AMR Bankruptcy Messaging Off Base

by Roger Pynn

Admitting you’re broke is never easy … unless, like American Airlines’ parent AMR Corp. you’re planning to buy 460 new airplanes, which might just leave a few of your paying customers wondering if the planes they are flying on today are safe.

From a messaging perspective, the only thing dumber than reassuring frequent flyers that their bonus miles are still worth the paper they aren’t printed on was AMR CEO Tom Horton saying the company’s contracts for those planes with Boeing and Airbus are “rock solid,” the same day the airline filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors.

That’s like saying “look, we’ve made a mess out of this operation, so we’d like permission to stick it to all the people we owe money to … then we’ll start all over again and see if we can get it right this time.”

Someone is going to hurt … and it doesn’t appear to be AMR.

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