American, World’s Largest Airline, Aims for ‘Greatest’ Title As Well

By Paul Riegler on 29 August 2016
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American Airlines, currently the world’s largest airline, wants to be the “greatest airline in the world” as well and has launched a new advertising campaign to get the message across. What’s more, it wants its passengers to consider themselves “the world’s greatest flyers,” or at least strive to be in that category.

It defines being the world’s greatest airline as one that customers want to fly on, employees want to work for, and investors want to invest in.

The campaign, which mixes a retro feel intended to harken to the golden age of aviation with the thoroughly modern amenities and technology available to flyers today, reminds people that American has “a history of changing flying,” an accurate statement given the airline’s role as an aviation pioneer.

Not only was American the first to open an airport lounge or introduce a computerized reservations system, it was also the first to operate a modern frequent flyer loyalty program, AAdvantage, now the world’s largest with over 67 million members. The airline also created the world’s first training facility for flight attendants, the American Airlines Stewardess College, which opened in 1957. In January 1959, American became the first carrier in the United States to offer coast-to-coast jet service, using the Boeing 707. More recently, in 2008, American pioneered domestic in-flight Wi-Fi in the United States by being the first to offer the service.

With this campaign, American wants to elevate how people perceive flying, which to many people more resembles the image of a packed bus in the air than a flight attendant carving a roast in the aisle.

Instead of focusing on merely getting from A to B, American is first honoring its passengers and is inviting them to celebrate the best aspects of flying by using the hashtag #GreatestFlyers to recognize a great experience on the ground, excellent service in the air, or call attention to something that had a positive impact on the travel experience.

So how can you spot one of these Greatest Flyers? American says they “walk faster” in the airport than anywhere else, they like babies but always “bring noise cancelling headphones” (just in case, presumably), and they approach packing for a trip as they would solve “a jigsaw puzzle.”

With the new campaign, the airline is using the opportunity to completely change the dialog it has with its customers and focus on the positive. One can only hope that on-time arrivals will be something the world’s great airline will focus on as well.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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