Wednesday, October 19, 2016
American Airlines is flying the 'W'
A good season for the Chicago Cubs is also good news for American Airlines, which couldn't have picked a better moment to sign on as the team's official airline.
The Cubs jilted hometown carrier United Airlines, the team's exclusive airline sponsor for about a decade, in favor of Fort Worth, Texas-based American last February.
This playoff season, American is doing its best to remind fliers of its connection to the team.
The airline put white rally towels with the Cubs blue "W" on the back of each seat on some flights from Chicago to Los Angeles — home of National League Championship Series opponent Dodgers — Friday and Tuesday, said spokeswoman Leslie Scott. About 5,000 more towels were given to passengers at O'Hare International Airport Admirals Club lounges, where bartenders served up "Win-Tinis" — an electric-blue martini garnished with a red cherry.
American swapped the country flags that usually hang in O'Hare's Terminal 3 with Cubs "W" and pink ribbon flags, the latter a nod to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and gave employees 7,500 Cubs pennants.
One particularly enthusiastic pilot, Capt. Steve Brainerd, flew a "W" flag out his cockpit window as he pushed back from the gate at O'Hare on a flight to Boston last week, Scott said.
Pilots flying during game time have discretion to give passengers a play-by-play or announce the outcome. "Although, with most aircraft enabled with Wi-Fi these days, passengers are mostly up to date all by themselves," she said.
When the sponsorship deal was signed last year, Fernand Fernandez, vice president of global marketing, said American wanted to be "Chicago's hometown airline."
The deal guaranteed American would be the team's only airline sponsor and involves signage at Wrigley Field. In 2018, a new American-branded premium ticket section is planned behind home plate.
The deal is strictly a marketing agreement and doesn't require the team fly American, Scott said.
LAX Car Service - MGCLS