American Airlines ‘Military Pre-Boarding’ Commercial: “Putting Them First”

In 2010, American Airlines launched a pair of “support the troops” commercials. The ads began airing on Memorial Day weekend and were re-released to coincide with other holidays associated with military recognition, including the 4th of July, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving. During the same year, American Airlines became the ‘official airline of the USO,’ an organization which supports members of the United States Armed Forces and their families.

American Airlines describes the ads as “a public gesture of gratitude and a tribute to those in uniform, veterans and their families.” Titled ‘Putting Them First’ and ‘Thank You,’ the two TV commercials were filmed in a busy airline terminal and gate area at Dallas/Fort Worth airport.

In ‘Putting Them First,’ a young African American woman wearing a marine camouflage-style uniform is invited to pre-board. While moving to the front of the line, the young woman appears embarrassed by the preferential treatment until a senior citizen rises and formally salutes. The active marine and (implied) veteran acknowledge one another respectfully.

Script

At a crowded airline gate, a young African American woman wearing a camouflage-style uniform is invited to pre-board. 

Flight Attendant: “Hi. Just wanted to let you know that we are pre-boarding for military personnel at the gate.”

While moving to the front of the line, the young woman appears embarrassed by the preferential treatment until a senior citizen rises and formally salutes. The active service member and apparent veteran acknowledge one another respectfully.

Voiceover: “To those who put our country first, we are honored to do the same for you.”

On-screen text: AA.com/JoinUs

The commercial ends with a hero close-up of a gleaming plane, focused on the American Airlines logo.

Year
2010
Related Materials

Companion Ad:  “Thank you”

At a busy airline terminal, a polite young solider, wearing a military uniform, thanks airport personnel at each step of the airplane check-in and departure process.  While on-board, the soldier graciously declines an offer of a window seat and helps a passenger with her bags.  At the conclusion of the flight, as the solider exits the plane, he thanks the American Airlines pilot, who shakes the soldier’s hand and says warmly: “No, thank you.”  As the soldier heads towards the arrivals area, a gate sign displays: “Our Thanks.”

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