daily nonstop
service between Dallas/Fort Worth and
Spain, on May 1,
will be American and American Eagle’s 34th international destination at
the DFW hub.
In December, 2008, American re-opened its Flagship Lounge in Concourse E
On Jan. 16, 2009, American announced that it had implemented an Aviation
Safety Action Program (ASAP) in conjunction with the Association of
Professional Flight Attendants and the Federal Aviation Administration.
The safety partnership encourages flight attendants to voluntarily
report safety-related information. AA’s program is the largest ASAP in
In January, 2009, American Airlines and NBC Universal announced that
they had reached an agreement for inflight broadcast content starting on
March 1, 2009.
In February, 2009, American announced that its popular “Search by Price
& Schedule” option on the AA.com Web site is now available in Spanish on
AA.com en Español.
On Feb. 3, 2009, American opened a new Admirals Club lounge at Washington Dulles
as the last stage of AA’s relocation into Terminal B at Dulles.
In February, 2009, American enhanced its “Remember Me”
speech-recognition technology, making it more convenient than ever for
customers who call to get departure gate, flight times and other
information about upcoming trips.
In February, 2009, the oneworld
global alliance that includes American Airlines as a founding member
marked its 10 th anniversary.