American Airlines Looks The Part

Mar 27, 2013

American Airlines' Redesign
Credit Justin14 / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike

Despite all its problems in recent years, including bankruptcy, American Airlines has retained a certain aura. Consider every other airline brand in the world and tell me you could pick one better than American Airlines.

Then look at the graphics on airplanes of all the world’s airlines. Find one cleaner, more professional-looking than American. That silver airplane with classic Helvetica type. 

American Airlines (Before Re-design) Boeing 777 Landing At London Heathrow Airport
Credit Adrian Pingstone 2007 / Public Domain

When I began flying for business in the ‘Sixties American was dominant. No competitor in the U.S. compared with American service.

Now US Airways and American are one. And American is re-designing its airplane graphics. Gone is the AA on the tail. Now it looks like an American flag. And it’s just terrific.

I was in Hong Kong many years ago and heard, then saw a U.S. Navy destroyer come steaming into the harbor. I had a lump in my throat.

I believe American now will offer that same kind of pride when any of us sees those airplanes in foreign airports and at home.

Can American regain its service quality and profitability? I don’t know, but they sure still know how to create a brand and extend it graphically to their airplanes.

If you want people to think your company, your brand, is important, it must look important.

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