american original1

So the votes are in. American Airlines employees have voted, and the figures have been totted up. The new American tail stays. According to airchive, there were 60,418 voters, which accounts for 60% of their staff. Interestingly, 31,355 people voted in favour of the tail. We can save you the math. That’s 52%. Not exactly the largest majority, and really proves the workforce was divided. And considering the rest of the workforce didn’t vote, the actual votes only account for roughly 30% of the airlines staff.

Our votes, currently show only 48% of viewers would vote for the new tail (not employees we should point out), perhaps this is due to the fact that more options were provided – even though we aren’t saying ours were any good. Was this a smart publicity stunt by CEO Doug Parker, to provide the illusion of choice, by offering an inferior option to the current tail being rolled out across the fleet? To stop critics constantly bringing up the issue? Obviously that is sheer speculation on our part, but the point remains. The tail isn’t a clear cut winner, and that’s a shame. We feel with more consideration, the airline could have created something a little less controversial, and produced a livery that may still have shocked a few, but created a larger following and liking by most.

Still, in the words of Massimo Vignelli, the original logo designer, we find a little solace over the matter, “There was no need to change. It’s been around for 45 years. Every other airline has changed its logo many times, and every time was worse than the previous one. Fifty years ago there were very few logos in general. Somebody started to do logos and people started thinking that logos were important, and now there is a plethora and so many don’t make sense. You see the pages of the sponsors of a concert or an exhibition, and at the bottom there are 50 different logos. It’s ridiculous. A word is so much better.” and as for the new branding “I will not be here to make a bet, but this [new logo] won’t last another 25 years.”

Below is Doug Parker’s email to his employees. Note the perhaps a little over-exaggerated line, “I’m really pleased to have a firm decision we can all embrace.” C’est La Vie.

Dear Fellow Employees,

The votes are in. After three weeks, much conversation and more than 60,000 employees voting, we now have an answer to the question about what will be painted on the tails of our aircraft. It was very close but the majority has spoken and the new flag tail will proudly represent American Airlines – and all of us – for years to come.

As I said early in this process, I was indifferent as to which option we chose, I just wanted you to be able to choose. Now that the votes are in, I’m really pleased to have a firm decision we can all embrace. This is the airplane we will fly as we restore American to the greatest airline in the world — and that is exciting.

It is particularly exciting to see how engaged our team was in this decision. Consistent with our imperative to Engage Our Employees, we took the unprecedented step of asking our team members to choose our livery, and a phenomenal 60% of you participated. We of course can’t vote on every decision at the airline, but we do want input from all of you on issues that are important to your work lives. This turnout proves what we already knew: we have team members who care a lot about American Airlines and its future. That is a great asset and we look forward to hearing and learning more from you all as we move forward.

For those of you who really wanted to bring back the AA, know that it will still be with us. First, it will take us many months to paint the 580 US Airways aircraft and those aircraft will be the priority which means the remaining classic Silverbirds will still be flying for some time. Also, as previously announced, we intend to have heritage aircraft in our fleet going forward, so the AA livery will remain in our system even after all of the fleet has been painted.

What’s really great is that this livery now represents the people of American Airlines. We voted for it and it is ours. I will now forever look at this livery with a great sense of pride and know that you will too.

Thanks for taking the time to give us your input. This was a small but important step in bringing us together and beginning to move forward. Now let’s get working together on the difficult task ahead — restoring American to the greatest airline in the world.

Posted by:Jonny Clark

8 replies on “American Airlines Tail Finalised

  1. For having been a former Luxury Hospitality Industry Sales & Marketing Executive, I have learned, the hard way, that leaving such consequent decisions to employees has always proven to be a MAJOR MISTAKE! The original logo of AA is commercially way too valuable for disposing of it. Air Canada learned that too and JAL – JAS should seriously reconsider the return of their iconic signature… Also, I personally find this new AA livery quite austere. But, if this was their objective, then, it is ”mission accomplie”. pb

  2. Originally, I hated the new tail but loved the new Soaring Spirit logo and typeface. I liked what you came up with (the second design – something that I too thought would be a better fit). Now, I actually like the tail more than I thought. Its a bit loud but it seems to work and you can see it and recognize it as american very easily from a distance.

  3. American Airlines visually should stand for strength, respect, longevity, pride, and sharpness. The new liverly is NOTHING of these qualities. The AA Eagle logo should be somewhere on the plane–period. Whether small or large… it should be there. The font should be something sharp and in all caps. To me, the tail looks like piano keys (the blue being the black keys) and the little emblem thing that comes before American on the plane… I still can’t figure it out. What does it mean? It looks like the head of whatever (the bird, plane) is being stretched in front of the wings…? Cheers, everyone!

    1. I totally disagree. The new livery show qualities of respect and pride to the US from the new tail. A very bold yet modern look for the US flag. Also the overall look of the new livery gives a refreshing sense of modernity to a very old livery that needed an overhaul. The old AA livery was iconic but it NEVER had any of the qualities you mentioned! No strength, no respect, no pride, no sharpness!! Except for longevity because of age. Im happy that they changed that outdated livery

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