American Airlines was founded in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1930 by combining an assortment of 82 smaller airlines. In the beginning of its history, like many airlines at the time, it made its money carrying U.S. Mail. Today, it runs 6,700 flights every day to almost 350 destinations around the world, reaching more than 50 countries. Still headquartered in Fort Worth, the Dallas/Fort Worth airport is one of AA’s hubs, along with Charlotte, Chicago O’Hare, Philadelphia, Miami, Phoenix, Washington National, Los Angeles International, and New York’s John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. Its primary maintenance base is located at Tulsa International Airport. AA’s regional service is operated under the brand named American Eagle, but is often carried out by independent or subsidiary airlines.
A founding member of the Oneworld Alliance, American Airlines—along with British Airways, Canadian Airlines (which left after merging with Air Canada in 2000), Cathay Pacific, and Qantas—announced the partnership in 1998, which would result in smoother transfer of passengers and baggage, greater support of member passengers, cooperation with member frequent-flying programs, and great access to member airport lounges. Today, the alliance has expanded to include Air Berlin, Iberia, Finnair, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Malaysian Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, and SriLankan Airlines, along with several affiliates. Oneworld is the third largest global alliance by passenger volume, behind Star Alliance and SkyTeam.
The very first Admirals Club (American’s series of airport lounges) was built in LaGuardia Airport in 1939 after a reporter teased New York mayor Fiorello LaGuardia about his private press lounge—and AA offered to lease the area from him. AA’s frequent flyer program, AAdvantage, was the second ever to be launched, and is today the largest in the world. In 2013, American acquired US Airways.
As one of the world’s most iconic airlines, Mattel released an American Airlines stewardess Barbie doll in the early 1960s. It’s also the airline Kevin McCallister’s parents fly away on in the Home Alone trilogy.
But AA is no stranger to Hollywood. It also made prominent appearances in movies from Three Guys Named Mike In 1951 and Up in the Air, in 2009.