One of the most appealing attributes of Southwest’s brand is its self-awareness. At a time when other airlines were depicting air travel as a luxurious experience, Southwest made promises it could deliver. It just so happened that what Southwest could deliver was what a lot of passengers really wanted anyway: frequent, convenient flights. This post is about the time when Southwest grew up.
The smart money says American Airlines will merge with another airline before it emerges from bankruptcy protection. Right now, US Airways seems like the most likely suitor, but Delta is reportedly also considering its options.
Of course, one of the main issues in any merger is what the combined company will be called. As with everything in the airline business, egos get involved. Often the merged carrier takes on the name of the party in the strongest financial position—but not always. US Airways was technically acquired by America West Airlines in 2005, but the combined carrier kept the US Airways name anyway.
And so I open the floor to rampant speculation: will the name “American Airlines” survive a merger? Or is its 78-year history near its end? Some of the merger match-ups after the jump are plausible. Some are patently ridiculous. But when it comes to naming, they all raise interesting questions.
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Every kind of advertising has—well, let’s call them “conventions.” Airline advertising is no different. This is part of a series of posts on the clichés of airline advertising.
When airlines get into trouble, as they often do, they eventually end up being worth more dead than alive. But there’s one group of people that always has an interest in keeping the planes flying: the employees. Over the past few decades, a number of airlines have been saved — however temporarily — when employees took ownership stakes in them, usually in exchange for pay cuts.
And as soon as employees become stockholders, the airline advertises.
When I was a kid, we’d always have to get to the airport early on family vacations so I could visit all the various airline check-in counters and get some loot. In those days, every counter at least offered timetables and luggage tags, and most offered much more. The best ones had junior wings.
Years passed. I found a set of Pan Am wings at a gift shop once, but otherwise, that was the end of my collection of wings. Until I realized something that 10-year-old Cameron would never have imagined: