American Airlines Thanks Troops, Vets, Families

American Airlines

American Airlines will debut two TV spots over the Memorial Day weekend that pay tribute to military service members, veterans and their families.

Created by Dallas-based TM Advertising, American's advertising agency of record, the new 30-second commercials were filmed on location at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, one of Dallas-based American's hubs.

"Thank You" tells the story of a traveling solider who begins his journey with American Airlines. He thanks everyone he meets -- including the American employees who help him with self-service check-in -- at the Admirals Club, and at the gate. As he boards the plane, a passenger offers him his window seat, and the soldier quietly replies, "I'm fine. But thank you, sir." As the young solider exits the aircraft upon arrival, he begins to say thank you to the pilot, who stops him and says "No ... thank you."



"Putting Them First" follows a young Marine, seated in a busy gate area prior to boarding a flight. As she is reviewing her documents, an American Airlines gate agent approaches the Marine to tell her the airline is pre-boarding military passengers. As the Marine makes her way to the gate, fellow passengers step aside, smiling and acknowledging her. She makes eye contact with an elderly veteran who rises, saluting her in perfect military form. She pauses, holds his gaze for a moment, and then nods. As she boards the aircraft, viewers hear: "To those who put our country first, we're honored to do the same for you."

The commercials close with an invitation to join American in its support of military/veterans as well as other key causes. Earlier this month, American launched its new "Join Us" Web site -- -- which includes information about several of American's important causes, including military/veterans, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, children's charities and other community efforts.

The spots will air on selected national cable channels, including ESPN, ESPN 2, the History Channel and the Food Network. The spots will continue to air throughout the year to coincide with special observances, including the Fourth of July, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. Both commercials can be viewed online at

Veterans/military programs are a strong priority at American, with more than 60% of American's pilots and 10% of all American and American Eagle employees active military service members or veterans.

"Support for U.S. troops and veterans runs deep at American Airlines," said Roger Frizzell, American's vice president -- corporate communications and advertising, in a release. "These TV spots are a way for all of us within the American Airlines family to say thank you -- for your commitment, your dedication, your sacrifice and your service to the United States."

Advertising critic Lewis Lazare of the Chicago Sun-Times called the spots "emotionally gripping" and lauded the airline for launching them "after a long string of fairly ho-hum TV ads." He gave the spots an "A" grade in his column. "They unabashedly tug at our heartstrings," Lazare says. "It's hard to say which of the two American spots is the more compelling."

Next story loading loading..