FORT WORTH, Texas, March 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In conjunction with National Medal of Honor Day on March 25, American Airlines is flying an extraordinary group of veterans who have received the nation's highest military honor for valor in combat to Washington, D.C., for a series of activities in their honor. As the official airline of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation for Medal of Honor Day, American has provided transportation to recipients for the past five years via a special charter flight.
Following a send-off celebration at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, the recipients will be transported to the U.S. capital, where they will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery and visit other monuments. To begin the weekend, American is sponsoring a private luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, D.C., for the recipients and other notable guests.
"The courageous actions taken by these distinguished veterans, spanning from the Civil War though current conflicts, truly exemplify the selfless nature of our nation's service members," said Captain John Hale, American's Vice President – Flight and a U.S. Air Force veteran. "At American, our people are proud to recognize these outstanding individuals throughout the year, especially on occasions specifically intended to honor their bravery and sacrifice."
During the luncheon, American Airlines will reaffirm its commitment to these outstanding veterans through a special recognition program that began in 2011. All living Medal of Honor recipients will be presented with American's highest AAdvantage® elite status membership, Executive Platinum, as well as ConciergeKey(SM) and Admirals Club® memberships. Executive Platinum benefits include complimentary upgrades, elite mileage bonuses and priority check-in and boarding airport privileges, among others.
Admirals Club membership will allow these veterans an opportunity to relax at lounges located around the world, with complimentary amenities including Wi-Fi, computer and business center access; snacks and beverages; and admission for immediate family members and up to two guests. ConciergeKey is an invitation-only program that provides day-of-travel assistance for selected customers.
"National Medal of Honor Day is a time set aside for the nation to pause in remembrance of all Medal of Honor recipients and their legacy of courage, sacrifice, selflessness and patriotism," said Thomas L. Wilkerson, President of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. "We're grateful to American Airlines for playing a continued, important role in this commemoration by bringing the living recipients to Washington on a special charter aircraft for the fifth consecutive year. American's support is in keeping with their long-standing commitment to those in uniform, their families and the veteran community."
The highest U.S. military distinction for valor, the Medal of Honor has been presented to fewer than 3,500 service members, many of them posthumously, since the Civil War. The medal – most recently presented in February 2013 – is bestowed by the President of the United States in the name of Congress upon members of the Armed Forces who conspicuously distinguish themselves through selfless actions that go beyond the call of duty.
American Airlines has a long history of supporting U.S. service members, veterans and their families. With more than 60 percent of American's pilots and 10 percent of all American and American Eagle people serving as active military or veterans, the airline is proud to support members of our nation's Armed Forces in their communities as well as when they travel, including special military airfares, support of nonprofit organizations, and employee engagement in a wide variety of events and activities. To learn more, please visit AA.com/JoinUs.
About American Airlines
American Airlines focuses on providing an exceptional travel experience across the globe, serving more than 260 airports in more than 50 countries and territories. American's fleet of nearly 900 aircraft fly more than 3,500 daily flights worldwide from hubs in Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami and New York. American flies to nearly 100 international locations including important markets such as London, Madrid, Sao Paulo and Tokyo. With more than 500 new planes scheduled to join the fleet, including continued deliveries of the Boeing 737 family of aircraft and new additions such as the Boeing 777-300ER and the Airbus A320 family of aircraft, American is building toward the youngest and most modern fleet among major U.S. carriers. American's website, AA.com®, provides customers with easy access to check and book fares, and personalized news, information and travel offers. American's AAdvantage® program, one of the most popular frequent flyer programs in the world, lets members redeem miles for flights to almost 950 destinations worldwide, as well as flight upgrades, vacation packages, car rentals, hotel stays and other retail products. The airline also offers nearly 40 Admirals Club® locations worldwide providing comfort, convenience, and an environment with a full range of services making it easy for customers to stay productive without interruption. American is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest airlines in the world, including global brands like British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia Airlines, Japan Airlines, LAN and Qantas. Together, its members serve more than 840 destinations served by some 9,000 daily flights to nearly 160 countries and territories. Connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir or Facebook.com/AmericanAirlines. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AMR Corporation common stock trades under the symbol "AAMRQ" on the OTCQB marketplace, operated by OTC Markets Group.
SOURCE American Airlines