American Airlines employees have decided they like the new look for its airplanes.
After a company-wide vote with 60,418 votes cast, American announced Thursday that its aircraft livery will feature the new flag tail design that was unveiled last January.
“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,” said American Chief Executive Doug Parker. “This livery now represents the people of American Airlines. We voted for it and it is ours.”
The carrier said 31,355 votes were cast in favor of the flag tail, about 52 percent, while 29,063 were cast in favor of the double-A eagle logo that American had sported for several decades. The difference was 2,292 votes. About 60 percent of American’s 100,000 workers voted, the airline said.
The fuselage design, which features a font called “American sans,” will also remain the same since the new aircraft American is receiving from Airbus and Boeing are made of composite materials, which must be painted, as opposed to aluminum, which created the polished silver look of the past few decades.
So far, about 200 aircraft in American’s fleet have been painted with the new livery scheme, which was unveiled about a year ago. The company now plans to paint 300 US Airways mainline airplanes, 280 US Airways Express jets and 539 American Airlines planes with the livery scheme.
The old double-A eagle logo will live on as a heritage livery in the carrier’s fleet, Parker said. US Airways traditionally has a few planes painted in historical liveries and currently has planes painted in America West Airlines and Piedmont Airlines liveries.
Also Thursday, American Airlines told employees that they can fly for free in coach class anywhere in the network.
The free coach tickets were part of the carrier’s new non-revenue flying policy for employees that will also give workers 16 one-way buddy passes to give to friends. Registered family members and parents of employees will also have unlimited travel privileges.
“While implementation will take some time, when complete, American Airlines will offer free coach travel across the largest and best network in the industry, improved pass privileges for family and friends, and a consistent boarding system. With more than 6,700 daily flights to over 330 destinations, let’s go!” wrote Elise Eberwein, executive vice president of people and communications, in a newsletter sent to employees.
The carrier will also use American’s previous boarding system, which is based on check-in time for employees. At US Airways, employees were boarded on a flight based on seniority.