There’s a reason American Airlines has been ranked one of the top airlines in the United States. Beyond the fabulous experience you’ll have with its business class or in its Admirals Club, the airline consistently aims to prove that the friendly skies are now even friendlier for us all—particularly Black travelers.
Over the past couple of years, -American has made considerable advances in diversifying every part of the flying venture, from its staff to its lounges to the food that is served and the in-flight entertainment offered. Couldn’t go to the American Black Film Festival this year? No problem. The ABFF channel is available as part of American’s free in-flight entertainment. For over 20 years, the airline has partnered with ABFF, to help uplift the work of Black filmmakers and to connect customers to diverse artists during their travels.
The airline’s food and beverage collaborations also help set the company apart. Last year, American Airlines announced a partnership with Silver Spoon Desserts, serving their delicious bundt cakes on all domestic flights between 900 and 1,499 miles. Now able to reach a broader swath of travelers, Silver Spoon founder Tamara Turner is on a mission to transform the meaning of “silver spoon,” from a symbol of privilege to one of transformation, equality and freedom for all.
In addition, American’s domestic first-class snack baskets feature cookies from the Black-owned company Partake. The baked goods company’s founder and CEO, Denise Woodard, created her recipes using ingredients that would make sharing Partake’s treats a worry-free experience even for those with food allergies.
American Airline’s Flagship First dining in most Flagship Lounges and in Admirals Club Lounges across the country also offers Black-owned Uncle Nearest 1865 Premium Whiskey. The brand, founded by Fawn Weaver, honors Nathan “Nearest” Green, a former enslaved man who is credited with teaching Jack Daniel how to distill whiskey. He became the head distiller at Jack Daniel’s distillery after the Civil War. Another high-profile partnership initiated by American is with the James Beard Foundation (JBF), one of the most influential organizations in the culinary industry. The collaboration began in 2019 to help the airline find diverse chefs to curate menus in its Flagship Lounges—such as Chef Tiffany Derry, a two-time James Beard Award finalist. Wine educator, writer and consultant Julia Coney also consults on the onboard and ground dining programs.
So if you’re wondering why you might want to choose American Airlines the next time you fly, some good reasons are all the Black businesses and diverse talent you’ll be supporting when you do.
This originally appeared in July/August 2023 issue of ESSENCE magazine, on newsstands now!