Turns out the new kids could use some help from an experienced industry exec.

Bob Crandall, the former chairman and chief executive of AMR and American Airlines, is joining the board of directors of Hipmunk as an independent, the online travel company announced today.

Crandall served as an exec of the now-bankrupt airline for 25 years before retiring in 1998. He created the industry’s first frequent flyer program (AAdanvtage) and its first Super Saver program, which offers discounts on advance-purchase tickets.

hipmunk

The Wall Street Journal called Crandall “the man who changed the world flies.” Photo by Gustavo Pimenta.

Even more pertinent to Hipmunk’s goals, Crandall was instrumental in creating Sabre, the computer reservations systems that gave travel agents the ability to book airline tickets in an automated fashion.

Crandall’s expertise will bring a deep industry-wide perspective to the company’s business strategy; one that many startups would love to access. His involvement also gives Hipmunk a boost in industry credibility and provides it with some key connections to major airlines as Hipmunk builds out its flight search functionality.

Adam Goldstein, co-founder and CEO of Hipmunk, says he is most looking forward to working with Crandall because “Bob will be able to help us think about both sides of the value we’re creating–both for customers and suppliers–from a unique perspective. Bob has many, many years of operational and finance experience which will help as we look to expand our business.”

Hipmunk attracted $15 million in funding led by Ignition Partners earlier this summer and expanded its team with the recent hire of Kourosh Karimkhany, formerly head of M&A at Conde Nast.

Other members of the board include Hipmunk co-founders Goldstein and Steve Huffman, Brad Silverberg of Ignition Partners and Todd Chaffee of Institution Venture Partners.

Below is a copy of the press release:

Download (PDF, 52KB)