This is a bit of inside baseball, not really stuff the every day traveler wants to spend time reading about. But, it is interesting to me so I figured I’d write a quick post.
The New American Airlines announced its senior leadership today. There are a total of 9 names (including Doug Parker’s). Of those, 3 are American Airlines folks, the other 6 US Airways.
That doesn’t surprise me in the least. I was very pleased to see Maya Liebman named Chief Information Officer. Maya was the head of the AAdvantage program a couple years ago, and I got to know her through a few events such as a oneworld MegaDO and the Freddie Awards. I found her to be honest, direct, very affable. She was one of the first airline executives to jump on a live chat at Milepoint, and she decided to write an open letter to the frequent traveler community prior to her chat. In part, she said:
I had the opportunity this past week to spend time with some dedicated MilePointers at the Frequent Traveler Awards and Luncheon and I really enjoyed it. Also, I now have some more insight into your psyche! Let’s see… I would describe you as smart, funny, unique and just a hair this side of crazy about frequent flier programs. As young kids you were probably the ones dismantling and reassembling your mom’s toaster. And your high school yearbook probably listed you as Student Council Treasurer (always on the lookout for the best deal), Chess Champion (always plotting ten moves in advance), and Most Likely to See the World (well, because, after all that’s why you do what you do, right?).
Seriously, what top executive takes the time to write a note like this to a crazy (yes, crazy) bunch of customers? One who’s uniquely connected to her job with a singular purpose to achieve good things.
Seeing all that American has done to leverage technology for a better travel experience makes it all the more special to see Maya’s name up there in the senior leadership. I hope Doug gives her the support to allow her to continue to be as innovative and impactful for the New American as she is for the existing American today.