American Airlines was formed on April 15, 1926. They are a huge airline based out of Chicago, Illinois, USA with 10 other hub locations. They are one of the most popular and most traveled airlines in the world.

With so many amazing and interesting facts over their 83 years of operation (as of the time of writing), there are still so many things that are unknown about the American Airlines. So in this post, I will show you 11 American Airlines facts you should know.

1. American Airlines is the largest airline in the world

In 5 different ways, American Airlines is the largest airline in the world. This includes:

  • Fleet size – currently have 957 aircraft
  • Number of locations served – 350
  • Revenue – over 42 billion dollars
  • Scheduled passenger kilometers flown –  324 billion kilometers
  • Scheduled passengers – according to the Bureau Of Transportation Statistics, American Airlines had over 965 million scheduled passengers in 2017.

2. American Airlines’ Largest Hub Airport – Dallas, Fort Worth, TX

Not many people realize that Dallas, Fort Worth Texas is the largest hub airport used by American Airlines. Most will just assume that the largest airport would be Chicago, which is American Airlines home base. But that is not the case.

Dallas, Fort Worth handles 51.1 million passengers every year and averages 140,000 passengers per day. There are many amenities inside the airport including shopping, entertainment, airport lounges and much more.

Dallas, Fort Worth Airport Terminal

dallas fort worth airport

3. First Female Pilot

In 1973, American Airlines hired the first female pilot for a commercial airline. Her name is Bonnie Tiburzi who, at 24 years old, started her job with American. She stayed with the company for 26 years. She was the first woman in the world to earn a Flight Engineer rating on a turbo-jet aircraft.

4. The Largest Airline Reward Program

American Airlines started its rewards program on May 1, 1981. It is currently the largest frequent flyer program with over 67 million members as of 2011.

If you are a member of the AA rewards program, you can take advantage of upgrades and discounts, priority check-in, car rentals, hotels and much more.

There are currently four classes or levels to the program. AAdvantage Gold, AAdvantage Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum Pro, and AAdvantage Executive Platinum elite members. Also, take advantage of the Admirals Club and Flagship Lounge programs. Great deals and discounts are available at Priority Pass.

5. American Airlines is a Huge Employer

As of May 2017, American Airlines employs over 122,300 people with over 4300 employees at the main headquarter alone! With over 6700 flights per day, they obviously need all hands on deck.

Since the founding of the airline, they have created over 900,000 total jobs.

6. They are environmentally conscious

Can you imagine the amount of water American Airlines goes through? It’s a lot! The airline recycles water needed for washing planes, and irrigation. They started this in 2002, and that decision has saved them over 1 million dollars so far.

7. Biggest Merge in Aviation History

On Feb 14, 2013, the merge heard around the world took place to form the biggest airline in the world. According to, an 11 billion dollar merger with American Airlines and US Airways took place and to this date remains the worlds largest airline. I predict it will stay that way for quite some time.

8. They made a movie (well, kinda) 

The movie Up In The Air is a 2009 film starring George Clooney and is based on a frequent flyer who is trying to reach 10 million American Airlines frequent flier miles.

I loved this movie, and suggest you make time to watch it if you haven’t already. It was made on a $25 million dollar budget and ended up bringing in $166.8 million at the box office.

Since the movie was based on American Airlines, I couldn’t leave it out of my American Airlines Facts You Should Know article!

9. First Airline to Fly the DC-3 Aircraft

The Douglas DC-3 is a fixed-wing propeller-driven aircraft that operated in the 1930s and 1940s. The DC-3 is a twin-engine metal monoplane with a cruise speed of 207 mph (333 km/h), capacity of 21 to 32 passengers or 6,000 lbs (2,700 kg) of cargo and a range of 1,500 mi (2,400 km).

American Airlines started passenger service with the DC-3 aircraft on June 26, 1936, with flights from Newark, New Jersey and Chicago, Illinois. It was the first airline to ever fly the aircraft.

Old Footage of American Airlines DC-3

10. American Airlines was the first to use SABRE

All airlines today use technology and online booking systems to secure your flight bookings. It is so easy and convenient to book a flight nowadays. But it wasn’t always that way. In 1960, American was the first airline to use SABRE, which is short for Semi-Automated Business Research Environment. 

This computer reservation system is now used by millions of travelers and over 400 airlines. Prior to 1960, American Airlines used a manual booking system with card files. Over time, they became so busy and overwhelmed that booking a flight took hours to complete.

11. American Airlines Ordered the Most Aircraft in History

Talk about an expensive order. Back in July 2011, American Airlines ordered 460 Boeing 737 NG aircraft and Airbus A320 aircraft!

This huge order was placed to replace older aircraft models and upgrade the overall fleet.

According to Wikipedia, on April 6, 2018, adding to its previous order for 42, American has ordered an additional 47 Boeing 787 which includes 22 787-8 and 25 787-9, for over $12 billion at list prices.

There are so many more facts about American Airlines that are very interesting. The list is endless. But I hope you enjoyed these 11 American Airlines facts! 

Thanks for reading!




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