American Airlines Celebrates 75th Anniversary


American Airlines Celebrates 75th Anniversary  

FORT WORTH, Texas - Recognizing 75 years of aviation industry leadership and innovation, American Airlines Chairman, President and CEO Don Carty is in Chicago today to commemorate the company's inaugural flight. What began as a short flight from Chicago to St. Louis by a young Charles A. Lindbergh on April 15, 1926, has evolved into the world's largest airline.

Today, the more than 117,000 dedicated employees of American Airlines and American Eagle operate more than 4,100 flights per day to nearly 240 cities in 50 countries, and maintain a combined fleet of 987 aircraft.  Through its  membership in the powerful oneworld global airline alliance, American can offer service to 550 destinations in more than 130 countries around the world.

"While we've made quantum leaps in technology, what's striking to me are the things that haven't changed at American," said Carty.  "In fact, the values that define American today - safety above all, as well as culture, network, service and product excellence - are the same values that have characterized our airline for three-quarters of a century."

Celebrating the anniversary in St. Louis with both American and TransWorld Airlines (TWA) employees, American's senior vice president of human resources, Sue Oliver, also is on hand.  American's recent acquisition of TWA provides the airline with an important hub in St. Louis - improving its position as an east/west carrier - and adds nearly 20,000 employees, 183 airplanes and 162 airport gates around the world.

"By welcoming TWA into our American Airlines family, we will increase our employee base to nearly 140,000 worldwide, " said Oliver.  "In addition, our fleet will be  1,170-aircraft strong, offering a more expanded and convenient flight network to all of our passengers." Recognized throughout the years as consistently being the first to take advantage of new aviation technologies, American Airlines continues to offer its customers valuable benefits to make air travel easier.

Through its Flight Status Notification service (FSN), travelers can receive immediate notification of flight updates via their personal e-mail or wireless device. Roving Agents, employees who carry wireless hand-held devices that enable them to check-in passengers and issue bar-coded boarding passes, have significantly reduced lines at departure gates in select domestic airports. OneStop Self Service, a touch-screen application at free-standing kiosks which allows passengers to check-in for domestic flights, provides passengers with another desired check-in alternative at select domestic airports.

Available at select domestic airports, Automated Gate Information Displays provide additional departure information and arriving flight information at the gate, thereby reducing the need to stand in line to ask questions of the gate agent.

Always making a special effort to provide its customers with maximum comfort, American began removing thousands of Coach seats from its entire fleet in February 2000.  The industry-leading "More Room Throughout Coach" initiative resulted in greater seat pitch and more legroom for passengers. To make it easier for passengers to stow and remove carry-on bags, American began an $80 million campaign in January 2001 to increase overhead storage capability on nearly 500 of its narrow body jets.  The new configuration will more than double the overhead bin capability on American's Boeing 757s. As a way to recognize its valued customers, American was the first to create a customer rewards program - a concept that is now used by other airlines as well as a variety of other businesses. 

The AADVANTAGE* Travel Awards program was introduced in 1981 to reward frequent travelers of American Airlines.  Members can acquire AAdvantage Miles in a variety of ways, from receiving one mile for every mile flown on an American or American Eagle flight to receiving miles for every dollar they spend at participating hotels, car rental companies, shops and restaurants.  Miles can be redeemed at any time for American Airlines ticket vouchers, gift certificates or fun things such as books, CDs and magazine subscriptions.

In an effort to constantly provide its customers with more reach to more destinations, American Airlines recently closed its acquisition of the assets of TWA.  After the integration is complete, American will offer travel to more than 300 cities worldwide, expanding its robust global network.  American also launched two new nonstop international routes this year from San Jose, Calif. to Paris and Taipei. American Airlines, a pioneer in the commercial airline industry, is celebrating 75 years of excellence today...on the ground and in the air.

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