American Airlines - The Advantage Airline

Essay by kosborn2A+, February 2004

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American Airlines: The AAdvantage Airline

The stark silver carriers with the tri-color stripes are seen in airports around the world, and though they may have a simplistic approach to their exterior, American Airlines still remains one of the largest airlines in the world, traveling to over 242 destinations in over 50 countries (Oneworld, 2003).

The story of American Airlines parallels the history of Charles Lindbergh who was chief pilot for an aviation company based out of Missouri. It was one of many companies that eventually consolidated to form American Airways, which became American Airlines in 1934. That year saw C.R. Smith become president of American, and "on June 25, 1936, American was the first airline to fly the Douglas DC-3 in commercial service. On Feb. 16, 1937, American carried its one-millionth passenger." (History, 2003).

American Airlines could be called the 'airline of firsts' as beyond being the first commercial service and nations number one airline carrier in the 1930s; in 1957 it was the first airline in the world to maintain a flight training facility.

Besides setting milestones in training, the airline was also one of the first to establish a VIP lounge.

Originally the aviation industry had very few strong advocates, and C.R. Smith wanted to do something to show his appreciation, so he created the "Admirals' Club" which was for those individuals and friends of the airline that he called "Admirals". Not long after, other airlines followed suit, and nowadays the Admirals' Club allows membership for anyone over the age of 18 and varying on their frequent flyer, AAdvantage status.

According to the 2002 census, there are approximately 3,345 female pilots in the US aviation industry. This total is out of an approximation of more than 30,000 pilots in the industry (Female Pilots, 2003). American Airlines boasts 519...