American Airlines redesign: Employees have mixed reactions, just like everyone else
American Airlines and American Eagle employees at LaGuardia taking first look at new livery on a 737-800. Dennis Schaal
American Airlines isn’t reconsidering altering its controversial redesigned livery and logo. It has too much invested already in the new look. With new fleet initiatives and even a fund for startups, American is trying to reinvigorate more than its color palette.
American Airlines and American Eagle employees inspected AA’s redesigned livery outside LaGuardia concourse D gate 5 today as the airline rolled in a 737-800, the first aircraft that’s outfitted with the new look of the “new American.”
Even before I got to the gate, an American Airlines agent behind the ticket counter rolled her eyes and smiled when I told her I was going to an American Airlines event in a few minutes to take a gander at the redesign.
“The stripes make it look like a wave ran over it, and that’s sad because around here it reminds me of Hurricane Sandy,” the ticket agent said. “And the blue color, if you are old enough to remember, reminds me of the baby blue Marines, the color of the uniforms they sent them home in from basic training if they couldn’t cut it.”
“We can’t cut it,” she added.
The ticket agent said an American Airlines ramp-agent friend at JFK saw the new look and labeled it, simply, “fugly.”
“I’ll try to keep an open mind, though,” the ticket agent said.
Over at Gate 5, with cake and coffee being served to rank-and-file employees and guests, and a DJ playing soft tunes in the background, Ralph Lopez, American’s general manager at LaGuardia, talked about how the “refreshed eagle” symbolizes “our sense of moving forward.”
He spoke about how a fleet refresh, with international Wi-Fi, fully lie-flat seats, and even a “walk-up bar” on some aircraft, provides substance to the airline’s new direction.
Most of the handful of American Airlines and American Eagle employees I spoke with expressed positive sentiments about the redesign.
An American Eagle gate agent, walking down the ramp to the tarmac to get an up-close view of the repainted 737-800, said he liked the new look.
“It’s time to move on,” he said.
An American Eagle flight attendant said she “loved” the redesign, and was so aglow with heartfelt enthusiasm that it gave her a brighter look than the aircraft’s new color scheme, if that’s possible.
As employees, guests and a few members of the press went outside to inspect the exterior of the aircraft, and later went inside the 737-800, Delta and Southwest jets, and even American Airlines aircraft with the vintage livery, taxied away in the background.
Symbols of the old mixing with the new.
Employees’ group photo time alongside the first aircraft with the new livery
Employees have varying views about the redesign
Signage and logo at LaGuardia
Pastries scheme to fall in step with the colors of the day