CHICAGO, Dec. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- American Airlines, which is the official airline of the USO, and USO of Illinois today opened a new 1000-square-foot cyber canteen for active military service members in O'Hare International Airport's Terminal 3. The new facility will seat approximately 120 military men and women while they are transiting through O'Hare.
"Just in time for the busy holiday travel season, American and USO of Illinois have teamed up to provide a respite for military men and women who are traveling through O'Hare," said Franco Tedeschi, American's Vice President – Chicago. "This new facility will offer all the comforts of home and allow service personnel to check e-mails, go online and use computers in this facility located adjacent to American's L concourse gates. It's our holiday gift to them.
"We also want to recognize our Veteran Military Employee Resources Group (VMERG) at O'Hare that helped make this facility a reality for our service personnel," Tedeschi added.
"We are very excited that American wanted to partner with us," said Anthony Enrietto, President and COO of the USO of Illinois. "This new facility will be available to the millions of military personnel who transit O'Hare each year. We appreciate the efforts of American and its employees to make the customer experience even more enjoyable for all."
"On behalf of Mayor Richard M. Daley, we are proud to join American Airlines and the USO to celebrate the grand opening of the new airside USO Cyber Canteen in Terminal 3 at O'Hare International Airport," said Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino. "We are pleased to welcome this new facility and to acknowledge the valiant service of our active military personnel and veterans who travel through one of the world's busiest airports."
The new cyber canteen will feature "home away from home" comforts for traveling military and their families, including free Wi-Fi Internet access, refreshments and a comfortable lounge area where they can relax and recharge before continuing on to their destinations. It will be open seven days a week from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. and is part of American's employee lounge.
There are more than 2.4 million active duty, guard and reserve men and women whose families benefit from assistance provided by the USO. The USO of Illinois helps make their travels – whether they are headed home to see loved ones and family or on deployments or military orders – more enjoyable. The USO of Illinois offers a warm respite during travel layovers and extended waits. The USO acts as a concierge to the military, assisting with directions, travel information and accommodations in the event travel plans are compromised.
The USO of Illinois annually serves more than 300,000 active duty, guard and reserved military and military families. The USO coordinates more than 300 programs and services, year- around at five USO Centers: USO Navy Pier, USO Midway, USO Great Lakes, USO O'Hare (Landside), and now the USO AA Cyber Canteen O'Hare (Airside).
American Airlines has long-standing ties to the nation's armed forces. With more than 60 percent of American's pilots and 10 percent of all American and American Eagle Airlines employees serving as active military or veterans, the company places a strong emphasis on its military and veterans initiatives. American is the official airline of the USO, and provides the organization with in-kind support and fundraising assistance.
On Veterans Day 2010, American introduced Flagship Independence, a Boeing 767 aircraft, which is the newest addition to the airline's yellow-ribbon fleet. The rollout of Flagship Independence brings to six the number of American and American Eagle aircraft that proudly sport iconic yellow-ribbon decals and the slogan, "In support of all who serve," on their fuselages, a visual expression of the airlines' support for the nation's armed forces. The other yellow-ribbon aircraft include an American Airlines 757, Flagship Freedom; a 737, Flagship Liberty; and three American Eagle aircraft. These aircraft are often utilized for special charter flights for veterans, wounded military and first responders.
American supports members of the military, veterans and their families in their communities via in-kind contributions to nonprofit organizations and employee engagement in a wide variety of events and activities. American also offers special airfares, priority boarding and Admirals Club® Lounge access for qualifying active military.
The O'Hare VMERG is made up of volunteers who want to make a difference for the service personnel who travel through – or live in – the Chicago area. The group has worked with the Pentagon on Marine Week 2009 activities and the U.S. Navy's Atlantic Fleet Force Command during Navy Fleet Week 2010 as well as raised funds for the USO at the Rockford Air Fest. The O'Hare VMERG also has donated funds to Vietnam vets in Rockford and worked with the Illinois Veterans Affairs Department to host "Home Town Heroes" for American and American Eagle employees who are veterans.
About American Airlines
American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection® serve 250 cities in 40 countries with, on average, more than 3,400 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American's award-winning website, AA.com®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members serve nearly 700 destinations in more than 130 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, We know why you fly and AAdvantage are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. (NYSE : AMR )
About the USO of Illinois
The mission of the USO of Illinois is to enhance the quality of life of the U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families and to create a cooperative relationship between U.S. military communities and involved or supporting civilian communities. The USO (United Service Organizations) is a 501 (c) (3) registered nonprofit organization that receives no direct government funding.
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SOURCE American Airlines