American Airlines to put an end to its iconic inflight magazine

American Way - end of an era

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American Airline to put an end to its iconic inflight magazine
American Way through the years

The oldest inflight magazine in American has fallen victim to the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and a growing apathy towards print in the Western world. American Airlines has announced it will end its inflight magazine, American Way, which began way back in 1966.

American Airlines began filling its seatbacks with American Way — launched as The American Way — in 1966. Since then, the inflight magazine has been a ubiquitous presence on its aircraft, offering perspectives and cultural, lifestyle, or travel-related feature articles. The magazine will retire at the end of June 2021. 

While the last issue of American Way, published by global travel media company Ink, is on planes now. In the magazine’s latest issue, the cover story is on LGBTQ neighborhoods in America. In the magazine’s first issue, travelers were offered tickets with a fifty percent discount for their wives. Flight attendants were called stewardesses in those days. 

American Airlines to stop publication of inflight magazine

According to media reports, the airline is stopping the publication of the inflight magazine due to the changing preferences of travelers. Travelers now prefer other inflight entertainment options alongside the Wi-Fi provided onboard. American Airlines, like other airlines, offers a range of movies and television shows. 

In the coming days, American will introduce new inflight offerings and provide more ways to connect with family and friends. Customers can stream on their phones, tablet, or laptop. “In addition to providing customers with more of what they want, this change will also eliminate some paper waste and reduce weight on our aircraft. We’re always looking for ways to reduce, reuse and recycle in our operation, and we welcome opportunities to take even small steps in the right direction,” the airline said. 

American Airlines is the latest to join other airline companies such as Delta, and Southwest which had earlier retired their respective inflight magazines. This was done during the pandemic and later decided to discontinue them in the future. Delta was the first to stop publishing its inflight magazine, Sky, last year during the height of the pandemic. Southwest followed soon. 

 

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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