WASHINGTON, March 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor for valor in combat against an enemy force. In a tribute to the nation's surviving Medal of Honor recipients, American Airlines is flying a group of these veterans from New York to Washington, D.C., where they will be recognized in conjunction with National Medal of Honor Day, March 25.
Upon arrival aboard American's yellow-ribbon 737 aircraft, Flagship Liberty, the recipients will be welcomed to Washington D.C. at a private luncheon. As the official airline of the USO, American Airlines has also worked with the organization to invite wounded service members to the luncheon.
"To receive the Medal of Honor speaks volumes about the courage of these heroes, and sacrifices they have made for the freedoms we enjoy in this country," said Gerard Arpey, American Airlines Chairman and CEO. "Equally important, they epitomize the concept of service above self. All of us at American Airlines express our deepest appreciation and gratitude to all Medal of Honor recipients who have achieved this distinction in defending our great nation."
The highest military decoration awarded by the United States, the Medal of Honor is bestowed by Congress on members of the Armed Forces who conspicuously distinguish themselves by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives above and beyond the call of duty. Of more than 40 million veterans who have served since the beginning of the Civil War, fewer than 3,500 Medals of Honor have been awarded. American Airlines has proudly provided transportation to recipients to attend annual Medal of Honor Day events for the past three years, as the official airline of the Medal of Honor Foundation.
"Each year on National Medal of Honor Day – a day set aside for these heroes – we are reminded of their valor and selflessness," said Nicholas B. Kehoe, President of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. "Thanks to the generosity of American Airlines, these extraordinary service members will be recognized today at the nation's Capitol and during all of their travels on American Airlines."
American Airlines also announced that AAdvantage Executive Platinum® membership, ConciergeKey status and Admirals Club memberships will be presented to all living Medal of Honor recipients. AAdvantage Executive Platinum status is the highest level of AAdvantage membership that can be achieved by American's customers, with benefits including complimentary upgrades, elite mileage bonuses, special reservations assistance, and airport and AAdvantage award travel benefits, among others.
Admirals Club membership will grant these heroes access to more than 40 airport lounges worldwide, with amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi, cyber cafes, snacks and beverages, music rooms and business centers equipped with PCs, copiers and global printing. ConciergeKey is a day of departure meet-and-greet service available by invitation only.
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 employees serving as active military or veterans, the airline places a strong emphasis on its military and veterans initiatives. American supports members of the military, veterans and their families via in-kind contributions to nonprofit organizations and through employee engagement in a wide variety of events and activities. To learn more, please visit AA.com/JoinUs.
About American Airlines
American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection® serve 250 cities in 50 countries with, on average, more than 3,600 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 fares are also available through Kayak.com and Priceline.com, as well as thousands of travel agencies worldwide. 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 approximately 900 destinations with more than 9,000 daily flights to 145 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, and AAdvantage are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: AMR).
About the AAdvantage Program
The AAdvantage program was the first frequent flyer program. Established in 1981, the program now has more than 66 million members. Members can earn miles at more than 1,000 participating companies, which include 27 hotel chains representing more than 60 brands, more than 20 airlines, eight car-rental companies, 11 financial companies, and over 500 brand name retailers. In addition, members can earn miles when making purchases with one of more than 100 affinity card products in over 40 countries. In 2010, AAdvantage members redeemed more than 165 billion miles to claim just fewer than 7.2 million awards for flights, upgrades and car rentals. For more information and a listing of AAdvantage program participating companies, visit www.aa.com/aadvantage.
Current AMR Corp. releases can be accessed on the Internet.
The address is http://www.aa.com
SOURCE American Airlines