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American Airlines Takes a Stab at Rebranding

In case you hadn’t heard, American Airlines faces a number of significant PR challenges. We would review the bankruptcy, the mass layoffs, the employee strikes and the customer service nightmares, but you’ve heard all that before–we’ll just say there are several reasons that American repeatedly finds itself among America’s “most hated” brands. And while the company reported a very small profit in the fourth quarter of 2012 thanks to the tax benefits of declaring bankruptcy, a rehabilitation is clearly in order.

So what can American do to redeem itself in the eyes of its public? How about a new logo?

Check out the official corporate video unveiling the “much-anticipated” redesign (and try not to gag on all the drama).

There are a few more bells and whistles involved, of course.

The re-tooling also includes:

  • Expanded international service
  • Newer, fancier aircraft (like that 787 “Dreamliner” that everyone loves so very much)
  • Samsung Galaxy Notes for flight attendants
  • iPads for pilots (who obviously don’t have to “turn off all electronic devices”)
  • “Elegant new china” for first class
  • More fully reclining seats (but not on most planes)
  • Wi-Fi, USB ports and expanded entertainment options

We like the last two, but will these “user experience” upgrades be enough to revive a much-reviled company? When its biggest problems are poor customer service, poor employee relations and what an Allied Pilots Association spokesman calls “network deficiencies and toxic culture“, we would say no.

The spot hints at a future merger with US Airways; we’d advise American to go for it. A “new look” won’t be nearly enough.

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